Sunday, 23 November 2014
Intuition and Instinct versus Education and Peer Pressure.
I've been researching and building Bessler's wheel for so long, I no longer consider how extraordinary is the thing I will achieve if and when it works, or anyone else who hopes to be successful, instead of me! For an extraordinary thing it will be, make no mistake - inventing a machine which requires naught but gravity to feed it!
I understand why the prevailing consensus of opinion rules strongly against such a concept and yet man's instinct is that this will work! It is that same intuition that informed us that a heavier than air machine could fly, when experts predicted it wouldn't. "Radio has no future. Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible. X-rays will prove to be a hoax." -- William Thomson, Lord Kelvin, British scientist, 1899. Probably the largest source of wrong predictions today, concern global warming, but I'm not even going there! On the subject of erroneous scientific predictions, I think that the presumption that gravity-driven machines are impossible will become one of the most famous.
Scientific misconceptions are usually accepted beliefs that were founded on inaccurate arguments that sometimes have little basis in actual scientific fact. Scientific misconceptions can also refer to preconceived notions based on religious or cultural influences. Many scientific misconceptions occur because of faulty teaching styles and the sometimes perplexing nature of true scientific texts. Some topics, like evolution are hamstrung with so much moral interpretation that the truth is rarely revealed and the majority of common knowledge regarding the topic is erroneous.
What is so curious about the Johann Bessler case is that he went to great lengths to prove his claims, improving his wheels, inventing and reinventing new tests to prove that he was not a liar. All who attended the tests believed him, how could they not? The evidence was so irrefutable; the tests so conclusive; what else could he have done - other than show the internal workings? But science ignored Bessler's claims and even ignored the word of a man of proven integrity who knew the secret too, confirmed the inventor's claims and supported him.
The key to understanding why it was thought impossible in Bessler's time, lies in the difference between what we mean now by perpetual motion and what they meant 300 years ago. Because the word gravity, as I have said many many times, simply means heaviness, it was not recognised as a force but rather as an intrinsic feature of all things on earth. Heaviness did not convey the feeling that one could tap into it as Bessler claimed. Since it was not separable from the thing having heaviness, how could it be used separately?
Sir Isaac Newton said that any two bodies in the universe attract each other with a force that is directly proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them. Note that word "force"; in physics a force is any interaction which tends to change the motion of an object. According to Voltaire, at the time of Newton's death in 1726, even "after 40 years since its publication, his ' Principia' had not 20 readers outside of England", so it is little wonder that any suggestion that gravity might provide the necessary impetus to rotate Bessler's wheel was misunderstood or not believed, and yet Newton himself drew a design for a gravity-driven wheel, so he must have considered the possibility.
So in Bessler's day, perpetual motion meant something which would run continuously without any additional force being added - a closed system. No wonder the scientists of the day dismissed it; a closed system that needed no energy input and yet kept running and doing work! Perpetual motion as a closed system is pointless, even if it were possible. Today I think of Bessler's wheel, not as a a perpetual motion device, but as something which will run continuously as long as it is fed energy, energy such as the force of gravity, or the energy we obtain from burning fossil fuels in cars, planes and ships. There is no difference and yet we don't deny those latter devices will run continuously as long as they have fuel to burn and don't break down, but they are not what we understand as perpetual motion machines. There is of course the small but important detail, can gravity be tapped in the same way that gas can? Science says no - Bessler says yes!
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