Thursday, December 06, 2007

Perpetual? Not Exactly

Cibby Pulikkaseril e-mailed me about the "perpetual motion" state post I made a few days ago. He definitely wins a tiny razor with "Occam" engraved on the handle for this:
With regards to the perpetual motion demonstration in the BEC: I think it's very pertinent that the term 'perpetual motion' is used by the DailyTech post, NOT by the press release issued by NIST.

Daily Tech:
"The National Institute of Standards and Technology, in conjunction with the University of Maryland's Joint Quantum Institute, created a short-lived "proof of concept" of perpetual motion."

"Using laser light to stir an ultracold gas of atoms, researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Joint Quantum Institute (NIST/University of Maryland) have demonstrated the first "persistent" current in an ultracold atomic gas —a frictionless flow of particles."

The researchers call it 'persistent flow'. I think you'll find that real physicists are loathe to make outrageous claims. They're usually very precise in their definitions.

Site Meter