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Perpetual Motion Design - Dilbert Blog

Perpetual Motion Design

In my twenties I designed a perpetual motion device that works perfectly … in the future.

And by that I mean the device requires in one of its parts a type of material that did not yet exist but I imagined someday would. That imagined material would have three properties:

  1. Thin (perhaps 1/16 of an inch, or anywhere in that range.)
  2. Must block or substantially reduce a magnetic field
  3. Must not itself be attracted or repelled by a natural magnet

The third point is the hard one. There are “shielding” materials for magnetic fields but the shields themselves are influenced by magnets.

Every few years I like to check in with my smarter-than-me readers and ask if some new development in materials science has gotten us there yet.

You don’t need to tell me perpetual motion violates the rules of physics. I know that. No lectures needed.

But if the rules of physics disallow perpetual motion, they also disallow any future discovery of the material I described, because having that material would allow me to build my device.

So I’m just checking in to see if anyone knows of a newly developed material that meets my criteria. If you do, you are about to change the world.

(Regular readers know I like to use irrational optimism as a feel-good strategy for the moist robot container that you refer to as Scott. That’s what this is.)

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Scott Adams

Co-Founder of CalendarTree (the simple way to add lengthy schedules to your calendar)

Author of the best graduation gift ever