They will sound like two science fiction stories, but they are not. These are experiments or devices that, even after the death of those who started them, still continue to function to this day, working patiently after decades or even centuries of being started. The perpetual movement It is not possible, but these devices remain stubborn, "trying" to defy the laws of physics, at least until now.
A kind of ticking clock
The story begins in the year 1840, when the physicist Robert Walker, a university professor, acquired a rare device: a kind of bell activated by an unusual high-voltage battery called Zamboni Stack. At that time it must have been a rather peculiar device, since electricity was still little known and many considered it a matter of magic or divine (or demonic) force. It is said that he did it to demonstrate some scientific hypotheses of that time, such as the Electrification By Contact theory (now discarded). But in reality little is known with certainty, it is not even certain that the device has a Zamboni battery, the only thing that is known for sure is that It was acquired in 1840 and since then it has not stopped working. Nor has there been anyone who dares to find out the mystery of this seemingly inexhaustible battery, as disrupting the happy little machine, trapped inside a glass bell, could destroy it. They are waiting for the bell to stop, one day, to disarm it, for they fear that any change could stop the fragile machinery composed of a kind of long metal pendulum that delicately tolls two bronze bells.
To get an idea of the time when this happened: many Latin American countries had very little time to live and others did not even exist, the incandescent light bulb had not been invented, worse the airplane and Darwin's "first opera": The Origin of the Species, was still several years away from being published.
If anything, a lot has happened since then. To date, it is almost 200 years in which this kind of clock has never stopped and has continued to buzz slightly like a tireless little metallic bee. It is estimated that there are more than 10,000,000,000 (ten trillion) times the bell has rung to date and it is thought that he still has a lot of life ahead of him.
The peculiar bell stands in a corridor next to Clarendon's laboratory at Oxford University and has already received a place in the famous Guinness Book of Records as the longest-lasting battery in the world.
And, although the above may seem crazy, it is not the only case.
An endless leak
In 1927, in Australia, another enthusiast named Thomas Parnell, eager to discover how viscous a substance can be, decided to do another of these experiments that would not come to an end (or at least while he was alive). It was at the University of Queensland and his motivation was to show his students that there are apparently solid substances, which can actually be extremely viscous, only our time frame doesn't allow us to see how fast they flow. In fact, many glasses are actually viscous substances, but in our lifetime we see them practically intact, solid. If we installed a camera that takes a sequence of images every so often and we waited long enough (maybe a lifetime), maybe we would notice something by watching the video in fast motion.
In practice, Parnell's experiment served not only to demonstrate the idea to his students, but apparently to his grandchildren and great-grandchildren as well.
The truth is that the experiment began and has not stopped yet. It is a funnel that contains a kind of tar. The idea is that the tar drips through the funnel, emptying all its contents. So far only nine drops have passed through the neck of the funnel, the last one on April 17, 2014 and the next drop is expected to fall sometime in 2028. At the beginning of this article you can see a photo of the experiment, accompanied from its current trustee, Professor John Mainstone of the University of Queensland.
The light bulb that has been on since 1901
This bulb has already broken all performance records and is so much so, that it won a Guinness record for the longest-lit bulb.
This light bulb is found in a fire station in the city of Livermore, California. It is known that it aimed to stay on 24 hours, every day; But no one suspected that it would be over 100 years old without having to replace it, and it remains on to this day.
It is believed that there are two keys for this to have happened is 1) that the devices in 1901 were made with better materials and to last longer. I leave a link below if you want to explore what this has to do with the sales volume of certain light bulb manufacturing companies. 2) From the beginning, it was decided that this particular bulb should be powered with low voltage, because it was wanted to dim its lighting, as it was and is a kind of pilot light in the station where it provides its service.