3 June, 2020, 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Perpetual Motion Machine – or, Dynamic Minds, Immobile Machines

Graeme Gooday, Michael Kay, Andy Sloss


All Welcome

Intriguing artefacts don’t come much more mysterious than the Leeds Museum’s large late-19th-century painting of a perpetual motion machine.  Who designed it?  Who painted it?  How did we end up with it?  The history of the concept of “perpetual motion” has long fascinated inventors, scientists and performers. But the science of thermodynamics, with its famous Second Law declaring the inevitability of energetic disorder, led to the decline of the idea. Nevertheless, a number of people tried. Did the Leeds perpetual motion machine actually work? Could it work? In addressing these questions, this lecture considers not only the history of perpetual motion machines and thermodynamics but a working 3D model of the Leeds machine, built by the Leeds Hackspace group to bring the painting – and the machine – to life.

Click here to watch Graeme Gooday, Michael Kay and Andy Sloss explain more…

Then, if that fires your imagination and curiousity, why not join the online discussion group at 4pm Wed 3rd June. For details of how to access the discussion group, please click here.

This lecture is the 13th in a series of 20 as part of a free online course offering an introduction to the History of Science by the Centre for History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Leeds.