posted on Apr, 30 2003 @ 08:18 AM
Now here's a fun link, and a good one for folks to browse: The Museum of Unworkable Devices.
(from the ScienceMag review): The Museum of Unworkable Devices gives students an entertaining way to test their physics know-how. The mechanisms
depicted here are all real designs, but they would never work because their creators misunderstood or overlooked crucial physical principles.
Curator Donald Simanek, an emeritus professor of physics at Lock Haven University in Pennsylvania, gathered many of the designs from history books and
received others from readers--some of whom believed their submissions were sound. Using basic physics, he clearly explains fatal flaws with
contraptions such as this variant of the perpetual motion machine. The north poles of the outer ring of magnets all face inward, and by repelling the
north pole of the central magnet and attracting its south pole, they supposedly create an ever-turning rotor. The main fault is that the shield
surrounding the central magnet is subjected to forces equal and opposite to the forces on the magnet, canceling out the rotation. The design flaws can
be subtle, and Simanek leaves several examples for readers to figure out.
Check the Museum out at: