## Tuesday, 8 May 2012

### Gravity is a conservative force

I see the old controversy about whether gravity is a conservative force or not, and what that means, continues to rage on the besslerwheel forum. I have my own opinion about that but it seems to me that however you define it, it was what enabled Bessler's wheel to work.  There are some senior members who don't accept that his wheel derived its power solely from gravity and that is the orthodox view.  I know some readers on this forum also share that opinion but I hope to change their minds soon.

What interests me is the question of what drives the wheel if it isn't gravity.  We can see that it uses weights and it seems logical that if it requires weight then the wheel won't spin in the gravityless conditions of outer space so if it isn't gravity alone, what additional force is used to complete each rotation?

I've seen and considered suggestions such as ambienmt temperature changes, static electricity, magnets, the  Coriolis effect, centrifugal force, springs, air pressure, electromagnetism, inetial thrust changes etc etc. I'm sure I've missed some out but it seems to me that these are inadequate for the task being either too slow to react, too weak or simply too difficut to employ in what was reportedly a simple design.

So we are left with gravity - I think what we have been taught is correct but there is a simple way around the problem which I explained on my website at http://www.besslerswheel.com/html/conservative_force.html

I think we have to accept Bessler's word that it was the weights which providd the energy to drive the wheel and they required the presence of gravity to work.  No one has come up with a credible alternitive force in my opinion.

JC

1. Hi John,
we are waiting anxiously for your wheel. It must be very complex if it take so long to make it, a long and complicated masterpiece. I can not even imagine in which way you're going to take advantage of the kiiking concept.
keep up the good work.

2. All engines require an energy source. Gravity is not energy, it's a conservative force, like you say.
A wheel requires an external torque. It can't be torqued from the inside. Gravity can't torque an axle more than once, after you position the weights.
Energy can only be converted from one form to another. Gravity is not a form of energy. It's a force of attraction only.
A gravitational field only permits one-time energy conversion; your shifter-primary weight theory notwithstanding.

If you can't accept bessler discovered a method of overbalancing a wheel with one of the methods you listed because they are too slow or weak, then the only other explanation has to be fraud like Wagner said, and another method of fraud for the 54 day wheel, the count being part of it.

1. Bessler case is really a very strange case. I've started to think there must have been some fraud, but it is really hard to explain how the wheel worked for 54 days. It is a long period of time and it needs a high amount of energy to make the wheel work for that duration. We should talk about numbers if we want to prove it was a fraud. Science needs numbers. Saying it was definitely a fraud is equally wrong saying it was definitely a genuine PM device. Without numbers, both point of view just represents beliefs not facts and without proving it was undoubtedly possible to build such wheel with the materials and techniques available in 1700s, the debate will perpetuate.

2. Yellowson, the 54 day test could have been in a room with an access that only the count knew about. When the wheel began to run down, Bessler could have used the unknown entrance. Castles were built with such things.
I'd like to think that he wasn't a fraud, and used one of the methods John listed or another. But it's a tough nut to crack for this splendid mechanic. That quote has been suggested to be a big clue for that reason; that the mystery isn't one of mechanical origin. Chemical, possibly. He was really into air-related topics. He had to create a differential of some kind. Gravity is not the answer.

3. You might be right. But, then you mean that the count and Bessler acted together. The count was like a manager...well,that's interesting idea and might be right of course...the count hires the man and he was the only man who sees the inside of the wheel. Well the scenario sounds plausible, but it needs further evidence.
Chemically powered wheel idea sounds good. I also considered it, but I think it has a flaw; the smell. There must have been some kind of smell associated with the chemicals used. Of course, it might be quite possible to find an odorless chemical, but then it must be shown that such chemical is sufficient for generating the required energy.
Ok I will be honest. Let's say he was not fraud. One of my theories is that he used mercury to lift up the lead weights. But I cannot think of any mechanism for accomplishing such task.

4. And sorry for my English, it is improving; but it is far from perfect :)

3. Thanks anon.

I understand your point Doug, but gravity will suffice.

JC

4. But I don't understand your point - gravity will suffice. Your shifter / primary weight column doesn't show that.

The shifter and primary weights necessarily have a connection between them. When the primary weight overbalances your wheel, the connection is changed.

Quote:
"The shifter weight has taken over the role that your hand played in the above scenario."

That's fine, but now what? The connection between the two weights is *irreversibly* changed. The shifter weight has shifted itself and the primary weight, and can't un-shift itself and the primary weight back to where they were with gravity alone (the "reset"); it would need a hand in your scenario, too. You really don't see that?

Quote:
"There is no conflict with the fact that gravity is a conservative force because each movement of each type of weight takes place separately and the energy is conserved in each case. The closed path test is often applied to gravity-driven rotating devices to prove that it cannot be done, but in this case, as I have described, the paths of both types of weights are assisted to become closed paths by their mutual interaction. The primary weight follows a closed path because it is assisted in closing the path by being moved by the fall of the shifter weight. The shifter weight follows a closed path because it is assisted to a full circle by the overbalancing of the primary weights which cause the wheel to rotate. These are two open paths or loops, closed by each other’s separate actions."
This is fundamentally incorrect. Both shifter and primary weights are in closed paths. A misconception of a closed path doesn't give us the tortured logic that follows.

The reason the kiiking concept doesn't apply to the shifter/primary weight scenario is because the kiiking swing is being torqued by an external source of energy.

5. Sorry Doug, I can't say any more yet. It will become clear. I know it looks impossible but it isn't.

JC

6. Doug wrote "He [Bessler] had to create a differential of some kind." Absolutely true. Any engine with any hope of performing useful work needs that. In other words, if we have a "amplifier", a mechanism that takes a bit of torque from (initial) human input to get started and amplifies it, we have achieved just that. There are definitely several ways to do that. The classic problem is of course that every mechanism that increases force does so by trading it for distance such that the product - energy - remains constant. Similarly, there are lots of ways to multiply power. But every mechanism that multiplies power does so by trading it for run time such that the product - energy - remains constant.

But here we have gravity as an additional input (I realize it's considered a conservative force) although its also not strictly a true constant (see http://thescientificworldview.blogspot.ca/2011/05/nasas-gravity-probe-b-proves-einstein.html) and thus indeed shows differentials; equally the much debated (and somehow now here and there again resurrected/accepted) concept of a "aether" may play a role. The often misunderstood Casimir forces seem to be an example of that elusive aether effect too. What we now call "Dark Energy" (incidentally making up the majority of energy in the universe) may very well turn out to be that so far unseen, undetected aether. Its not well known that even Einstein himself later in his career recanted his earlier denial of the existence of aether.

Anyway, remember that gravity also *can* be used to accelerate things. NASA does it all the time, we had that discussion before. I suspect that Bessler found a way of "slingshotting" ("kiiking?") weights around - most likely IMHO by using oscillatory (parametric) effects. He even says so when he speaks of "throwing" weights up "easily".

I can't wait to hear more about John's findings, as I expect to hear more about the latter.

1. I can appreciate the gravity probe experiments and the search for an ether and the misunderstood casimir forces and the dark energy theory. But you have to admit none of those things, or anything like them, play any role in this story. We should really try to keep the discussion where it belongs.

Gravity accelerates things, I can't argue with that.
9.8 meters/sec^2.
My argument is: but only if something else initially positions those things in the gravitational field. Gravity has no energy to position things away from the attracting mass(es).

NASA uses gravitational assist, sure, but how much energy did it take to reach escape velocity?

The point is, if Bessler was slingshotting weight around, then gravity needs an additional acceleration to get the slingshot effect. The kiiker is the additional acceleration for that sport. What would bessler have used to add acceleration to the weights, in addition to the acceleration of gravity? I don't think your approach using electromechanical tricks will lead to the answer. It had to have been a physical technology within bessler's grasp, or soon after his time.

2. You’re right, of course that my electromechanical tricks will not directly solve the Bessler-enigma. That's just me being lazy - I find it much easier to accomplish certain desired effects electromechanically than by purely mechanical means. They may however IMO give us indirect clues.

Where you state that "The point is, if Bessler was slingshotting weight around, then gravity needs an additional acceleration to get the slingshot effect. The kiiker is the additional acceleration for that sport." I would like to change it just a little bit:

"..... if Bessler was slingshotting weight around, then gravity needs an additional acceleration to get the slingshot effect. The kiiking movement adds the additional acceleration...."

So, I postulate that Bessler did indeed find a way to add acceleration to the weights (in addition to the "free" acceleration of gravity) by oscillatory movement. To use the analogy of gravitational assist, it doesn't matter how much energy it took to reach escape velocity - once they are in orbit they can add energy by changing orbit.

Equally, Bessler's wheel, once in motion (by human input) somehow did the same thing. IMO by oscillatory (parametric) movements.

In my "odd pendulum" (electromechanical) tabletop experiment a while back I did the same thing, by *minimizing* external (electric, read: human) input - just tiny horizontal movements were enough to invert the pendulum. However *stabilizing* it in that (inverted) position cost considerably MORE energy (factor of at least 3, depending on weight/length) then getting it there. It's an interesting experiment one can find on Youtube as well, often shown as a control experiment for university engineering students. The "novel" thing here is getting it started (swinging) by minute horizontal movements (minimizing energy expended) of the pivot. Once it's inverted, stabilizing (fixing) it in its inverted position requires considerably more energy (due to required much larger and faster movements).

The reason? Gravity, of course. Now rotate the whole contraption 45 degrees, so it's moving pivot base is now vertical. What do we effectively get? Kiiking, complete with the energy differential.

It's still an EXTERNAL energy source. Once the external kiiker stops his movement, he reverts to a simple pendulum; the original positional energy being converted back and forth between potential and kinetic, minus friction.

We can make these kinds of analogies until we're blue in the face, and they won't get us any closer to what Bessler might have done.

"it doesn't matter how much energy it took to reach escape velocity"

Again, if you want to use analogies like this, you HAVE to consider the system as a whole. You can't pick out the parts that support your theory, and ignore the rest. It totally matters about the energy to reach orbit, that's the whole point of gravity as a conservative force.

Your next to last paragraph has too many parentheses. But I understand what you mean. You could do the same thing with any pendulum on an horizontal axis; move the pivot up and down to get it "over the top". How would Bessler have kept all those pivots moving up and down?
Then what? If you want to use the pendulum's energy for anything you have to connect it to something else, and once it's connected, you have to use More energy to keep it going over the top.
More connections = less efficiency and complex structure.
I like the idea. But it bumps up against conservation laws like anything else, and comes up short.

7. I owe you an apology Doug, part of the explanation is missing from my web site I linked to. I never realised, it either got corrupted at some point on the server or dropped off during uploading a while back. I'll rewrite the web site sometime as and when i get the chance.

JC

1. Couldn't you just write it here?

8. Well, out of topic, but on the wiki, in the clues section, the sentence "If one weight is giving an upward impetus, another one, at the same time, is giving an equal downward one." is written as one of the clues that Bessler gave. I think it is totally a wrong interpretation. In the paragraph which the sentence belongs to, Bessler talks about Wagner's mechanism and tries to explain why Wagner's mechanism wouldn't work. I think the sentence should be removed from the clues.

9. Yes, gravity fields ARE conservative (as are magnetic, electric, and nuclear fields), BUT OB PM gravity wheels are definitely NOT conservative!

Sadly, there is so much misinformation about this topic on the internet that it is hard to find a coherent explanation of exactly what physicists mean when they say a gravity field is "conservative". Basically, "conservative" means that something remains UNchanged as a process takes place. For a gravity field, it means that there will be NO change in the energy / mass content of an object as it moves from one location to another location in a gravity field (assuming it travels through a vacuum at the time) and that this will be true REGARDLESS of the path it follows as it moves between the two locations. This, obviously, is also true if the object moves around a "closed path"; that is, leaves some starting position and follows ANY path that leads back to that same starting position. This definition came about because of the vain (by anyone other than Bessler, that is!) efforts to build OB PM gravity wheels during the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. This definition is often used to "prove" that gravity activated PM is impossible.

In a WORKING OB PM gravity wheel, however, the motion of the weights, although moving in closed paths, DOES allow them to behave as though the Earth's gravity field was NONconservative. They will always lose a bit more energy / mass on the wheel's descending side than they regain on its ascending side and this is due solely to the eccentricity of their motion about the wheel's axle. Of course, that small amount of energy / mass is not really lost. It is merely transfered to the structures that contain and support the weights and shows up as an increase in the rotation rate of the wheel or in the moving parts of anything attached to the wheel's axle.

Hope this clears this up for everyone.

1. Clear as nuclear fission!

10. There is one video out there of a dramatic loss in weight, while ascending. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHlAJ7vySC8. It is Prof Eric Laithwaite in 1983, at about 62 years old, lifting a spinning 40 pound gyroscope through 5 feet in about 2 seconds with his right hand only. Earlier he struggles to lift it through only a few inches, to weigh it, when it is not spinning.

Standard theory concedes that a precessing gyroscope will transfer its weight to its pivot, but could Laithwaite really have raised that "pivot" i.e. his hand, in the way he did with a downward force of 40 pounds acting on it? I'm very sure I couldn't!

11. The spinning wheel doesn't "lose weight", Arktos.
If that were true, wouldn't you see gyroscopes literally everywhere you looked, to make things that move lighter and more efficient?

1. There are only two possibilities: either Laithwaite really did discover something new (someone has to be first!) in which case the ease with which he lifts the heavy gyro is explained, or else he really has to lift 40 pounds through 5 feet rapidly, and his ability to do this so easily remains unexplained to me at least.

12. The drill "lifted" the wheel.
That's what angular momentum does.
Scienc.howstuffworks.com/gyroscope1.htm

13. As your reference shows, and as I said above, a precessing gyro transfers its weight to its pivot. But by orthodox theory, Laithwaite still had to lift the full weight, transferred or not. Or are you saying that it was energy taken from the drill and used to spin the gyro up to speed that is then used to lift it? That would be wrong. Once spinning, the gyro's bearings isolate it from otherwise giving or receiving energy, and it can only spin down naturally from friction.

1. I agree with your observations, Arktos. Laithwaite (Englands most celebrated electrical engineer and a eminent professor) was at the time completely ridiculed and painted as some kind of idiot, not understanding fundamental physics. A complete affront. It got so bad that at a certain point he was about to give up, until he asked himself: did I, or did I not lift that extremely heavy thing easily or not? I have a couple of originals DVD copies of a number of BBC documentaries where he demonstrates the same feat with a even bigger monster-gyroscope and a 9-year old boy. The boy couldn't even lift the thing off the ground while it was in rest.

But once spinned up, the boy lifted the giant gyroscope way above his head. And with obvious ease. Yes, spinning it up doesn't change the actual weight/mass. But the little boy DID lift the gyroscope with ease and no matter how, nothing can change that fact.

The odd (and sad) thing is that even Laithwaites colleagues, although the couldn't deny the fact, couldn't explain it either other than with long and no doubt interesting equations.

But the fact of the boy's feat remains.

2. I just had another look at the Laithwaite video, to see whether he could have been raising the gyro by forced precession, i.e. by forcing the gyro assembly to turn quicker than its natural rate. He does exert a bit of extra energy at the start of each rise, but he appears to get that back again after he raises the gyro. In fact at 2.05 and 3.03 he makes a full turn to stop the precession, which he didn't have to do to at the start.

So overall, while he does use some forced precession, he just doesn't seem to exert the expected amount of energy needed to raise the gyro.

3. A weight with a stick is a lever system. As Doug mentioned the gyro transfers the weight of the weight (?!) to the pivot, that's why it is easy to lift.

4. I wonder if anyone else has tried to lift a compact, heavy object with one hand. I just have (a transformer core weighing 31 pounds, i.e. about 3/4 the weight of Laithwaite's gyro). I'm reasonably fit, but I couldn't do it anywhere near as effortlessly as Laithwaite did with his gyro. (I'd recommend that other sceptics try such an experiment!)

I think if there is an orthodox explanation, it will probably be forced precession in some hard to detect way.

5. I'd recommend believers try it with a gyroscope while they stand on a set of scales!

6. OK, if this is the real mechanism behind the wheel, if you truly believe in this, then you mean that the lead weight is the gyro. How will you make it spin? What will cause its rotation? Then how will you raise it? Both spin and raise of the weight need energy and as I can see from the video you should apply a torque to raise it. Was there any space available in the wheel for applying such torque to the weights? Let's calculate the energy given by the drill and the man to the weight. I am sure that if you use the externally given energy for just raising the weight,without using it as a gyro, you will obtain the same easy lifting.

7. I don't believe Bessler used gyros. By "orthodox explanation" I meant what Laithwaite did, not Bessler.

The energy given by the drill cannot be used for raising the weight; see my comment of 03:48. But I agree it would be good to measure just how much energy is delivered by the man.

Here's a last thought: We all know (don't we?) that when a gyro is given a rate input it gives a torque output. Is it necessarily always impossible to separate that from the converse, i.e. a torque input giving a rate output? If the two cases can be separated, then the first, by itself, would immediately give perpetual motion.

14. Doug wrote:

"Clear as nuclear fission!"

Actually, the loss of energy / mass that I am suggesting powered Bessler's wheels is IDENTICAL to the loss of energy / mass experienced by splitting nuclei or even fusing nuclei. However, there was NO nuclear fission or fusion going on inside of Bessler's wheels.

If a weight moves around a closed circular path in a vacuum, then it will have the exact same energy / mass content when it arrives back at its starting point as it originally had at that position. However, as we all know, if one attaches a single weight to a wheel at its 12:00 position and then lets it fall and rotate the wheel, it will not return to the 12:00 position again. The reason is that, as the weight rotates away from its starting position and then back again toward it, it loses a portion of its energy / mass to the air it pushes aside and to the metal and air heated by the friction created in the wheel's axle bearings. It will eventually come to a stop at 6:00 and it will have less energy / mass than it had at 12:00.

If one attaches TWO diametrically opposed weights of equal mass to a thin wheel such that both are equidistant from its axle, then the wheel will remain balanced and stationary in whatever position it is placed. IF this wheel is mounted on frictionless bearings and sealed into a light proof, vacuum chamber, then, if it was given a torque to get it spinning, it would continue to do so for eternity and each weight will have the same energy / mass content as it arrives back at the 12:00 position as it had when it left that position to begin descending.

When in rotation, we can think of the descending side weight as continuously losing energy / mass to the wheel which is then immediately extracted from the wheel by the ascending side weight at the SAME rate. Thus, there is no leftover energy / mass lost by the descending side weight which could then be used to accelerate the wheel or perform outside work. The wheel can only rotate at a constant rate and any attempt to make this wheel continuously perform outside work will cause it to eventually stop.

Now in a WORKING OB PM gravity wheel, the situation is somewhat different. In this case, the descending side weights each release a certain amount of their energy / mass content to the wheel during their descent from 12:00 to 6:00, BUT the ascending side weights do NOT each extract that SAME amount of energy / mass from the wheel during their ascent from the 6:00 to 12:00 positions. In this case, EACH weight will arrive back at the 12:00 position with LESS energy / mass than it started with at the beginning of its rotation! Thus, the effect on the weights is the same as though Earth's gravity field was NOT conservative!

This lost energy / mass can then be used to accelerate the rotational rate of the entire wheel and / or perform outside work.

How is this "miracle" achieved? The answer is that Bessler found a unique arrangement for his specially designed or "magic" weighted levers such that, via interconnecting cords and tensioning springs, the CoM of their weights NATURALLY remained on the wheel's descending side despite drum rotation. As one of his wheels performed outside work, its weights would experience a continuous loss of energy / mass (in the range of a fraction of a picogram) with each drum rotation. So, technically, they were not truly "perpetual" unless one was prepared to replace their energy / mass depleted weights every few tens of millions of years!

1. Speaking of analogies that I referred to in my reply to Andre, this is the worst analogy of all about bessler's wheels. It's so far out in left field that no one (except me) even challenges you about it, because it's so completely ridiculous. I'm not going to bother pointing out the flaws in logic anymore.

15. I could write the rest of it here Doug, but now it's off the internet I'd rather wait 'til my test model's finished.

JC

1. Ok. But my instinct is you want to wait because you don't think the information changes the scenario.
I can understand, this has been your passion for so long, it's hard to let go.

16. Referring to my last comment, Doug wrote:

"It's so far out in left field that no one (except me) even challenges you about it, because it's so completely ridiculous."

I eventually came to realize that one can not even begin to rationalize the TRUE energy source for Bessler's wheels unless one begins to apply the physics concepts developed during the 20th century. These will certainly seem bizarre to those still mired in PRE-20th century physics! It is truly amazing how many "modern" mobilists are unfamiliar with these concepts.

Here's another way of viewing what happens in a WORKING OB PM gravity wheel.

The weights near the rim on the descending side of a CW rotating drum will, as they rotate from 12:00 to 6:00, have a certain amount of energy / mass that they can expend in order to maintain the constant motion of the wheel. That energy / mass will be simultaneously dissipated by lifting the ascending side's weights from 6:00 to 12:00 AND by overcoming air and bearing drag as the drum rotates. IF the weights are all equidistant from the axle on both sides of the drum (that is, no shifting of the weights toward the axle takes place on the drum's ascending side, then the energy / mass that the descending side weights can provide will be just enough to lift the ascending side weights and there will NONE leftover to ALSO overcome the various drags providing counter torques to the wheel. This is why such a wheel remains motionless or, if spun, will eventually come to a stop.

In a WORKING OB PM gravity wheel, however, placing AND maintaining the CoM of the weights on the descending side of the drum (by having the average position of the ascending side weights closer to the axle than is the average position of the descending side weights) assures that the amount of energy / mass needed to lift the ascending side weights from 6:00 to 12:00 is always LESS than the amount of energy / mass that the descending side weights can deliver as they rotate from 12:00 to 6:00. To maintain constant motion or PM, the DIFFERENCE between the amount of energy / mass that the descending side weights can deliver and what the ascending side weights require MUST also exceed the amount of energy / mass that is dissipated by the various drags acting on the drum.

Bessler found a way to do this. His ascending side weights were always a little closer, on average, to the axle than were the descending side weights. More importantly, his design always kept the SAME number of weights (four) on EACH side of this 8 weighted lever sub wheels within a two-directional wheel.

1. "(by having the average position of the ascending side weights closer to the axle than is the average position of the descending side weights)"

Right, it was an overbalancing wheel; why the convoluted description? Or the bizarre loss-of-atom theory? Keep it simple, man!

2. Just tried to rephrase things a bit for those that might have had problems with my first description.

NO! There are NO losses of atoms taking place. When objects lose energy / mass, they STILL have the SAME number of subatomic particles afterwards as they had before. Those particles just weight a bit less and have lower inertia. Other properties such as charge, spin, quantum numbers, etc. are also retained (or should I say "conserved"?!)

3. "those particlees weigh less and have lower inertia"

Completely ridiculous. Several blogs ago, you said those fractions of a picogram were being transferred from the descending side to the ascending side ( or vice versa, I don't remember which), and the outside work was using the rest of it.
Now, they just weigh a bit less?
Like I said, the worst analogy of all.

17. I personally have come to the conclusion that none of this will work using conventional physics as Bessler said,its all a vain waste of precious time.
Doug is right if you attempt to go where everyone else has gone before.
The solution will only be found by thinking out the box by using unconventional physics that has not been tried before.

18. @ Trevor

Once one has the equation E = mc^2 it becomes a simple matter to understand WHERE Bessler's wheels got their outputted energy from. But, unfortunately, that by itself is not enough to explain HOW Bessler did it. That requires a VERY meticulous analysis of the clues and the building of HUNDREDS of model wheels. A ton of work that could require THOUSANDS of hours of effort. Only the MOST serious and dedicated of mobilists will reach the end of the "right track" that leads to success.

Are you guys using SPRINGS in your designs yet? Oh, you are starting to. Great! You'll be on the "right track" before you know it!

### Bessler’s Clues Here and on Besslerwheel forum

I’ve decided to go back to my original plan which was to share everything I’ve discovered and know, or believe about Bessler’s wheel.  It ha...