APS News

June 2003 (Volume 12, Number 6)

Council: There is No Free Lunch

"The American Physical Society deplores attempts to mislead and defraud the public based on claims of perpetual motion machines or sources of unlimited useful energy, unsubstantiated by experimentally tested established physical principles."

With this brief statement, passed by Council at its April meeting, the APS reaffirmed the applicability of the established laws of physics, and issued a warning to the public to beware of unscrupulous and misguided attempts to sell schemes that cannot work.

"Unlike those passed by legislative bodies, the laws of physics cannot be violated," said Bob Park, APS Director of Public Information. "Unfortunately, there are still people out there who raise scads of money by claiming to violate the laws of thermodynamics."

Park anticipated that the Council statement will prove useful to prosecutors in cases involving claims of perpetual motion.

He cited the case of Dennis Lee (see What's New, October 4, 2002, accessible from the APS web site). The judge, in ruling against Lee, quoted verbatim from an earlier resolution on perpetual motion that had been passed by the APS Executive Board.


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Editor: Alan Chodos
Associate Editor: Jennifer Ouellette

June 2003 (Volume 12, Number 6)

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Articles in this Issue
Nobel Laureates, Industry Leaders Petition President to Boost Science and Technology
Nuclear Testing Not Necessary, Says New Council Statement
Consortia Provide Alternatives to Standard Journal Subscriptions
Multimedia Plenary Lectures Posted on APS Site
Results from LIGO's First Run Reported at APS April Meeting
Blume is Co-Recipient of Compton Award
Council: There is No Free Lunch
Scientists Observe Charge Symmetry Breaking in Separate Experiments
Five Takes on the Future of Particle Physics
Physicist Disputes Speed of Gravity Claim
Sandia's Z Facility Achieves First Fusion
Helen Quinn Elected to Membership in National Academy of Sciences
April Teachers' Day
Letters
Viewpoint
The Back Page
This Month in Physics History
Members in the Media
PRL Top Ten: #3
Zero Gravity: The Lighter Side of Science