image dej_2_3_2_002
Image number: RS.14082
Credit: ©The Royal Society

Photograph of David Jones' 'perpetual motion machine'




Unknown, Photographer

Object type

Archive reference number




height: 210mm
width: 150mm


Content object


David Jones' first 'perpetual motion machine' displayed on a table. The bicycle wheel represents the moving element of the machine. Its source of energy is deliberately concealled.

From the David Jones collection. Jones (1938-2017) was a research chemist and science writer. His alter ego, Daedalus, specialised in stretching the limits of science. His fake perpetual motion machines are one example of this.

Object history

This 'pereptual motion machine' was the first of a series. It was created by Jones on the request of New Scientist Magazine for a meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science in York, 1981. It was later displayed in the Physical Chemistry Department of the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, where members of the public were invited to guess how it worked.

Associated place

<The World>
   > Europe
      > United Kingdom