Quote# 5269

[on the thermodynamics argument]So you're telling me that the Earth is essentially converts heat [from the sun] into work. Wow, does that mean that it's a perpetual motion machine?

chris_h, Rapture Ready 13 Comments [11/1/2003 12:00:00 AM]
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1/19/2008 7:08:59 PM


Do you know what any of the things that you just discussed are?

3/18/2008 3:20:56 AM


Not quite as stupid as it would seem - if the earth converted all of the heat it receives from the sun into useful mechanical work, it would be a perpetual motion machine of the second kind. For any mechanism to produce useful mechanical work output from thermal energy input, there has to be a certain amount of this heat that is dumped back out of it again at a lower temperature - it can't use all of it. I believe, in the case of the earth, that this would be the heat that radiates out into space from the side of the planet that faces away from the sun, but I've never bothered to analyse a control volume of the entire planet in terms of a heat engine. It might be an interesting intellectual exercise for me to do some day.

3/18/2008 2:19:46 PM

Caustic Gnostic

I agree. The sun/wet-planet combination seems to cause the perpetual motion machine known as Weather ... that is, until one of the components changes its configuration. At that point, another "perpetual" mechanism will likely take place.

3/18/2008 3:17:13 PM

David B.

Yes (for a very, very small value of perpetuity).

3/18/2008 3:51:24 PM

Quantum Mechanic

Please die.

Just die.

4/27/2011 9:55:57 AM

Quantum Mechanic

Please die.
Just die.

6/13/2011 1:41:08 PM


le wild epic fa-

whaaaa! kill it with fire!!! RUN!!! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!!!

3/29/2012 1:09:18 AM


Yes, just exactly like how an appliance you plug into a wall socket for power is a perpetual motion machine.

3/29/2012 2:27:31 AM

Quantum Mechanic


12/15/2014 8:49:30 PM

Wow, does that mean you're a perpetual idiot?

12/15/2014 8:51:24 PM


No ....a perpetual motion machine would be a world that would keep on functioning WITHOUT any sunshine. Perpetually cold and dark, yet the plants keep growing? Not gonna happen.

3/3/2017 10:14:04 AM




3/3/2017 10:17:58 AM

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