Monday, March 21, 2011

Is Escher’s Waterfall Breaking the Laws of Physics?

Building a better Perpetuum Mobile: M. C. Escher’s Waterfall, in (faux-)real life.
The machine is based on the Waterfall lithography print by the Dutch artist M. C. Escher. It shows an apparent paradox where water from the base of a waterfall appears to run uphill before reaching the top of the waterfall.   Image
Definitions: 'Perpetuum Mobile' or Perpetual Motion describes hypothetical machines that produce more work or energy than they consume. There is scientific consensus that perpetual motion would violate either the first law of thermodynamics, the second law of thermodynamics, or both. The first law of thermodynamics is an expression of the principle of conservation of energy. The second law of thermodynamics is an expression of the tendency that over time, differences in temperature, pressure, and chemical potential equilibrate in a closed physical system