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Thermodynamics: Perpetual Motion Machine

A perpetual motion machine is a machine that has a thermodynamic process that violates either the first or the second law of thermodynamics. Devices that violate the 1st law are called perpetual motion machines of the 1st class. An example, of a perpetual motion machine of the first class would be a device that has an energy output greater than its energy input. By the conservation of energy input must equal energy output. Devices that violate the 2nd law are called perpetual motion machines of the 2nd class. For example if it is claimed that a device has an efficiency that is greater than the Carnot Cycle or can operate on only one heat reservoir then it would be considered a perpetual motion machine. As of the year 1918 the U.S. patent department will no longer consider perpetual motion machine applications.

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