If perpetual motion exists in atoms or its parts then why can it not exist with a collection of atoms? or can it? What exactly prohibits or where does the perpetual line physically stop? Can atoms be aligned to create a tiny vibration within a mass of atoms?

I've done much study on magnetized atomic perpetual motion. I learn it is not perpetual at all. Theses devises after a while of running deguass the magnets and they have to be replaced like batteries. All these devised are based on timing and the alignment of atoms to create a field. I don't understand why there is so much suppression of the devises that redirect or manipulate magnetic fields on SE. But until I build one myself I remain a skeptic. A gradient has to me made. After reading this "Tesla's work and this site contradict each other. I am trying to connect the PHYSICS of Atomic perpetual motion to this https://www.open-electronics.org/open-source-plans-for-modern-tesla-free-energy-generator-released-to-public/ why would Tesla go through so much trouble in his life over a lie?

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    $\begingroup$ There are several categories of perpetual motion. The term normally refers to systems that can perform useful work indefinitely without further input of energy, apart from some initial energy used to get things started. That's impossible. OTOH, a body traveling in a perfect vacuum indefinitely with constant velocity &/or spinning on its axis isn't classed as perpetual motion. $\endgroup$
    – PM 2Ring
    May 21, 2020 at 10:40
  • $\begingroup$ @PM2Ring Nice comment that should be an answer. According to the link you sent me Time Crystals en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_crystal fulfill the definition that you say is impossible. $\endgroup$ May 21, 2020 at 19:42
  • $\begingroup$ From that link: "Time crystals do not violate the laws of thermodynamics: energy in the overall system is conserved, such a crystal does not spontaneously convert thermal energy into mechanical work, and it cannot serve as a perpetual store of work". $\endgroup$
    – PM 2Ring
    May 21, 2020 at 20:27
  • $\begingroup$ two planets can orbit around each other forever, but that is not perpetual motion. To be perpetual motion you must be able to extract energy from the motion without making it stop $\endgroup$
    – user65081
    May 21, 2020 at 21:38
  • $\begingroup$ It slows it down when engadged. $\endgroup$ May 22, 2020 at 3:46

3 Answers 3


If perpetual motion exists in atoms or its parts

The term motion cannot be used indiscriminately, it is a classical mechanics term, whereas atoms belong in the realm of quantum mechanics, due to the very small dimensions and energies that describe them. In quantum mechanics at the level of atoms, there is no motions from an (x,y,z) coordinate to another, but a probability for an electron bound to the nucleus of an atom to be found at (x,y,z). There are no orbits about the nuclei, but orbitals, probability loci.

then why can it not exist with a collection of atoms?or can it?

A collection of atoms is again describable quantum mechanically, and as solids, there are again binding energy levels and probabilities describing the behavior of atoms and collections of atoms.

What exactly prohibits or where does the perpetual line physically stop?

There is no perpetual line of motion in the quantum regime. Only when atoms and molecules get to be very many, classical mechanics emerges where motion of a mass ( of order $10^{23}$ atoms) can be accurately defined as dx/dt, velocity.

Can atoms be aligned to create a tiny vibration within a mass of atoms?

Quantum mechanically ,yes.

  • $\begingroup$ What is meant by "tiny vibration within a mass of atoms"? $\endgroup$
    – ACat
    May 21, 2020 at 8:15
  • $\begingroup$ @DvijD.C. quantum vibrational and rotational states in solid lattices, and not only are consistent to the description "tiny vibration within a mass of atoms" by a layman $\endgroup$
    – anna v
    May 21, 2020 at 17:47
  • $\begingroup$ OK, "vibration within a mass" sounded to me like a claim about a time-dependent value of mass. I missed that "a mass of atoms" can also mean "a group of atoms" :P $\endgroup$
    – ACat
    May 21, 2020 at 17:51

The reason is the second law of thermodynamics, which describes the tendency for motions to reduce to random thermal motions. Although, theoretically, the possibility exists that motions could become aligned as a random result, it is rather less likely than the possibility that you could order a pack of playing cards by shuffling them (if you programmed a computer to shuffle a pack a billion times a second, the chance that it would perfectly order the pack in the lifetime of the universe is less than $1$ in $10^{39})$.

The Scottish physicist and mathematician James Clerk Maxwell devised the thought experiment now known as Maxwell’s demon to illustrate “… that the Second Law of Thermodynamics has only a statistical certainty,” in a letter in 1867. Maxwell described a container of gas in thermal equilibrium, “… divided into two portions, A and B, by a division in which there is a small hole, and that a being, who can see the individual molecules, opens and closes this hole, so as to allow only the swifter molecules to pass from A to B, and only the slower molecules to pass from B to A. He will thus, without expenditure of work, raise the temperature of B and lower that of A.”

Maxwell’s demon seems to suggest that, in principle, it is possible to defy the law of entropy. The flaw in this argument was first pointed out by the Hungarian physicist and inventor, Leó Szilárd. Szilárd pointed out, in 1929, that a real Maxwell’s demon would need to measure molecular speed, and that the measurement would expend energy. He concluded that this expenditure of energy would cause a net increase in entropy for the whole system, demon and gas combined.

Modern devices which use this method to cool gases have been built, and are known as Maxwell’s demons. A laser is used to determine the speed of the individual molecules, and the hole is opened and closed automatically. This is not done, as Maxwell supposed, without the expenditure of work. Energy is required from the laser. The laser supplies low entropy photons, which are scattered, by the molecules, increasing entropy in the environment. Theoretical treatments now show that Maxwell’s demons cannot violate the second law of thermodynamics.

(extracts of Structures of the Sky)


"Perpetual motion" does exist on a macroscopic scale.

Both superconductivity (zero electrical resistance) and superfluidity (zero viscosity) are formed when electrons or atoms join up and behave like individual particles.

The current in a superconductor can flow indefinitely, as can the flow in a superfluid like liquid helium. With "old-style" superconductors, the electrons pair up into "Cooper pairs" which can travel through the metal without resistance. For the new high-temperature superconductors, we do not yet know the operating principle.

  • $\begingroup$ @Justintimeforfun Another macroscopic example is a permanent magnet. It acts the same way as a superconducting coil, except with no need for cooling. The macroscopic field of a magnet is a result of perpetual motion of electrons in its atoms. $\endgroup$
    – safesphere
    May 21, 2020 at 22:04

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