Friday, 7 June 2013

Gravity - or the force of heaviness.

I've discussed this before but it seems an apt moment to mention it again, following comments on the Besslerwheel forum.

Many people search for the word "gravity" in Bessler's writings and some suggest that since he didn't use the word he did not ascribe the energy which drove his wheel to gravity.

Sir Isaac Newton described gravity, but he didn't use that word either.  He wrote his book, 'Philosophiæ naturalis principia mathematica', entirely in Latin, because that was the language used by the learned, and many books on academic and scientific subjects were written in Latin so that they could be read by people in all the European countries regardless of the reader's own native language. The name "gravity" comes from the Latin word, "gravitas", which means "heaviness". 

"Gravity" is a force that's exerted between heavy bodies that had what Newton called mass, Newton was saying that weight shouldn't any longer be regarded as simply a property possessed by a "heavy body", but that a body that seems to be heavy is in fact being attracted by another body with mass, in this case, the earth.

The fact that Bessler used all kinds or words to describe gravity is simply because the word, "gravity" had not yet been recognised in its own right as a name for the force of attraction Newton was describing.  He describes it as a heaviness, out of balance, preponderance, etc etc.

"Principia" came out in 1687 and took many years to become known throughout Europe and it's unlikely that Bessler ever had access to the book, but even so the word used was simply "heaviness" in Latin, and was not generally understood as an attraction between two masses.

So accept, as I have always done, that Bessler's wheel derived its energy from gravity - or the force of heaviness.

NOTE - you can read Newton's Principiua on line at the Cambridge digital library.  The website is




  1. I totally agree. And why would he point out that the weights are kept outside the centre of gravity, as a basic principle of operation..

    1. The moment of inertia and CF are zero at the center of gravity. If you believe motion wheels are the solution, then Bessler's statement also fits that scenario.

    2. A motion machine principle is supposed to work just as well horisontally or in space. Once set in motion, it will gain.. A heaviness machine would not. That is the discussion/difference.

    3. Oystein,
      I think if the stamper in my "one beam wonder" was spring loaded, instead of returning by gravity, it would work horizontally as well.

    4. I agree on the heaviness aspect. My comment was only directed at the center of gravity. Both gravity and motion (inertia) wheels cannot function if their weights are at the center of gravity. Something you would want to avoid if you need either gravity or CF to function.

  2. Yes John,..It just has to be gravity.
    Those who are looking for another cause of motivation are just perhaps desperate to solve this problem.
    What they don't realize is, because of the lively movement of the pendulums there is a way to nullify gravity just long enough for the weights to be primed for the next cycle.

    1. If the prime mover is inertia based, but produces an OOB condition by moving weights inward and outward, should the wheel be classified as a gravity wheel or inertia wheel?

      I believe this is the debate going on at BW.

  3. John,
    In my little one beam wonder scheme, I have the hammers knocking top and bottom, relying on momentum.
    If the hammering happens at another point, then would that be momentum plus gravity?
    As the hammers would be falling on one side, and because of the connecting cord, it would pull the opposite hammer up, with help from momentum.
    Of course, if more than one pair of hammers/beam is used, all of the knocking would occur at the same time, due to the slight pause caused by the stamper weight lifting.

  4. P.S.
    done the drawing, will E-mail a.s.a.p.

  5. I too prefer to think the exploit was gravitational - an inertial exploit, or "N3 violation" (for Newton's 3rd law) is more difficult to accept. JC here has suggested that Bessler's mechanism may lead to an N3 violation but i'm doubtful... an OB exploit on the other hand doesn't seem to tread on mass constancy.

    One of the biggest arguments in favour of an inertial exploit however, for myself, comes from the quote "if one weight is giving an upward impetus..." - but presumably, this refers to an underbalancing moment.. Still, i noticed that scissorjacks can give equal and opposite upward and downward thrusts on either end of a balance beam, as they raise and lower weights, however the work so imparted to the wheel presents as an additional load; it's not free torque!

    In short, i believe "shift energy" and subsequent RKE can be thermodynamically decoupled - ie. OB wheels are not verboten. But i think N3 violations are much harder to tease out because of mass constancy.

    Somewhat ironically then, we should also note that by all appearances, Bessler's energy does seem to violate mass equivalency. The same is true of magnetic asymmetries. Yet mass equivalency seems every bit as fundamental as mass constancy, if indeed they're not two sides of the same coin.

    This question, of whether or not mass equivalency is violated, seems to me the most vexing of the lot. On the one hand, it may be a mere dilema of angels dancing on pinheads... on the other, however, it may also be a significant factor in any solutions to the Drake equation and Fermi paradox... If we discover too late that equivalency is maintained after all, we might all end up pedaling our wheels in reverse to stop the sky falling in... or something.. Might upsetting the homeostasis of the vacuum energy / thermodynamic energy balance be the ultimate form of environmental pollution?

    Classically, gravity's just an acceleration (another form of equivalency), hence any surplus energy gained is indeed free, and created ex-nihilo. But while we've yet to actually measure a graviton, if there is a gravitational mediator, be it virtual-particle flux or whatever, does taxing it change it in any way? Yesterday was the 301st anniversary. Perhaps we've dodged a bullet thus far?

    Hopefully rediscovery of Bessler's secret will spur unification and put my concerns to rest...

    1. Vibrator,
      the hammers on my idea would bang down on one side, and bang up on the other,
      would that not give an upwards impetus?

      my idea would work using momentum alone, maybe even better in space.

    2. Sorry, that would be inertia, not momentum.
      As in, a passenger in a moving car jerking forward, when the brakes are applied.

    3. Vibrator, I am not sure whether I understand you correctly: do you have a concern about a gravity wheel somehow disturbing the energy balance on the planet? If so, then that is something I have been wondering about, too. Obviously we receive a lot of energy from the sun (this makes our planet an open system, not subject to thermodynamic balance on this specific issue). A photovoltaic panel on my roof would be using some of the energy pouring down from the skies and transforming it into electricity, which in its turn provides work, and in the end, when the work or lighting or whatever are done, the energy has been turned into heat. Not lost, just transformed. Same thing with a watermill: the sun evaporates the water, lifting it up, the water comes down again, setting the energy free and causing erosion on the land it flows over. If we tap it in a water mill, then the river slows down, but in the end, the water is back in the ocean - without having caused as much erosion as it naturally would - and the energy extracted has been turned into heat. What happens with a Bessler wheel? Tricky question. I guess that the actual rise and fall of a moveable mass would balance (minus friction), so it would have to be inertia which allows us to have a surplus. See it this way: vertical action is balanced (gravity), horizontal action isn't (inertia). Nobody knows what "inertia" and "gravity" actually is, simply that it seems to work in the same fashion. Ernest Mach therefore stipulated that inertia was the combined gravity of the rest of our surrounding universe acting on us (Mach's principle).

    4. Hi Mimi,

      IMO, not much would change if we all started using gravity (or other forces) as a primary power source. Think of all the off-balance pager motors spinning around the world, and the tires on people's cars that aren't quite in balance, etc. Billions of them! And many other examples. These things are spinning right now and either they are affecting things or they aren't. My point? We already should or shouldn't be concerned.

  6. @Stevo - That system is subject to N3 (it's a simple elastic collision). If the hammers are accelerated against the same beam they then land on, there's no gain in RKE. The system can be simplified by unfurling it into a linear arrangement - suppose we have a bat and ball, connected by an elastic band, and we're in zero-G... no matter how fast or slow we bat, our net position remains static.

    The system is only made slightly more complex using scissorjacks, however it's also more beguiling because it opens up the possibility of an interplay between non-linear acceleration curves. I also noted that perhaps the scissorjacks in MT 141 are "not the exact artistic application" because they don't taper, hence giving a simpler acceleration curve. However in either event i've yet to see how a non-linearity alone could cicrcumvent N3.

    In summary if such a system could work, it would be an N3 break, and even more wonderful and versatile than a simpler asymmetric gravitational interaction. I don't wish to sound discouraging, but i do think it's a most ambitious line of enquiry, pitting us, as it does, against mass constancy in addition to classical / mechanical conservation... if it worked however then a contra-rotating pair of them nailed to a board would produce reactionless thrust, as well as free energy, which would be nice. :)

    1. @ Vibrator,
      I did just post this, but I think John erased it by accident!
      I did come up with a scheme that uses scissor jacks to move the wheels rim off centre.
      the same as in a rubber band heat engine. The jacks replacing the bands.
      I abandoned the idea when it got a lukewarm reception.

    2. @ Vibrator,
      yet another reply deleted, but John has already replied to the drawing I sent him so it's a bit late to ask the question again.
      Just in case you didn't see it I'll repeat it to satisfy your curiosity.

      If I understand you correctly, you mean that the batee and the batted would move apart from one and other, and then back again, but this action would not propel them the length of the spaceship.
      What, if like Bessler, we made use of the force of gravity, and fixed pendulums to the ends of the axles, would we be in business ?

    3. Obviously any attempt to eliminate a whole class of exploits will be limited to the prescribed conditions, and so any such generalisations are just that. Maybe you're onto something, i couldn't say...

      What we can say with clarity though is that the form of the asymmetry may be gravitational, or inertial (incl. centrifugal/centripetal options). Those are the choices of symmetry break, and the latter i believe is much trickier that the former, but also more useful as it may also yield inertial propulsion.

      And, lastly, there's a distinction to be made between using say inertial forces to shift weights, which are then subject to gravitational effects, and actually breaking N3, in which unbalanced inertial forces are the prime mover. In other words a gravity wheel can use inertia, while remaining a 'gravity' rather than 'inertial' wheel, if you see what i mean - it is the type of force that performs the excess work that defines the type of symmetry break.. likewise, one might use gravity to shift weights in what is, regardless, an inertial asymmetry - in such a case the gravity field could be replaced with another force without changing the underlying nature of the exploit (ie. it'd still be an inertial motor, that happened to use gravity in an incidental manner).

      Just to confuse things further; as i've noted elsewhere, even IF the exploit is purely gravitational, i see no reason the gravitational force couldn't be replaced with a magnetic, or indeed inertial one... because it's the mechanism that achieves the asymmetry, rather than some material or gravity-exclusive effect.

  7. @Mimi - yes, we're on the same page. You'll recall the old anecdote that prior to the first A-bomb tests there were some concerns about atmospheric ignition which had to be addressed. Of course they turned out to be unfounded, but the point is that they were addressed...

    In this particular Manhattan project however, by it's very nature most of us are unqualified to assess any potential fallout.

    Later on of course the nuclear waste disposal problem would come round and bite us. Every potential energy panacea thus far has had a sting in the tail... so should we really expect "free" energy to be different? How free is it really?

    The solar relationship is indeed one of the most apparent concerns. IIRC we already have tentative indications of supposedly fundamental constants varying as a function of solar neutrino flux. And we're only just beginning to understand the role of the vacuum's activity in mediating the fundamental forces. What if asymmetric force interactions brake the Earth's velocity through the solar magnetic field via Lenz's law? What if the local value of the magnetic constant starts to drift? Too many what ifs, but if such cataclysmic outcomes seem histrionic, consider that every step in Bessler's mechanism is not only entirely consistent with conservation of energy (CoE), but rather entirely dependent upon it! If it works, it must do so BECAUSE of CoE, not in spite of it! How then could we let ourselves believe for a moment that the net system is somehow exempted?

    Assuming the fundamental forces ARE 'powered' by the vacuum's activity, then asymmetric force interactions trade thermodynamic energy with vacuum potential. The availability of vacuum energy is not a worry - by all accounts it is many orders of magnitude greater than the total thermodynamic energy. The concern then is not depleting, much less exhausting the source, but rather in upsetting the ambient rate of exchange of energy with it. The very premise of a "unification principle" is that it's a big house of cards. Some postulate that eventually we may find that there IS no such principle - and perhaps such a universe would give us more leeway. But by way of rhetorical metaphor: if we tap a river's energy, is it free solar power, or does it perhaps increase cloud albedo elsewhere, balancing out net solar energy flux? Is the notion that "untapped" energy is somehow "going to waste" a dangerous misconception..? Anything we attach to the wheelworks of nature before we've understood the whole machine may turn out to be a big wrench...

    An inertial exploit, though, would appear to tax the Higg's field. The gain in KE would be caused by the field outputting more work than was input to it on a per-cycle basis. You'd be looking to vary the value of mass though, arguably the most slippery of prey...

  8. Replies
    1. Did Chris go off again? Darn, I missed it.

  9. I've no idea what your abbreviations mean, Stevo, but if you're asking did I get your email, then yes I did, thanks. Interesting idea, but in my opinion I don't think it will work. I am fairly confident I have most of what Bessler designed, in my mind and I'm trying to get it made. That being so, I am unconvinced that your design bears any resemblance to Bessler's. Please don't be disappointed at my response, I'm not very receptive to other people's designs and tend to dismiss them, but that doesn't mean I'm right or that you are wrong. Keep working at it because I don't think I have come across that particular idea before. Well done.


    1. Its the old radio Q codes John,
      why the deletion of my reply to Vibrator?
      I thought it was the M.I.B. at work or something.



      The idea was a mechanical take on the Colombian Wheel Of Death,
      Oh well, lets find my tweezers so I can do some more head scratching.

    2. QRT QSU, radio ham codes/slang

  10. Thanks for the explanation, Stevo, I didn't know those radio codes.

    I haven't deleted any comments recently, Stevo. On the odd occasion when I do delete a comment if it has a reply to it, the reply gets deleted too, but I don't recall anything like that. I did delete some comments from CW that he had already removed and I was just tidying up. My apologies if I have accidentally deleted somethin of yours.


  11. John,
    after the article on suppression, I did begin to wonder ;-),
    I've only just noticed Vibrator posting lately, it may be because of having to sign in now,
    but his writing style is different than all the anons.
    Could he be M.I.B ? :-D

  12. lol not sure a true MIB would have any reason to be so verbose.. but chillax, i'm just another hapless hack. I've a lifelong interest in classical symmetry breaks, and Bessler was brought to my attention about five years ago by our esteemed colleague here, Mr Frank Grimer, in discussions on the old Steorn forum.

    After validating Steorn's Orbo i realised all the forces were likely 'powered' (as the EM field must be, assuming CoE), and hence that other asymmetries may be possible. Around 2010 i realised translations antiparallel to a force vector were free (duh!) and that this general principle might be a route to a working OB wheel. In April this year i caught the bug bigtime, went into a manical building frenzy trying lots of different measurements, and right now i'm in a bit of a lull, considering my next options... So rest assured, if i scored a win i'd immediately shareware it with a YT vid and a paypal link for donations or somesuch.. with all due cred to JC and anyone else deserving...

    1. Er yeah,
      I notice a slowing down of replies, I'm not sure if they're bamboozled, or if people can't/won't sign in, anyway if you don't mind talking to a knuckle dragger, I'll have a go. :-D
      Glossing over the bit in the middle, leaving just your nom de plume, and the youtube bits, I saw a video (that I can't seem to find again) of a guy at MIT, or some other suchlike institution, striking a metal bar, and it rang for ages like a tuning fork.
      Now, thinking outside the box I wondered a few pendulums dangling inside a wheel could be made to strike such a bar, and then use the vibration to shake something like lead shot to one end of a container, thereby causing the wheel to overbalance.
      Slow, yes.
      Bessler, no.
      Proof of PM, maybe.
      Any thoughts ?

  13. It's another variation on "shift energy" vs RKE - assuming the bar was level then any KE added to the shot is subtracted from that of the pendulum. Presumably if it then rotates. all of the shot will fall to the bottom and then need relifting..?

    A system that successfully decouples shift energy from any resulting rotational kinetic energy might satisfy various conditions:

    - if the shifted weights only extend and retract using horizontal (ie. off-vector) motions, and also only do so while falling, then their operation is thermodynamically free and only entropic losses apply.. obviously there's no causal relationship between "shift friction" and RKE hence calorimetry will show this system to be OU even if friction > RKE.

    - if extending and retracting levers fall and lift in turn (or vice versa), or co-rotate or contra-rotate - in other words if their operation is equal, opposite and cyclical then they can counter-balance eachother, eliminating their cost of operation in a similar manner as previously. Another example here would be scissorjacks, mounted from their midsection with a weight at each end - only friction applies as the net change in height of the moving masses sums to zero.

    - in much the same vein, we may try to counterbalance shift energy with sprung tension.

    These are just 3 variations on the same principle. They appear to be impossible in 2D (tho never say never eh) - i'm still working through the 3D variations.. But they're contenders because they're theoretically OU already - mathematically, because the input shift energy is less than the output rotational kinetic energy, in terms of net work done in either case.

    So i start with an abstract 'in principle' gain, then try to find a practical mechanism to fulfill it. The types of walls i then hit include torque being in the wrong direction, running out of vertical weights to reset horizontal ones, equally-opposing underbalancing gaps opening up from non-radial shifts intended to overbalance, etc. etc. - that same old pitfalls that bedevil all of us... But theoretically, i remain convinced there's gain to be had - if one of the above types of conditions can be met.

    Alternatively if such a mechanism's impossible i intend to find out as fully as possible why...

    My no. 1 tip for now is simply Meccano. Can't beat it for rapid prototyping...

    1. @ Vibrator,
      thanks for the reply, believe it or not I got most of it!
      I once saw a clock that had a mercury filled swastika as its mechanism, and once heated on one side, the mercury expanded and flowed to the next leg to produce rotation.
      I was thinking along those lines for the shot vials.
      Needless to say, I think the clock was made in Nazi Germany !
      I'm actually toying with a single rocking beam idea at the moment, using a fixed weight at one end, and weight that rolls down, once it's lifted to its full height.
      That would be outward, not inward of course, thereby increasing its leverage over the fixed weight, and then when at the bottom rolls downward but inward, decreasing its leverage, and of course, rising again, repeating the cycle.
      Mum threw out the Meccano years ago, but there's plenty of scrap wood from some recent renovations to the house, and I have experimented with the principle, and it works, as all good scales should.
      The direction changing part I'll keep a secret for now, but that's the horizontal retraction/expansion you was talking about, is it not ?

    2. P.S.
      The clock mechanism can be seen at,

  14. John,
    here's something just for a laugh, Google Dicycles, and click on the images.
    Yes Dicycles NOT bicycles.
    Do you reckon two Bessler's wheels would do the same thing !

  15. Thanks Stevo. I liked the two wheel/three wheel bike you can change mode on the move. Crazy!


    1. John,
      it's a pity your sons in law didn't have two of those, instead of the normal type,
      you might have had some garage space to experiment in. :-D

  16. @Stevo - i like the rolling ramp idea, very nice line of thought and something i'll be chewing over, well done..! Be fascinating to see how it bears out..

    I've also ended up drawing rather more swastikas than usual, seems to be a consequence of trying to find linear paths in a rotating frame, but my Yiddeshe mamma must be rolling in her grave..! I was almost relieved when the last one failed..

    And yes, the whole beauty and allure of horizontal overbalancing is that it does the same job as a vertical motion, while (hopefully) obviating some degree of actual lift..

    FWIW last night i had a new dash of inspiration - big wire braces connecting cylindrical weights, as in MT40 and 42. The idea would be that the brace could be lifted from the 7 o'clock position a short distance, maybe an inch or so, to hang from the 1 o'clock position instead - so that a small diagonal lift shifts the effective weight from being borne at 7 o'clock to being borne at 1 o'clock. Each 180° rotation it gets lifted again, hopefully a disproportionate shift vs RKE. This could be done via the axle, like the stampers in the Merseburg illustrations. 7 o'clock is an ideal underbalancing position, and 1 o'clock ideal for overbalancing...

    Errant nonsense no doubt, but it's all in the thrill of the chase eh...

    1. @ Vibrator,
      looks like me, you and John are the Three Besslerteers at the moment!
      I've probably let the cat stick its head out of the bag already so here goes.
      My idea for a ramp that changes the angle of the main beam is like this :-
      Imagine holding a toggle switch in your right hand with the lever up.
      Make a "C" with your left hand using thumb and index finger.
      Place the switch toggle between the two.
      Move the switch up until the toggle touches your index finger, SNAP! it flips down.
      Move the switch down until the toggle touches your thumb, SNAP! it flips up.
      A piece of pipe, or ramp replaces the toggle arm, with the ball/cylinder free to roll inside.
      A small piece of spring steel, tensioned just right would give the toggle action,just like those cheap 1/4 in. drive pressed steel socket handles you get at boot fairs.
      Not as grandiose as your idea, but it is carpenter's boy simple.
      Fix a wheel, steam engine style, via a connecting rod, and there you go !

    2. P.S.
      the toggle would of course be fitted to the opposite end of the beam to the fixed weight, causing the beam to overbalance/underbalance ( did I just invent that word, spellchecker says so ?) :-D

  17. John, In the light of how my build is going, it's my opinion that Bessler's two way wheels would not have been as powerful as the singles.
    The reason being that he would have had to comprimise on space and directionallity.
    Just a thought.

  18. I believe you're right Trevor. In 1997 in my book, "Perpetual Motion; An Ancient Mystery Solved?" - I wrote, "The second [type of] wheel was also different to the first type because it remained stationary once it had been stopped. It did not need to be secured. To start it, it required a gentle push, after which it accelerated to its maximum speed. Orffyreus was right to construct this new version, even though there is evidence that it was not as powerful as the other earlier models."


  19. @ Vibrator, and anyone else who's interested,
    I've had a tinker with my test rig, and it appears that the fixed weight doesn't produce enough leverage to operate my toggle idea.
    However, I have a very simple but sneaky idea I'm going to try on a full scale build.
    Nothing elaborate, just a 12ft. piece of 2x4, and some dumb-bell weights.
    Anyway, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

  20. That's what i love about this quest; you rarely hit an absolute dead end, every idea has ten more sprouting off of it. Any dullard could look at a circle and claim the total PE is its height, and that's that. But some of us can draw a circle and see an infinity of tantalising possibilities inside.. and there's just not enough hours in a day!

    Keep it up eh...

    1. Sorry, big scale, big fail,
      the idea was to put a section of wood the same shape as the dark sections of the Apologia wheel on the ends of the beam, then link them pantograph style.
      That way, when the sections lean to the left, the section on the left places its weight further from the centre, and the section on the right places its weight nearer the centre.
      And of course, vice-versa.
      When the sections are moved manually, everything works perfect, but of course trying to get it to do it itself is another thing !
      Oh well, at least I got splinters from actually doing something this time. :-D

  21. Oh well, nothing ventured as you say..!

    Yesterday i built MT143 (such that it is) - i wanted to check that the beam was in equilibrium, and not just the weights....

    It was. :(

    At least i checked for myself though... it's an interesting design because the shift energy is both counter-balanced (by pairs of counter-rotating levers), and also only works while descending linearly (thus without rotating the shift lever angles) - hence the shift energy is effectively decoupled from any overbalance. If there was any. Which there isn't.

    In fact, there IS overbalance; not on the parallelogram, where we want it, but on the net system including the stand. So i added a brace and central pivot to the parallelogram, to allow it to rotate, just to follow the line of enquiry to its inevitable conclusion - obviously, this freedom allows the lever angles to rotate from horizontal to vertical, eliminating their ability to counter-balance eachother... full stop, period, end of the line, everyone off..!



The True Story of Bessler’s Perpetual Motion Machine - Update

At the end of March we sold our house and moved in with my daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter, expecting to be there for no more than tw...