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over- +‎ unity (the number "1"), referring to the fact that an over-unity device should produce more kinetic energy than whatever potential it receives as input. Coined to avoid patent rules that prevent impossible technologies such as perpetual motion machines being patented.


over-unity (not comparable)

  1. (euphemistic) Free-energy; supposedly capable of perpetual motion
    • 1994, David Hatcher Childress, The Free-energy Device Handbook: A Compilation of Patents & Reports, Adventures Unlimited Press, →ISBN, page 90:
      Look for the "over-unity" ratio when calculating energy output versus input as a proof of free energy.
    • 2007, Florentin Smarandache, V. Christianto, Hadron models and related New Energy issues, Infinite Study, →ISBN, page 96:
      The system behaves as an over-unity device producing energy from atomic hydrogen by a repeated dissociation and recombination of hydrogen atoms. MAHG tube contains a vacuum tube filled with hydrogen at 0.1 atm and cooled by water.
    • 2008, Mark P. Silverman, A Universe of Atoms, An Atom in the Universe, Springer Science & Business Media, →ISBN, page 25:
      "The Potapov device," the experimenters reported ruefully, "did not show any evidence of over-unity performance in our tests. We can find no explanation for the failure of this Potapov device to perform as reported (300% over-unity)."