A perpetuum motion machine

Exhibit: table of content

Mathematics Math21a, Fall 2005
Multivariable Calculus
Oliver Knill, SciCtr 434, knill@math.harvard.edu
The animation illustrates a "perpetuum motion machine" which implements a nonconservative Force field. A wooden ball falls to the right and rises in the water to the left. Walves take care that the water is kept in place. You can assume that friction is neglectible and that operating the walves does not take energy.

The first law of thermodynamics assures that "perpetuum mobiles" can not exist. Until now, no violation of the first law of thermodynamics was observed (except on a microscopic quantum level, where energy and time obey a uncertainty principle). So, whats wrong with the perpetuum motion machine displayed here? A handout on perpetuum motion machines.
Please send comments to math21a@fas.harvard.edu
Oliver Knill, Math21a, Multivariable Calculus, Fall 2005, Department of Mathematics, Faculty of Art and Sciences, Harvard University