Wednesday 17 September 2014

The Legend of Bessler’s Wheel

I have replaced my usual blog with a brief account of the legend of Bessler's wheel as I am  currently too busy to devote time to writing.  My apologies to my readers and I promise I will be back as soon as possible.


The legend of Bessler’s Wheel began on 6th June 1712, when Johann Bessler announced that he had invented a perpetual motion machine and he would be exhibiting it in the town square in Gera, Germany, on that day.  Everyone was free to come and see the machine running.  It took the form of a wheel mounted between two pillars and ran continuously until it was stopped or its parts wore out. The machine attracted huge crowds.  Although they were allowed to examine its external appearance thoroughly, they could not view the interior, because the inventor wished to sell the secret of its construction for the sum of 10,000 pounds – a sum equal to several millions today.

News of the invention reached the ears of high ranking men, scientists, politicians and members of the aristocracy.  They came and examined the machine, subjected it to numerous tests and concluded that it was genuine. Only one other man, Karl, the Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel, was allowed to view the interior and he testified that the machine was genuine. He is a man well-known in history as someone of the greatest integrity, and  the negotiations between Bessler and Karl took place against a background in which Karl acted as honest broker between the warring nations of Europe; a situation which required his absolute rectitude both in appearance and in action.

There were several attempts to buy the wheel, but negotiations always failed when they reached an impasse – the buyer wished to examine the interior before parting with the money, and the inventor fearing that once the secret was known the buyer would simply leave without paying and make his own perpetual motion machine, would not permit it.  Sadly, after some thirty years or more, the machine was lost to us when the inventor fell to his death during construction of another of his inventions, a vertical axle windmill. 

However, the discovery of a series of encoded clues has led many to the opinion that the inventor left instructions for reconstructing his wheel, long after his death.  The clues were discovered during the process of investigating the official reports of the time which seemed to rule out any chance of fraud, hence the  interest in discovering the truth about the legend of Bessler’s wheel. 

My own curiosity was sparked by the realisation that an earlier highly critical account by Bessler's maid-servant, which explained how the wheel was fraudulently driven, was so obviously flawed and a lie, that I was immediately attracted to do further research. In time I learned that there was no fraud involved, so the wheel was genuine and the claims of the inventor had to be taken seriously.
The tests which the wheel was subjected to involved lifting heavy weights from the castle yard to the roof, driving an Archimedes water pump and an endurance test lasting 56 days under lock and key and armed guard.  Bessler also organised demonstrations involving running the wheel on one set of bearings opened for inspection – and then transferring the device to a second set of open bearings, both sets having been examined to everyone’s satisfaction, both before, after and during the examination.

So the only problem is that modern science denies that Bessler's wheel was possible, but my own research has shown that this conclusion is wrong.  There is no need for a change in the laws of physics, as some  have suggested, we simply haven't covered every possible scenario in the evaluating the number of possible configurations.

I have produced copies of all Bessler's publications, with English translations.  They can be obtained by clicking on the appropriate links on the right.




Friday 12 September 2014

Breaking Out of the Box

It has often been said that we should think outside the box,  Excellent advice and we all probably know what is meant and we all think, yes that's what I must do!  But although we have the best of intentions, we continue on our way without really applying the advice, why?  Because we don't know how.  So I thought I'd post some suggestions culled from various sources on the internet.

This problem we have taken on, which requires us to either reproduce Bessler's wheel or find an alternative method of causing a wheel to spin continuously, is proving harder to solve than many of us thought, in our hearts.  We all dreamed of being the one who succeeded.  One of the problems which besets us is that we are all a prisoner of our own paradigm.  I mean that the belief structure within which we think and act is difficult, if not impossible to break out of.  We all know and are encouraged to think outside the box and though we all support this notion, how do we go about it?  Our current paradigms produce tunnel vision and affect our creativity; a paradigm shift would require us to change our belief structure and our perspective so we could see things differently and creatively.

The solution requires us to think about new ideas without assessing their worth and significance before we have both physically and mentally tested them.  It is very easy to consider a mechanical arrangement and 'know' how it will act, because our experience and prejudices tells us the answer.  Our assessment relies on our old ideas and knowledge - our current paradigms. To escape old ideas and prejudices, we must remain non-evaluative and allow bizarre new paradigms and ideas to survive so they can trigger quality ideas.

We have a profound knowledge of the problem which means that we have a lifetime's images in our mind that get in the way of new thinking. The best way to avoid these pictures is to work on the problem indirectly. Start with the 'essence' of the problem, the action verb that captures the main activity. We might for instance encapsulate the problem as looking for something which spins, turns revolves etc.  We might think of sycamore seeds spinning as they fall to earth, or the way water swirls down the drain hole.  These different aspects might lead to a new idea not directly connected with our search.

We often read about reverse engineering, well a similar thought involves turning the problem on its head looking for answers and subsequently turning it right side up produces a solution.  We could for instance study how to keep a wheel from turning despite any forces applied to it; or try to stop it from overbalancing; or get the weights to rise instead of falling.

Another method is to try see the problem from another pair of eyes; a child trying to spin a hoop, or a dog chasing its tail.

You could write down in a sentence exactly what the wheel should do, and then reverse or change the meaning of the verb.

Finally use the following words frequently during your brainstorming sessions -  

    With whom?
    And again, why?

I don't know if this helps but give it a try, you never know, you might be the one!



Saturday 6 September 2014

Helmholtz's Assumption about Perpetual Motion is due for correction.

After more than 300 years of trying and failing, one might be forgiven for thinking that we who believe in Bessler must be mistaken.  But for myself I have doubt whatsoever that he did what he said he did and that is that he built a wheel which rotated continuously powered by the force of gravity.

I'm not alone; there are hundreds of people around the world who believe the legend and many of whom continue to experiment with different mechanical configurations each designed to induce a continuous overbalancing which will cause the wheel to rotate for as long as it remains within the field/force of gravity.

Consider if this was a court of law.  There is an abundance of circumstantial evidence supporting the contention that Bessler told the truth - that his wheel was genuine.  In addition we have the evidence of an eyewitness to the internal workings of the wheel, who verified Bessler's claims; a witness of unimpeachable reputation moreover.  Not a single shred of evidence that he was a fake, other than the lies of a servant who had already served two prison sentences for telling lies about a previous employer and was about to be dismissed from her current employment.  A jury would, at the very least, come to the conclusion that the charge was unproven and he would have been released without further charge.

If you seek an explanation for the continued assertion that his wheel was impossible, then you need look no further than the work of  Hermann von Helmholtz (1821–1894).  Having graduated as a Doctor of Medicine, this 26 year old youth with no training or experience in either physics or, for that matter, little in medicine either, conjured up his famous conjecture which has formed the corner stone of  scientific belief with regard to the Law of Conservation of energy ever since.  As is common today his paper was reviewed by his peers - and rejected for being too speculative!  Disregarding this setback, Helmholtz turned instead to a fringe meeting of the Berlin Physical Society where he delivered his paper as a speech in 1847.

His fundamental explanation for the impossibility of perpetual motion machines went something like this;  'no-one has ever built a perpetual motion machine, therefore there must be a law of conservation of energy that forbids such machines. If an inventor comes along claiming to have constructed such a machine, he must be mistaken and can safely be ignored because the law of conservation of energy shows them to be impossible!'  But if such a machine were to materialise it would invalidate his argument.

 Helmholtz's circular reasoning defies logic and should have been dismissed as nothing but hot air 300 years ago and yet we are still hidebound by a tradition of fear of peer pressure where the peer group encourages those who might disagree to change their views to become members of the group, and nothing has changed .

Such a paper would not even be accepted for review in today's competitive world and yet here we are striving to prove Bessler's wheel did work and we are stymied by the existence of a nonsensical argument made by a young man barely out of medical school three hundred years ago. (Thanks to Scott Ellis of besslerwheel forum for above information)

I think that Helmholtz's paper on PM was initially disregarded as the work of an enthusiastic amateur with little experience in the world of science, however this view was probably rectified by his subsequent work in medicine.  Here is a quote from a paper by Gerald Westheimer of  the Division of Neurobiology at University of California:- 'No single person, before or since, contributed more to the knowledge of the human sensory apparatus than Hermann Helmholtz, and throughout his career he kept concerning himself with questions of the origin of our visual experiences. He first broached the subject in an 1854 lecture, as a 34-year-old beginning professor of physiology in Konigsberg, and returned to it in a variety of settings till almost the last essay he wroteduring the year of his death in 1894.'  

This blind acceptance of everything an accredited scientists pontificates upon is a common occurrence today.  Often, despite his claim to fame having been given a rapturous reception the frequent subsequent discovery that some of his work was wrong, inaccurate or an example of self-aggrandizement happens often enough to make us cautious about such claims.  This is often regarded as a necessary step in the evolution of scientific discovery, when corrections are continually applied to our knowledge of the world.  In this case the corrections is taking far longer than usual.

Just because we have not succeeded yet does not preclude the possibility that one or more of us will do so soon. More progress has been achieved in the last five years than in the previous 300 and I am confident that the breakthrough is just around the corner.



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