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To do so, he built a machine with 100 connected gears. When you turn the gear at one end, it slowly turns the gear behind it at a rate of 1 to 10. So, for example, completing 10 full rotations on the first gear will make the second gear rotate just once. That means you’d need to rotate the first gear 100 times to get the second gear to rotate 10 times, thus rotating the third gear just once.
Again, there are 100 gears in play here. Do the math and you’ll realize that the first gear needs to make one googol rotations just to turn the last gear one complete rotation.
The machine’s builder said he was inspired to create it after turning one billion seconds old.
It’s a fascinating build although given that it is just a prototype, de Bruin doesn’t expect it to be all that durable. As such, he is fashioning another version that could run for years. I’d personally like to see him strap some sort of high-speed motor onto the contraption to really get the gears spinning at a rapid rate.
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Masthead credit: Gears by nikkytok