Remember, The Simpsons is Fiction

This perpetual motion machine she made today is a joke! It just keeps going faster and faster.

Lisa! Get in here. In this house, we obey the laws of thermodynamics!
– Homer J Simpson


Perpetual Motion Email Guidelines

Short version: no, it won’t work.

“If someone points out to you that your pet theory of the universe is in disagreement with Maxwell’s equations — then so much the worse for Maxwell’s equations. If it is found to be contradicted by observation — well, these experimentalists do bungle things sometimes. But if your theory is found to be against the second law of thermodynamics I can give you no hope; there is nothing for it but to collapse in deepest humiliation.”
— Arthur Eddington, The Nature of the Physical World (1928)


One thought on “Remember, The Simpsons is Fiction

  1. The philosophical position that there are no absolutes in science is an oversimplification. Certain notions can and are rejected outright. Claims of a terracentric universe comprised of a flat earth orbited by the sun, planets and stars are not tenable and need be granted no standing on the fact that this model violates so many established basic truths that it need not be considered at all. The reason no one argues, rationally, that we should entertain this model is that most people have a sufficient grounding in basic Newtonian astrophysics to realize it could not be true.

    The same does not hold for thermodynamics: most do not have an intuitive grasp of the principles involved and so feel that there is room for doubt, even if it is very thin doubt, but the root of this is a failure to grasp just how fundamental these Laws are.

    Frankly claiming a violation really is on the same level of “not even wrong” as Flat Earth.

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