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122. The Near-Perpetual Clock

22 May

A clock that may never halt, this was the dream of Arthur Beverly. So he created his Beverly Clock a complex timepiece which was originally set into its near perpetual motion state in 1864. It has yet to stop, it has never been wound.

Inside of the sealed glass lies a box that flexes with atmospheric pressure. Its tremors and fluctuations are just enough to propel the clock’s weights, keeping it ticking over, letting it run. It is a marvelous invention and one of the most sustainable, efficient timepieces the world has ever seen.

A six-degree Celsius temperature variation over a day is all that is required to raise the one-pound weight an inch, powering the clock for yet another day. When this clock will stop is unknown however few expected it to last this long. Mechanically marvelous. A commercial version of this type of clock is available under the name “Atmos Clock.”

For 147 years it has kept going, powered by the planet itself. This peculiar marvel has one other honour in addition to being near perpetual in its motion. It also happens to be one of the longest running scientific experiments of all time, and no one knows when it will end. This weather powered clock today resides in the University of Otago, New Zealand, ticking happily away.

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Posted by on May 22, 2011 in Articles, Trivia

 

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