Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Another bunch of clues interpreted

Recently I said that I would comment occasionally on one or two of Bessler's clues, so here is another one I've been working on. This one is my interpetation of the strange passage which follows:

“He will be called a great craftsman,
who can easily/lightly throw a heavy thing high, 
 if one pound falls a quarter, 
it shoots four pounds, four quarters high.”

Firstly, the most obvious point is that if one pound falls a quarter and lifts another four pounds then we have a total of five pounds and those who are familiar with my work in decoding Bessler’s clues will at once recognise the presence of the ubiquitous number 5 again - which I have suggested refers to five mechanisms.

Secondly, he implies that there are five one pound weights (one plus four), but one of them is falling. Since one of the falling weights is one pound and the other four being lifted are also one pound each, all five of them are of equal mass - one pound each.

Thirdly it follows that if one of the weights was falling and four were rising, then there were either five one pound weights in total, alternately falling and being lifted again - or there were ten one pound weights, operating in pairs within the five mechanism, five falling and five rising. I suggest that there were in fact five pairs of similar weights, and the reason I think this, is because elsewhere he says,

 “... a work of this kind of craftsmanship has, as its basis of motion, many separate pieces of lead. These come in pairs, such that, as one of them takes up an outer position, the other takes up a position nearer the axle. Later, they swap places, and so they go on and on changing places all the time.”

This description supports my contention that there must have been ten one pound weights operating in five pairs.

Fourthly, if  " shoots four pounds, four quarters high,” then one pound is shot one quarter high, which is no big deal from a similar weight falling the same distance.

Fifthly, "...if one pound falls a quarter, " it means it falls 90 degrees. If a pendulum is placed upside down against a clock face with the weight at twelve o'clock, then it can only fall in total, 180 degrees, or half way around the clock to the six o'clock point. If it falls a quarter then it only falls from twelve o'clock to three o'clock, 90 degrees.

It should be also be remembered that when the bi-directional Kassel wheel was started from a stand still it required only the smallest of pushes from two fingers for it to begin to accelerate, BUT it was also reported that rotation did not begin until a single weight was heard to fall, hence the phrase "...if one pound falls..." , meaning that it only takes one pound weight to fall for the whole wheel to begin to rotate and therefore cause the other weights to move.

There is one more piece of information in the passage which I am still working on but I don't want to discuss it at this time.

The above quotation is an extremely clever piece of text containing a wealth of information and I believe there are other pieces which may also contain additional information if we only knew how to extract it.



  1. Five weights? Ten weights?

    John, you wrote:

    "Secondly, he implies that there are five one pound weights..."

    I see no such implication. Bessler is only talking about TWO weights; ONE that weighs one pound and ONE that weights four pounds.

    Since it is physically impossible for one pound to fall a certain distance and thereby lift four pounds four times that distance, Bessler's cryptic remark must pertain to some other type of lifting process. My guess would be that he is describing a system in which the four pound weight has been carefully counter balanced by spring tension so that it effectively weighs less than one pound over a rise of four tmes the distance that the one pound weight drops. Such a setup would allow a one pound weight to drop a quarter and easily hurl a found pound weight up four quarters.

    I think you are also unjustifiably substituting angular spans for linear ones as you convert one quarter to 90° of arc. I do not see any justification for this except a need to make the facts fit the theory.

    I, too, have been mystified by Bessler's repetitive use of the number five. But again, I think it is hazardous to automatically assume this pertains to the number of weights or pairs of weights inside one of his PM wheels.

    The number five might have had special religious or numerological significance to Bessler. Possibly, since humans have five fingers on each hand and we are supposedly made in the image of God who would also have five fingers on each of his hands, Bessler used this number so frequently as his way of indicating that his discovery of the secret of PM was really a gift HANDED to him by God. Then again, maybe he considered it a lucky number. I've heard of people that play the same lottery number combination over and over again which is based on the birthdays of their family members. They do this because they think those numbers will be lucky enough to win a jackpot prize.

    The major problem with the Bessler literature is that the clues are so many and so ambiguous that, with little effort, one can find some justication for any one of a large number of different approaches to solving the mystery of his PM wheels. These clues are sort of like an ink blot test were a dozen differnt people can look at the same blot and each will swear that it represents something different.

    If the secret of Bessler's wheels is hidden in the clues (and I do think it is), then we must have the best translaions of those clues possible and each of the assumed approaches must be pursued. One by one the approaches based on incorrect interpretations of the clues will prove fruitless and will fall by he wayside. Whatever is left will work and be what Bessler used.

    I eagerly await that day.

  2. John, perhaps "falls a quarter" does not refer to a number of degrees, but instead a vertical measure of distance, the (Thaler?) ell perhaps. So, maybe, "falls a quarter of an ell". Although I agree with of much of what you postulate, this is one thing that might be different. Clear is, I think, that Bessler indicates that at a minimum a power ratio of 5:1 (there's our number 5 again) is required to lift the weights - one weight falling, four weights rising.

    We really need that "amplifier".

  3. I'm glad you use the phrase" Another bunch of clues interpreted".
    My interpretations are somewhat different. I remember seeing somewhere that the statement was along the lines of FOUR OUNCES to lift a POUND.
    The familiar deceptions appear to be in place again. A "quarter" doesn't specify any units, whether its height, degrees, radians, section of a circle, or part of say, a circumference, diameter, radius, movement of a linkage, swing of a pendulum etc. Another pitfall is in assuming all the weights are the same mass. Bessler refers to a "heavy thing", though some weights may be control or actuator masses rather than those for creating the main force. I seem to remember that the witnesses who were allowed to feel the weights stated they were around 4Kg apiece.

    The statement 'Fourthly, if " shoots four pounds, four quarters high,” then one pound is shot one quarter high…' can be taken many different ways. For instance, if we consider a see-saw with one pound at one end, and a mass of four pounds dropped on the other, then by the laws of conservation of momentum, the one pound weight will be shot four times as high rather than just one quarter of whatever height is being discussed.

    I reads the opening quote:
    “He will be called a great craftsman,
    who can easily/lightly throw a heavy thing high,
    if one pound falls a quarter,
    it shoots four pounds, four quarters high.”
    As a sixteen fold gain. One pound falling one quarter [1lb * 1/4]
    Shoots four pounds four quarters [4lb * 4(1/4)].
    Putting it all on the same line gives [1lb * 1/4] equals [4lb * 4(1/4)]
    Or refining it, 1/4Lb equals 4Lb and rationalising further, 1 equals 16.

    Or have I missed something?

  4. It came to me last night that in British imperial measure , a quarter is a unit of weight.

    16 ounces ( ozs.) = 1 pound
    14 pounds ( lbs) = 1 stone
    2 stone = 1 QUARTER
    4 quarters = 1 hundredweight
    20 hundredweight (cwt) = 1 ton

    If the same system applied in Germany, Bessler could have been talking about weight rather than the assumed distance.

  5. As you say John, the wheel would start to move once a single weight was heard to fall, or at least impact something within it. However, (as I mentioned once before) in his letter to Newton, 'sGravesande reported that it was possible to turn the wheel continuously for "a turn or two" so slowly that it would not start to run at all. So there must have been something "dynamic" in it. My guess would be mass-spring resonant oscillations of some kind.

  6. @Great Bear: That would be "viertel" in German. Indeed the "viertel" is a traditional unit of measure of *volume* in several European countries. Oddly, although the name (also) means "quarter" in German the traditional viertel is not really 1/4 of any other unit. In Denmark it is 8 pots or about 7.7 liters, but in Switzerland the viertel is 40 schoppen, which is exactly 15 liters. Viertel can also refer to an area, compound, or (the closest analogy in English I can think of) borough or subdivision.

    @Arktos: interesting observation, I too, have been thinking of a "prime mover" c.q. synchronization that must have been required in order to make sure all mechanisms to run in step. In electronics, one would refer to it as the system clock or timing device. One mechanism that would be perfect for such an application would be... my (beloved) parametric oscillator. Must likely, in my view, attached to (pivoting around) the system axle. Not so much as part of the driving mechanism, but as a synchronization system and a mechanism to reset (falling) pendulums to the 12 o'clock position.

    Such a device would be consistent with the observations of 's Gravesande: the pendulum of the parametric oscillator needs to be set in motion first for the system to work. Obviously that initial motion would have to come from initial human input in the form of moving the wheel (fast enough).

    Interesting, this.

  7. I have a suggestion for JC.
    As most people, myself included, have a vested interest in discovering a gravity wheel mechanism, either by Besslers design or some independent approach, we seem to be in a situation where any discovery of importance is not likely to be divulged to others. As an example, I quote JC's posting that he is not yet ready to reveal his latest idea…
    As positives are going to prove to be problematic, why not open a section of your website to negatives. i.e. things and ideas that have been tried and do not work. These could include a summary the proposed principle, the design (or photo) of the machine built to prove or disprove the principle, then the result, and perhaps a note to say why the inventor thinks it failed. Else all we're going to hear is suppositions that the wheel was probably driven by this or that system, which has carried on now for some 300 years. The proof of the pudding is in the eating, and a published list of failures will help prospective inventors to find if their suggested design has already been tried and what the result was. It could save many man years of repeated failures.
    How about it?

  8. Andre said... "Indeed the "viertel" is a traditional unit of measure of *volume* in several European countries"

    This corresponds to the British QUART, short for quarter, referring to two pints, or a quarter of a gallon.

    Many thanks Andre.

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