Theory of Perpetual Motion Machines.
As children, some of us enjoyed the books about the land of OZ, written by L. Frank Baum. Baum may have been the first writer to conceive of wormholes in space as a literary device. His Kansas cyclone (tornado) was certainly a space-time vortex of entangled coordinates connecting our world (Kansas) with another, quite different world (Oz). In Oz many things seemed to obey different physical laws from those we are used to.
Many science-fiction concepts originated in fairy tale literature. Morphing of people and objects is one such example. Teleportation of people from one place to another was quite common. Sometimes inanimate objects could be animated and vice versa. In fact, some have observed that science-fiction is nothing more than fairy tales for adults.
Fairy tales and science-fiction often have common elements. They both imagine worlds where the laws of our world don't apply, or at least are suspended in certain circumstances. They build upon our desires to be freed of the restrictions of reality. But the best of this genre also warns us that departures from reality can have very unpleasant side effects and unintended consequences.
Perpetual motionists are thwarted at every turn by the geometry of space and time. They can only succeed if it were possible to modify the spacetime geometry of our world. One one might imagine that one way to accomplish this goal is to find (or create) a region of space where ordinary geometric and physical laws are suspended, or are replaced by entirely different laws. Then let massive objects pass through that region as part of their cyclic path. This would, in effect, remove a chunk of ordinary spacetime and replace it with something else. Since we hope that ordinary physics laws don't apply to such regions of space, we will call them "extraordinary" spaces.
Perhaps, some optimistic inventors suggest, such a region of extraordinary space could be created by force field shields surrounding it. Then the masses would be weightless as they pass through. Or perhaps that space could be a region where things can move over distances instantaneously (or jump from one point in time to another). This sort of "magic" goes way back in the fairy-tale literature. Once you allow such possibilities, it is easy to design perpetual motion and over-unity devices around them.
In fairy tales, this is often done without much expenditure of work; just a magic word, incantation, or the drinking of a magical potion. If such a thing were really possible in nature, it might require work to accomplish. But that suggests that familiar laws, such as conservation of energy and momentum might also apply to this "special" region of space-time. Are some laws so universal that they apply to all parallel universes as well? Have any of the armchair theoreticians, who imagine space-time wormholes, ever examined what (if any) physical laws must operate during motion through such a wormhole? I don't think they have. They are playing math games without much concern about verified and verifiable experimental facts.
But if such extraordinary regions of space exist, or can be created, how can we use what we know about the ordinary geometry and physics of spacetime to allow us to deduce their properties and special laws? Any such speculation is purely guesswork, not science. The technical name for it is "hogwash". We can only say that "I can devise a mathematics that allows such possibilities". That's no big deal. Mathematics is so versatile that it can be used to make models of anything we can imagine, whether possible or impossible in nature.
So are there physical principles that transcend known physics and embrace even regions of the universe we've never observed? Could conservation laws be truly universal, applying even in situations we haven't even imagined yet? Could it be that there's a universal geometry in which everything happens, a geometry that cannot be altered by anything we can invent? Are these constraints mathematical, or is mathematics only the analogy we use to describe things we observe? Is is possible that we can express universal laws of physics even though our knowledge and observations are always limited in precision and incomplete in scope? Are these even answerable questions?
To me, this suggests that all such concepts of gravity shields, teleportation, space wormholes, parallel universes, time travel, invisibility cloaks, perpetual motion and over-unity machines are fairy tale concepts, not possible in our universe. They are no more than wishful thinking by people who haven't grown up. I'm surprised some creative math whiz hasn't yet mathematically modeled these fictional concepts and written a book titled "The Physics of Tairy Tales." Or maybe someone has, under some other title.
Text ©2013 by Donald E. Simanek.