Monday, 31 March 2014

The Legend of Bessler's Wheel - in a nutshell.

The legend of Bessler’s wheel began in 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 June 6th of that year. 

Everyone was free to come and see the machine running and he would demonstrate its unique ability.  It took the form of a wheel mounted between two pillars and could run 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.

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 the machine died with the inventor when he 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 interest was sparked by the realisation that an earlier highly critical account explained how the wheel was driven according to Bessler’s maid - an explanation so obviously flawed that I was immediately attracted to further research. In time I realised that there was no fraud whichleft me with the only other possible explanation, the wheel was genuine and the claims of the inventor genuine

The tests 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.

The only fly in the ointment, so to speak, is the fact that modern science appears to deny that Bessler; wheel was possible, but my own research has discovered what might be called a loop-hole, a work-around that avoids conflict with the laws of physics.



Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Obsessed with Solving the Bessler codes?

I've suggested that Johann Bessler was obsessed with the number 5 because so many times it is revealed in his written works, in simple ciphers.  The clues leading to these ciphers are obvious and undeniable and it seems obvious that he was trying to convey some information to us but exactly what has remained a matter for conjecture with no hard established proof to support any kind of conclusion.

It has also been observed that I sometimes seem equally obsessed with the number 5, but the word obsession simply describes  'a persistent preoccupation, idea, or feeling'.  Nothing wrong with that and I freely admit to it.  The key is to not let it rule your life to the exclusion of all else.  If Bessler felt is was important for us to understand the importance of the number 5 then surely it is worth pursuing every avenue to discover what he was trying to say.

I had for many years become convinced that it referred to the number of mechanisms in the machine and tried to make wheels which had five of my mechanisms inside but none have worked - and there seemed little point in continuing that course if I only needed, say one or two or three just to prove my concept was valid.  Recently my designs have led me to conclude that having five mechanism is just too complex a configuration and considering the 4 inch depth of the first wheel I scrapped the idea of five and settled down to just trying to make one crossing 'barely turn the wheel' as Bessler put it.

Recent discoveries have led me to think that the five does indeed refer to the pentagram but not in an obvious way and you won't find it depicted in the successful configuration.  It's presence might even be invisible to the eye unless you know what you are looking for, and I think its presence is coincidental and not calculable in advance, however I think that knowledge of the pentagram will help to configure the mechanism.

These thoughts are really nothing more than speculation and not provable at this point although I hope to do so eventually.  The reasons for my belief in this is that the pentagonal numbers show up in unexpected ways, and sometimes adding two apparently disparate numbers results in a pentagonal number, and you find part of a pentagon in the configuration.  

In fact the idea that there had to be five mechanisms has been rejected by most of us and I must admit that the idea that this was what Bessler was trying to put across seems way to simple a concept to spend so much time and effort in suggesting by cunning turns of phrase and alphanumeric clues.

To demonstrate how easy it is to be sidetracked by incorrect assumptions, here's a little game I played last night to help me sleep.  OBSESSED?

O = Orffyreus

B= Bessler ;  or OB= Over balanced

S = 18th letter of Bessler's 24 letter alphabet.  18 is the smallest angle used in the pentagram and the one for which every other is a multiple.

E = Could be his two initials for Ernst Elias, and the fifth letter - twice.

SS = Looks a bit like 55, as used for the 55 verses in chapter 55 of his Apologia Poetica - and of course it's the 18th letter and twice 18 is 36 another pentagonal number

E = 5th letter and the number 5 was Bessler's obsession.

D = Latin numeral for 500, includes 5 and two O's to represent Bessler's wheel as he did, although his had a point in the middle to make a circumpunct.

I suspect that most of us are mildly obsessed with solving this puzzle  and we won't give up.

You can play this game with any words and make 2 plus 2 = 5!



Friday, 14 March 2014

The Laws of Physics can accomodate Bessler's Wheel.

It has been commented on more than one occasion on the besslerwheel forum that when the solution to recreating Bessler's wheel is discovered, the laws of physics will have to be amended.  This suggestion cannot be more wrong, in my opinion.  Just recently it was repeated and I thought it worthwhile to see if this view is justified.

We refer to Bessler's wheel as a perpetual motion machine because it would run for ever or until its parts wore out.  But originally this concept was supposed to apply to machines which had no access to an external energy source, obviously an outdated and irrelevant idea because energy has to be accessible to enable work to be done. We might as well call an internal combustion engine a perpetual motion machine because it will run for ever or until its parts wore out - as long as it has sufficient gas to continue to burn, and the same applies to Bessler's wheel as long as it is enabled by gravity.

Bessler used weights, and that is beyond doubt, so gravity had to supply that energy regardless of what others may say or what we have been taught.  The simplest solution is always the best and usually correct so because Bessler's wheel required gravity to work, gravity must have supplied the necessary energy.  Those who rehearse the old arguments about closed loops etc do not allow the presence of several weights to achieve what one weight cannot possibly do - and that is to fall around in a closed loop.

With a specific configuration applied to work according to the right principle there is no good reason why a permanent state of imbalance should not be achievable.  The first wheels were permanently out of balance that is why they began to spin as soon as the brake was released.  If you can begin rotation in an out of balance state then it should be possible for it to continue to rotate in an out of balance state.

I see no reason for a change in the laws of physics to accommodate the above.  The laws have stood us well over the intervening 300 years and they will continue to do so without anyone messing with them.



Thursday, 6 March 2014

More on the dual-directional wheels and the single directional ones.

In my previous blog, I suggested that it made more sense to try to replicate Bessler's single-direction wheels than his later, admittedly more difficult to make, dual-direction ones, and I forgot to add that my comparison was to the Kassel wheel, which rotated at 26 RPM, unloaded.  The previous, Merseburg wheel, rotated much faster at 40 RPM, despite being dual-directional.

At first sight this may seem to damage my argument about two mirror image windmills rotating at half the speed of a single one, but I still think they would if their components were identical in all size respects, but what it does also do is back up Bessler's contention that he could design wheels which could revolve faster or slower and with more power or less as required.  He also suggested that a wheel of 20 ells could be built - more than 40 feet in diameter!  At that time, John Rowley, Master Model-maker and engineer to King George I, designed and built a tidal wheel for pumping water into the Royal Palace at Windsor measuring "twenty four foot diameter and twelve foot broad; for the new brass engine with brasses to the crank, forcing rods and a new crank."  So that kind of size was not inconceivable.

My point is that what ever size and speed and lifting power was possible, we cannot make any assumptions about the mechanism inside the wheels other than to reflect on Bessler's own words about the Merseburg wheel:-
"I constructed my great work, the 6-ell diameter wheel. It revolved in either direction, but caused me a few headaches before I got the mechanism properly adjusted. Why did I make this wheel, you may well ask, and so I will now give you my answer. During my stay in Obergreisslau my detractors put out the cunning falsehood (in order to deceive the world) that my device, like a clock, needed to be wound up. This caused me to make some changes to the mechanism so that all intelligent people would appreciate the falseness of such a proposition. People then began to believe - and they freely admitted it - that the wheel did not require winding up."
The dual-directional wheel was more difficult to make than the single-directional one so logic suggests that the first one would be the place to start.  However I know there are many people out there who are still convinced that there is more to making the wheel dual-directional than simply adding  mirror imaged mechanisms to the same axle, as I described in my previous blog.  In further defense of my belief in keeping it simple by concentrating on the first two wheels, I shall point to the fact that the first two wheels measured 4 inches and 6 inches in thickness, respectively; but the second two were nearly a foot thick, so twice that of the second wheel, and the last one was eighteen inches thick.  This implies the extra thickness was needed to accommodate two sets of mirrored mechanisms.



Sunday, 2 March 2014

The simplest wheel to reproduce will be the one-direction wheel

I'm sure I've written on this subject previously but it bears repeating I think.
I have noticed that some people on the besslerwheel forum describe their ideas for reproducing the two-directional wheel; this seems to me to complicate finding the solution.  Bessler's first wheel could only turn in one direction and he only introduced the ones which could be turned in either direction, to answer the accusations that his machine was driven by clockwork.  He says that it was  a very difficult task to accomplish.

In looking for the correct path it seems sensible to take a look at the simplest machine, which was the one direction wheel.  This had to be locked to prevent it spinning, because it was in a permanent state of imbalance.  I know there are some who have dismissed this claim by Bessler and have suggested that the wheel had to stopped at a certain point where the weights would tip over and begin the rotation s soon as the brake was released.  I see no reason for adding speculation to the words written by the inventor himself; "these weights are themselves the PM device, the ‘essential constituent parts’
which must of necessity continue to exercise their motive force indefinitely – so long as they keep away from the centre of gravity. To this end they are enclosed in a structure or framework, and coordinated in such a way that not only are they prevented from attaining their desired equilibrium or ‘point of rest’, but they must for ever seek it,

I have emboldened the critical words; the weights keep away from the centre of gravity, followed by this comment, they prevented from attaining their desired equilibrium or ‘point of rest’, but they must for ever seek it.  What could be clearerThe machine is continually out of balance, hence the need for the brake.
I performed some experiments a few years ago, with a Savonius windmill and a large fan.  I first spun the windmill with the aid of the fan and noted its speed.  Then I mounted a second Savonius windmill onto the same vertical axle.  This second one was designed to turn the other way.  I drove the two windmills with the fan and noted that although they turned in opposite directions their speeds were still similar to the first run with the single windmill.

I then linked the two windmills together.  Whereas before, the two windmills had begun to rotate spontaneously  as soon the breeze from the fan hit them, now they remained motionless.  But when I gave the joint assembly of both windmills a gentle nudge in one direction or another, it began to turn slowly at first but reached full speed in about three turns.  The speed reached was half that of the single windmill - exactly the same result as demonstrated by Bessler's two-directions wheels.

OK, this is not an unexpected result but it shows that the two-direction wheels were also performing as expected - and it also shows that the one-direction wheel also performed a expected; starting spontaneously

So we should be studying the one-direction wheels and trying to find a way to make them always out of balance.  

PS Forgive the unintentional links to the boy band One Direction!



Johann Bessler's Graphic Clues

Despite including several drawings illustrating his wheel (althouigh external views only) in his publications, Grundlicher Berchicht, Apolo...