Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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Perpetual motion
(1,264 words)

1. Concept and relevance

Definitions of perpetual motion and classifications of its technical variants are as diverse in early modern sources as they are in historical research. As a rule, perpetual motion is defined literally (Latin perpetuum mobile; “thing in perpetual motion”) in terms of the continuous movement of its parts. Addressing this process in theoretical terms was a particular challenge for natural philosophers in the early modern period, b…

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Popplow, Marcus, “Perpetual motion”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 29 November 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_025405>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20200721

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