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Beyond the Book: Background information when reading The Dream of Perpetual Motion

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The Dream of Perpetual Motion

A Novel

by Dexter Palmer

The Dream of Perpetual Motion
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     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Mar 2010, 352 pages
    Paperback:
    Feb 2011, 368 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Cindy Anderson

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Beyond the Book

Is Perpetual Motion Just a "Dream?"
In The Dream of Perpetual Motion, Prospero claims to have created a perpetual motion engine that can run his Zeppelin indefinitely; supposedly, it will never run out of energy, and will never need a new influx of energy. Is that possible in the real world? According to scientists, no. That doesn't mean that mankind hasn't tried to produce such a machine; in fact we have evidence of attempts going back to the Renaissance.

In order for anything to be a "perpetual motion" device, it must be a closed system (one that, once started, does not need to be "fed" any kind of fuel, or acted upon by anything outside of itself). If you have ever seen one of those "drinking birds" with the red liquid at the bottom (that dip their heads into a glass of water and then swing upright again) you may think you have seen an example of perpetual motion. However, you'd be mistaken. The bird moves because the liquid in its bulb heats up at room temperature, ...

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