Monday, 6 October 2014

The Legend of Bessler's Wheel

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.

JC

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30 comments:

  1. Hi John, can I asked. How many weights on your wheel.

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  2. It is five, I think...

    @ken....it is not clear if you are finalizing the work on the one directional wheel....because in the one directional wheel it is understood that the wheel is always heavy on one side and it has to be restrained from rotating when not in demonstration...

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    1. Yes, I believe that I am finally at the end of a very long search for the solution to Bessler's wheels. I currently have a model for a 3 foot diameter wheel which will be one directional and self-starting. It's levers are very precisely counter balanced against each other so that, as drum rotation takes place, the "connectedness principle" built into it will cause its levers to shift in the exact way and at the exact speed necessary to keep the center of mass of its weights on the descending side at all times during wheel rotation. So, in a sense, the descending side is always "full and heavy" while the ascending side is always "empty and light". And, yes, the design must be restrained or it will start turning spontaneously. I should know in a few days if this is truly the one Bessler used. If it does not work, then I will try making some further adjustments to make it work. If it does work, I'll announce it here and then do a quick scale up to make sure that the design still works when it is used in a 12 foot diameter wheel with much heavier 4 lb weights. If I can not get the 3 foot diameter wheel to work after making many adjustments to it, then that may be the final failure that will convince me it's time to "retire" from Bessler research and take a vacation before considering working on permanent magnet motors or, as I mentioned in the last blog, some sort of self-sustaining transformer device.

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  3. We should not give up the search that easily...if Bessler did it we can also do it...if one starts thinking of giving up the attempt and also tries to switch over to an entirely different subject then who will carry on the Bessler banner?...

    I would like to shed some light on the Bessler wheel mystery....the mechanism is such that once it is realized in the mind and then even before attempting the practical model one will be very sure that it is going to work...

    If the above is not happening then one can simply conclude that he is not on the right track yet..it strikes like the lightning when it strikes...it enlightens the person....he need not wait for the model to be completed....he will be very sure that it was the design that Bessler had actually hit upon...And, in case of the one directional wheel especially, there is no much precision involved with regard to the tension of the springs or even exact balancing of the weights....a little error or a small difference here and there is OK....the main thing we have to ensure is that the actual secret mechanism that would keep the whole thing in place for gravity to act on it is really RIGHT...

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    1. "..it strikes like the lightning when it strikes...it enlightens the person....he need not wait for the model to be completed....he will be very sure that it was the design that Bessler had actually hit upon..."

      I wish that I had a hundred dollars for every time I was "sure" I had "it". Lol Those that are serious about pm wheel research have to be types who have a very high tolerance for frustration and disappointment which, as a friend of mine says, "Comes with the territory." I do know one thing, though. If I "retire" from Bessler wheel research, then, most likely, I will not be returning to it because trying to regain the "momentum" one previously had in any pursuit is usually not possible.

      The design I have now looks good and some additional preliminary testing I've just completed is very impressive. In particular, it solves one of biggest obstacles I've previously encountered: it is very resistant to the disabling effects that centrifugal forces have on the ascending side weights as drum rotation increases. It is not, however, completely immune to them and, with increasing drum speed, these forces will cause the center of mass of the design's weights to swing down to a position almost directly below the axle. This, of course, means that the torque acting on the axle will also drop to near zero. This effect is identical to what was seen with Bessler's wheels.

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    2. Yes...centrifugal force definitely has its effect on the ascending side, too but with a special technique that bessler found out it can be neutralized to some extent if not overcome altogether with the help of the same gravity force that brings down the weights....and this is the the thing that we need to find out....this is what is all about the mystery....unfortunately, this thing is being blatantly ignored by one and all....it is the least discussed matter...and that is why we have not been able to re-invent the wheel so far...300 years...it is really a very sad state...take for example yourself....you are a very advanced person...I haven't come across a person of your stature so far...your knowledge of things is extraordinary....you seem to know almost everything....the sad part is that sometimes you don't listen or try to understand if a hint comes from someone....

      I can only say here that you should never abandon the bessler wheel quest...it is too intriguing a matter...it needs to be mentally solved rather than trying it out on simulators...

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    3. Thanks for the kind words, Suresh. Much appreciated.

      This morning I decided to complete the "final" testing of my most advanced wheel design so that I could proudly announce here today that the mystery has finally been solved. Unfortunately, that announcement must be delayed a while longer. Apparently, that final set of ropes I put into the wheel in order to complete the connectedness principle is not attached to the correct locations on the levers and they are still not shifting into their correct locations on the ascending side. Most frustrating, but I should have known better than to expect success on the very first try. That kind of thing only happens in movies!

      Well, I've seen a simple solution that I'll try tomorrow. Happily, the new location for attaching the rope to a lever neatly explains a particular clue in the Bessler drawings that had been puzzling me for years. Maybe that will finally make it work.

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    4. "I wish that I had a hundred dollars for every time I was "sure" I had "it". . . ."

      Well, I am as sure as punch that if Behrendt had but only ONE dollar for every such time, he would now be a millionaire.

      (As-ever, keeping a sharp eye out for nonsense breakouts here, and if gone too extreme will jump in with alacrity, and start pounding the cheeky offender. Behrendt is nearly always walking that razor's edge, over at the Vapid Division of too-verbally-slick "reality." As always with him and his like, suspicion is the most prudent coarse for the taking; fulsome blather being no substitute for actual brilliance, even though the two by the less keen of us are quite often mistaken, one for the other. Just sayin'.)

      Ciao!

      "The Iconoclast, like the other mills of God, grinds slowly, but it grinds exceedingly small." - Brann

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    5. I'm now, I believe, at the point of nearly having a working wheel, but the problem is that the total motion of its levers (which ultimately determines the fixed location of the center of mass of all of the weights on the wheel's descending side) is very sensitive to even the slightest changes in spring tension or the location at which a spring is attached to a lever. The good news is that the "basic" design I have will not need to be radically modified from now on. The bad news is that getting it to work is like trying to fine tune a distant radio station's weak signal for maximum volume. It is very tedious and slow going work. I remain optimistic at this time and am hoping for success in the next week or so.

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  4. For reasons I don't understand, my latest post does not accept comments. So please use the previous one for your thoughts on any post. My next one should be OK, I hope!

    JC

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    1. Maybe you could try deleting it (after first copying it!) and then repost it again. That should work if the problem was just a temporary glitch in the system.

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    2. Thanks for the suggestion Ken, it seems to have worked.

      JC

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  5. JOHN I RAPPORTI DEVO ESSERE PRECISI....E SONO SCRITTI IN MASCHINEN TRACTATE...SEMBRANO NUMERI CHE SONO MESSI LI A CASO...MA ESSI IDENTIFICANO I RAPPORTI....POI...PER IL NUMERO DI PESI....ASCOLTEREI MAGGIORMENTE BESSLER!

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  6. JOHN IO HO MOLTO DI PIù DAVANTI AI MIEI OCCHI....E SONO CERTO CHE POSSIAMO INSIEME UNIRE LE FORZE....MA DOBBIAMO VEDERE INSIEME....DISCUTENDO....IO SONO DISPOSTO A CONDIVIDERE QUELLO CHE HO FATTO E SOLO DOPO DECIDERAI SE LA NOSTRA COLLABORAZIONE POTREBBE AVERE FUTURO. CHIAMAMI O.V. ED IO CAPIRò CHE TI RIFERISCI A ME

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    1. Babelfish says the above 2 comments mean,
      "JOHN REPORTS MUST BE ACCURATE AND ....AND THEY'RE WRITTEN IN TRACTATE MASCHINEN...SEEM TO NUMBERS THAT ARE PUT TO THEM CASE ...BUT THEY IDENTIFY RELATIONSHIPS AND ....THEN ...FOR THE NUMBER OF WEIGHTS ETC..LISTEN BUT
      JOHN I HAVE A Lot More In FRONT Of MY Eyes ....AND I AM SURE THAT WE CAN TOGETHER JOIN FORCES TO ....BUT WE MUST SEE TOGETHER ....DISCUSSING ETC..I AM WILLING TO SHARE WHAT I DID AND I KNOW ."

      Anon, I think it would be next to impossible for me to discuss your ideas, through babelfish, but I thank you for the offer.

      JC

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  7. controlla la posta John!

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  8. Here's a nice short animation showing the motion of one of the pendulums of the Merseberg wheel. It would have been nice if he could have also showed how the other pendulum was simultaneously always swinging in the opposite direction.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hx9kz5fZsww

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  9. John,
    despite having some success with my experiments, I have not been able to go any further with my model.
    But, interestingly, I accidentally clicked onto your blog from October 2011, where it mentions taking two bites at gravity per mechanism.
    My idea does this, so I am encouraged to continue my work when the opportunity arises.

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    1. Excellent Stevo. Keep up the good work.!

      JC

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    2. John,
      just read the blog for October 28, 2011, my idea also works as you describe there !
      One weight falling, which moves another to overbalance the wheel.
      Maybe I really am onto something.

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  10. Confused by levers and coordinating ropes? Don't want to invest a fortune in neodymium magnets to try building a permanent magnet motor? Afraid of fooling around with electricity to build a self-sustaining transformer device? No problem. Here's a very simple approach to a pm wheel that looks plausible. I'm not sure if I tried and discarded this decades ago, but I might make a quick computer model and see what happens. It has no levers so it can not be Bessler's design. But, I've always believed that there was more than one way to achieve mechanical pm. Maybe this will give someone an idea to try.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9KHNPX0KZM

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    1. I just realized that this is a simplified version of the marquis of worcester wheel and, therefore, unworkable. But, maybe someone can figure out how to enhance it to make it workable. Maybe the weights could be replaced with disc magnets that would be pushed by rim magnets toward the axle on the ascending side while being pulled back toward the rim on the descending side by a different set of magnets?

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    2. Would the weights in the wheel have behaved any differently without the magnets?

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    3. Without magnets, the wheel as depicted in the video will not work because the center of mass of is weights is located directly under the axle. The solution to this problem would be, obviously, to find some way to "push" the center of mass of the weights over to the descending side of the wheel. If one replaces the weights with cylindrical magnets with all of their polarities axially aligned in the same direction, then one could place two extra cylindrical magnets outside of the wheel's rim that could be used to shift their center of mass over a little to the wheel's descending side. These external magnets would be located at the 7:30 and 1:30 positions of the wheel. The one at the 7:30 position would have its polarity axially aligned with the hanging magnets inside of the wheel and it would try to repel those magnets back toward the wheel's descending side as they drew closer to it. The external cylindrical magnet at the 1:30 position of the wheel would have its axial polarity opposed to those of the wheel's approaching hanging magnets there and would try to pull those magnets further out onto the wheel's descending side as they approached it. Of course, this has a problem associated with it. While the external magnets may indeed shift the center of mass of the cylindrical hanging weights inside of the wheel over to its descending side, they also apply a counter rotational torque to the wheel. I suspect that, if this magnetic version of the video model was built or modeled, one would find that any torque created by shifting the center of mass of the wheel's magnet weights onto the descending side of the wheel would always be completely cancelled out by the counter rotational torques being applied to the wheel's hanging magnets by the external magnets.

      Yes, many designs look so workable in a sketch or animation. But, sketches and animations are not physical prototypes and accurate simulations. Or, as Bessler said in MT: "...seeming is not the same as being."

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    4. Sorry I misunderstood what you said in the first post. I thought the animation included magnets, but I could not see any behavior attribute to magnets, after re-reading the posts I now see what you were suggesting.

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  11. Bad news. I just completed the "final" testing of my latest and most advanced, clue based design for Bessler's wheel and it failed. So what else is new? This is model #1037 for me. I experienced the customary momentary depression upon seeing the center of mass of its weights slowly rotate over to the ascending side of the wheel, but almost immediately saw a possible way of correcting the design's particular problems. All it involves is a change in spring tension and, perhaps, the addition of an extra spring per lever. There are clues which indicate Bessler used more than one spring on each lever. By tomorrow I should have a new modified design in mind and will begin modeling and testing it during the coming week.

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