David E. H. Jones

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David E. H. Jones (born 20 April 1938) is a British chemist and author, under the pen name Daedalus, the fictional inventor for DREADCO. Jones' columns as Daedalus were published weekly in New Scientist starting in the mid-1960s. He then moved on to the journal Nature, and continued to publish for many years. He published two books with columns from these magazines, along with additional comments and implementation sketches. The first was The Inventions of Daedalus: A Compendium of Plausible Schemes (1982) and the second was The Further Inventions of Daedalus (1999).

David Jones was a chemist by profession. In 1962, he earned a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Imperial College London. In 1974, he was the Sir James Knott Research Fellow at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. He then became an independent science consultant to industry providing ideas, brain storming services, and scientific demonstrations for television. He continued as a guest staff member in the chemistry department at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne.

In scientific circles he is perhaps best known for his study of bicycle stability, his determination of arsenic in Napoleon’s wallpaper and his series of fake perpetual-motion machines, the latest of which is in the Technisches Museum, Vienna.

He was known in Germany as a regular guest on the 1980s TV science quiz show Kopf um Kopf (Head to Head), presenting interesting physics experiments.[1]

In 2009 a documentary film about his work and inventions, Perpetual Motion Machine,[2] was made and shown at the Newcastle Science Festival 2010.[3]


  • The Inventions of Daedalus: A Compendium of Plausible Schemes, (1982) W. H. Freeman ; ISBN 0-7167-1412-4
  • The Further Inventions of Daedalus, (1999) Oxford University Press ISBN 0-19-850469-1
  • The Aha! Moment: A Scientist's Take on Creativity (2011) Johns Hopkins University Press ISBN 978-1421403311


  1. ^ "WDR - Kopf um Kopf - 1986, David Jones enters at 23:00". YouTube. Retrieved 10 May 2014. 
  2. ^ "Website of Perpetual Motion Machine film". Blogspot. Retrieved 9 May 2014. 
  3. ^ Blog entry on film, with photographs

External links[edit]