Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Perpetual Motion in Nature?

It has been suggested many times that the secret to discovering how to make a perpetual motion machine will be found in Nature.  One immediately thinks of gravity, but usually it is thought that that is not what those who expressed such an idea had in mind.  They implied that if examples of perpetual motion did not exist in nature then it wasn't possible. 

They declared that history shows that we (mankind) have found a way of obtaining usable motion from the force of the wind and of moving water etc. but for perpetual motion there had to be another  force available to tap and since all forces were known and already utilised there could be no such device otherwise it would have already been invented.

It has been assumed that they sought some kind of mechanical action in nature.  Examples such as the spinning of a sycamore seed as it falls to earth; the way grass and weeds could force their way up through concrete; the expansion of water as it freezes, breaking glass and pottery utensils; the rising tide lifting boats that were grounded at low tide; the expansion of steam in a boiler.  All these actions and their causes were clearly evident and ways could be found to make use of them, but not gravity apparently.

Yet gravity is a force of nature.  Without it the sycamore seed would not fall;  the tides would not rise and fall.  In fact none of the actions in nature  mentioned above that have been observed have led directly to an invention.  Of course there are examples of single-bladed propellers, not dissimilar to the sycamore seed, but that was not the first design derived from such an idea but was developed for other reasons later in the history of flight.  I doubt that the windmill derived from observation of the effect of the wind on trees and falling leaves.  It is more likely that initially the use of sails on sailing boats  led to the use of windmill sails made of canvas, such as were and are used all over the middle East.  Sails probably developed from seeing sheets of cotton or dyed materials, drying in the wind on lines, So although the action of forces on material things was observed and ways of using them discovered, finding ways of using gravity other than for falling weight clocks, not a continuous process such as was sought, was deemed impossible.

So what Bernouille and Boyle, for instance, were saying, was that we needed to find a force in nature to power the perpetual motion machine; not necessarily a specific mechanical action observed in nature.  Of course perpetual is an ambiguous word; if a machine ran for ten years it would be as good as a perpetual motion machine; a windmill could be described as a perpetual motion machine as long as the wind continued to blow, but neither are perpetual in the literal sense of the word.

It has been assumed that looking for the answer in nature meant finding an example of perpetual motion in action rather than simply an available force such as gravity.  Gravity is obviously that force and is really the only one left to us that might accommodate our aim - and it's entrance into the world of continuous propulsion is imminent.

In describing perpetual motion as being acceptable if it only lasted ten years, I omitted to point to the spinning of our planet earth as a perpetual motion machine, which has been spinning for a lot more than ten years; perpetual motion is all around us and is clearly continuous as far as we are concerned even if ultimately it stops.




  1. Interesting thoughts, though it has to be said that conservation of Earth's angular momentum isn't an energy source - although if it were then i'd rather take my chances with the more comventional pollutants..!

    Also we need to step back from poffering 'gravity' per se as a potential energy source - since it's functionally equivalent to an acceleration, and a Bessler wheel aboard a rocket in zero G accelerating at 1G would operate exactly as if it were here on Earth - and then where is our 'gravitational' energy source?

    So more to the point, it's not gravity or any other force that will power a PM device, but rather an asymmetric force interaction, irrespective of the force aplied. F=MA - force is force, regardless of the flavour, and the only means to generate such an interaction asymmetry is via a passive time-dependent changes in force magnitude between input and output halves of the interaction. If the value of the force changes freely between lifting and dropping, then the mechanical energy lost or gained has been sunk or sourced to or from the applied force's field.

    Since the distinction between whether the cause of such a time-dependent variation is truly passive or not is subjective to what we admit within our conception of a 'closed' system, it is most likely such mechanisms ARE to be found in nature - for example suppose a cold iron object is accelerated towards a star under both gravitational and magnetic attraction, but once closer, heat absorption increases the domain entropy of the iron's structure (raising it above its Curie point), removing magnetism's influence so that it exits only under gravity's pull - this would be an asymmetric interaction, which has accelerated the object. However the gain wasn't free since it was powered by magnetic force (the input of heat can be considered incidental to the source of the additional acceleration). In this case, the gravitational interaction was symmetrical, but not so the magnetic one - the magnetic field has performed excess work upon the object, and so the vacuum potential powering the magnetic force stands at a deficit of energy, given to the projectile.

    tl;dr - it's asymmetric interactions that matter, not necessarily gravitational ones, and much less gravity alone... and they probably do occur in nature, however their ultimate classification depends on what we consider to be a closed thermodynamic system; specifically, whether this admits the vacuum's energy or not.

    1. As always, the Vibrator provokes thought.

      Two things

      Any principle that would allow for asymmetrical interactions would have to be 'of nature' a priori I think but, not necessarily-so regarding the thinking behind a conception of an actualized, working configuration based thereupon.

      Taking magnetic ones (because so obviously versatile configuration-wise), if some number of magnets and iron poles were to be arranged in such-and-such a way, say, so as to produce our most desired effect and actually did, is it likely that a monkey might accomplish such a work or more likely a human mind? (The answer to this little dollop of rhetorical foam seems self-asserting.)

      Assuming it is the latter rather than the former, then, an important question becomes: From whence did the transcending intelligence to accomplish such a trick originate (by means of the found-present-in-Nature principle)? From Nature or, some way and/or place higher? (I do not reject ab inition the proposition that some part of Man's higher intelligence is a thing higher than that of mere Nature. Most boldly and with some risk I think, others do.)

      Secondly, as with the Peak Oil proposition as posited by that industry for creation of the notion of ever increasing scarcity and the rarity of this Earth product - oil - what if both the creation of proto-oil as well as the vacuum potential too, actually are things INEXHAUSTIBLE?

      In other words, what indicators are there that the vacuum potential and proto-oil are not produced continuously and can truly never suffer destruction? (Personified corporate profiteers and their self-serving propaganda are NOT to be trusted! Other than for self-serving plain laziness and irresponsibility reasons, why would any possessed of intelligence and a true will to live EVER consider doing-so? Perverse, taught indoctrination from the cradle through "education", perhaps? Again, in plain self-asserting territory we find ourselves, I do believe.)

      "Obvious truths need not be proved." - Maxim of Law, original in Latin

      I suggest that both oil supplies and the vacuum potential might be infinite (the Earth one relatively, however) and are both gifts of Nature and of Nature's Creator to us for their exploitation, for better-or-worser.


    2. Well Bessler was certainly convinced that his wheel was divinely inspired, if not gifted, and also perhaps, that it exhibited the same form of divine animation as the heavenly bodies, and living matter itself.

      In this he would've been wracked by a Herculean weight of Promethean election, under which Atlas himself might've buckled - perhaps explaining much of his seemingly unhinged behaviour and liberal biblical verse; a tumult between inner Titan and humble Christian characterises much of his prose.

      But whatever its provenance, we're all great apes, of simian exctraction, and we've seen that HE did it, so, monkey see...

      As for abiotic oil, i think it's a foregone conlcusion that complex hydrocarbons can form spontaneously under sufficient heat and pressure.. Titan herself is smothered in the stuff (dubbed Titan Folin by exogeologists). The only question is the ratio of biotic to abiotic generation, and timescales involved. Interestingly, a report in PhysOrg this week posits life may penetrate up to 12 miles into the crust, perhaps further muddying the waters of just how 'fossilised' our fuel may be:

      ..however the issue of how the carbon sink cycle might keep up with our usage remains outstanding. I hear Venus in the spring isn't nearly as nice as it sounds...

      And the vacuum? I'd liken it to powering a wristwatch from a star - if it's via incidental radiation that was going to be emitted and dissipated away regardless, then what could be the harm? If the vacuum's activity represents a constant influx of energy into our universe, and all the forces are not passive, but active systems under constant power, then asymmetric interactions likely change nothing in the greater balance of things.

      If however the forces are actually passive, as is currently believed, and only asymmetric interactions command a flow of vacuum energy into our realm, and we later realise we've opened, by the merest crack, a door we can't close, at the bottom of a 550 ft dam, holding back a shark-infested reservoir.. full of electric eels, bombadier beetles, aligator clips and mousetraps... we could end up right up the creek, without a monkey wrench.

      So, could be a bit of a mixed blessing, there. Double edged sword, poisoned chalice... Never look a gift horse in the mouth? Tell that to the Trojans...

    3. Superb!

      "And the vacuum? I'd liken it to . . . "

      Then, we would be safe with our new, marvelous toy - a 'gift from Heaven', perhaps.

      "If however the forces are actually passive, . ."

      Then, essential things would devolve to being a mere matter of scale-of-time, seemingly.

      If, say, it were millions of years before any deleterious results were to be seen and experienced, then so what? Other 'miracles' might be counted-upon for our rescue our sorry but happy rears, after time was 'up'. No?

      Then, it is settled: IT shall now appear.


    4. LOL i've had Battlestar-Galactica-esque visions of the fraught and bedraggled dregs of humanity desperately winging it across the universe being chased by the ever-expanding wake of their own free energy panacea crashing down behind them..

      That, or a more Dickensian dystopia of every man and his dog dementedly running treadmills and burning every carbon resource within reach to force our cursed PM machines to run backwards for a few centuries... Blake's "dark satanic mills" might be more forebodingly prophetic than he'd ever envisaged!

      But yep, come what may, boom and bust is nature's most enduring cycle... let the great wheel of fortune spin, i say..

  2. Actually, from a physics point of view, there is not really any difference between a running clock and a genuine imbalanced pm wheel. As the clock runs, its mainspring unwinds back to is slack configuration and, in the process, continuously loses electrostatic potential energy and the mass associated with that energy. The process stops when the spring can not output energy fast enough to overcome the drag in the clock movement. As an imbalanced pm wheel runs, its weights and levers, in the process, lose gravitational potential energy and the mass associated with that energy. The pm wheel stops running when its shifting weights and levers can no longer output energy fast enough to overcome the bearing drag and air resistance that the wheel's various parts experience. Clocks have been built that can run for over a year on a single winding. For Bessler's wheels, the maximum running time could, in theory, be in the billions of years!

    I believe that pm does exist in nature, but not on a scale that humans could be easily aware of. I think that the entire cosmos is actually one infinitely huge pm machine. Each Big Bang heats things up and sets them in motion. Over time things cool down and slow down as required by the 2nd law of thermodynamics. Eventually, gravity pulls all of the dissipated matter and energy of the cosmos back together again into a giant Black Hole (or perhaps an infinite number of them!) and the process begins again with the detonation of the next Big Bang (or perhaps an infinite number of them!). We are unaware of this perpetual process because of the space and time scale on which it occurs.

  3. John, I found this somewhat scary video which I thought you might find of interest. It has nothing to do with Bessler or pm, but concerns a imminent economic / social collapse in Great Britain and how it could play out. Actually, I think it should be seen by all Americans as well since it will inevitably affect us. Please feel free to delete this post if you think it inappropriate. If we could find a free, pollutionless source of energy in time, then the frightening predictions in this video might be avoidable.

    1. Thanks Ken, but have no fear, Russell Brand is known for expressing a controversial opinion on everything. He was a stand up comic, did a bit of film acting and is generally regarded as a completely obnoxious self-opinionated, arrogant pompous prick, but don't take my word for it, take a look at him in Google.


    2. He is a comedian and activist, but, as one of Shakespeare's characters says, "Many a truth is told in jest." I'm less concerned about Brand's reputation than I am about the facts that come out in his video (which is really an advertisement for MoneyWeek magazine). Practically everyone I know seems to think that, when financial doomsday finally arrives (no one seems to say "if" anymore!), the politicians will, once again, come up with some clever accounting trick to make it all go away. Well, I certainly hope they're right because if not, then we're all going to be in for a rough ride for a long time. I found the financial doomsday scenario discussed in this video to be particularly interesting, especially because it is made by a magazine that has a very good reputation for accurately forecasting future economic trends.

  4. Economic collapse in the US is inevitable. With politicians unwilling to make the drastic but necessary cuts to the budget, and the populous completely disconnected from the reality of the situation, it is only a matter of time. The only saving grace is the new-found oil/shale boom. Lower gas prices will lead to an increase in consumption and tax revenues, and will postpone the inevitable, but it will come. 100 million have left the work force. 40 million are on disability. 60 million receive food stamps. 2/3 of the population are supporting the other 1/3. Now allow another 100 million in the country to live off government subsidies and healthcare. If this isn't a recipe for financial disaster, I don't know what is.

    1. Glad to read that you are one of those who are not in denial about this situation. In the US we are now using a new trick to help keep the interest rates on government bonds low. Our central bank, The Federal Reserve, simply buys up government bonds and pays for them by electronically transferring digital "money" into various federal government bank accounts. Even though there is nothing backing up this "money", this practice is considered "sound" because the extra "money" injected into the economy will, eventually, be removed as citizens are taxed to redeem the government notes. I'm really curious to see how long this scheme will be conducted and what will happen when it becomes apparent to the rest of the world that the level of debt accumulated can never be fully paid off. That's when all hell is going to break loose.

  5. This is a delicious little topic, John; inspiring and thought-provoking.

    ". . . It has been assumed that they sought some kind of mechanical action in nature. . . ." and later, "So what Bernouille and Boyle, for instance, were saying, was that we needed to find a force in nature to power the perpetual motion machine; not necessarily a specific mechanical action observed in nature. . . ."

    Perhaps it might be thought of a being 'a principle' active already in Nature, by which we might be satisfied that it could be used to our purpose?

    I think this next addressed it tidily: "It has been assumed that looking for the answer in nature meant finding an example of perpetual motion in action rather than simply an available force such as gravity. . . ."


    As for the continuing, niggling little issue of what 'would or would not', I like to say "perpetual motion enough."

    There are some that play the game of finessing definitions so torturously, that any sort of perpetual motion, even if reduced to practice and relieving us and our poor beasts from burden, would be that no longer. De-bunkers at-heart, I suppose. For sure the Establishment serving physicists would play that juvenile's game if it were found. To the racks with them, I would say if so, the smarmy, impudent trash! (No, no, past this mini-spate I'll not go. I won't.)



    2. Why a Jacobs ladder is drawn, gives the lifting action needed.

  6. I made what appears to be a major discovery in my analysis of the clues left in some of the DT illustrations last night. If my interpretation of them is correct then I now have the exact spring constants he used and their correct attachment points between the levers and the drum! I won't know for a few more days it this is "it", but it's looking really good at this point as I complete my 1073rd wm2d model. Once again, I was almost to the point of calling it quits when I found these previously unsuspected and rather astonishing clues.

    Meanwhile serious Bessler researchers might want to reconsider MT 10 in which Bessler notes: "This is exactly the previous model, except that the weight poles are more curved and longer. The principle is good, but the figure is not yet complete until I delineate it much differently at the appropriate place and indicate the correct handle and construction." What exactly was the "principle" illustrated that Bessler considered to be "good"? There is a major clue here as to how his wheels worked for those who can properly interpret it.

    1. I have to agree with you Ken, I've considered MT 10 and it's accompanying notes a major clue for a very long time. It was MT 10 together with Bessler's line in AP V55 "The flail would rather be with the thresher than the scholar" that inspired the Small Weight Armature part of my design for his 'wheel' (see my profile picture) It seems clear to me that "the principle" he refers to is the long(er) curved weighted rods (poles in the translation you are using). The weights on these poles are in on the light side and out on the heavy side, exactly what is needed!

    2. Also "serious Bessler researchers" might notice that my Small Weight Armature design fits well with other important clues. For example, "Weights are arranged in pairs such that as one moves further out from the axle, the other moves closer to it", and they might see the similarity it has to MT 138 CC&DD (The Toys Page) with its parallel motion structures.

    3. Thanks for the reply, John, but it was not exactly what I had in mind. Yes, in MT 10 the descending side weights are farther from the axle than the ascending side weights, but there's something else going on there that is, I believe, the actual principle that Bessler said was "good". I'm curious to see if anyone will notice it because it's very subtle. I'm convinced that unless one's design incorporates that actual "good" principle shown in MT 10, then it won't be the same design Bessler used and, most highly likely, it won't work.

    4. Yes, I understand that you are a springs fan, I am not. I believe you have swallowed a Bessler red herring whole. I think that you and the other spring advocates ought to consider the kind of enemies and criticisms Bessler had to deal with; things that helped to shape his clues. I think that you ought to consider his note accompanying MT 37 “These springs should be considered a question rather than a fact”

    5. Also, whilst on the subject of MT 37, you might wish to consider Bessler’s statement that AA are movable levers, because John Collins does and so do I. In MT 56 and many other visual clue images Bessler refers to them as the bellows of his machine.

    6. The translation of the notes for MT 37 I found reads:

      "No. 37: This invention belongs among Nos. 14,15 and 16. It is inserted here only because it slipped past the beginning. AA are movable levers on a belt, each of which has an oval disk fastened to it on the heavy side where the lever is attached. Other oval disks can be drawn to the first disk or pulled away from it by the known method. These disks should be considered a problem rather than an axiom."

      Which I don't think is the best translation possible. However, from inspecting the figure I do not see any springs in it. It's just an wheel that uses the swinging of its outer levers to cause a scissor jack type mechanism to expand along a metal rod toward the axle at the 9:00 position on the left ascending side while causing the jack mechanism to contract back toward the rim at the 12:00 position. Thus, it creates the imbalance by using the weights on the outer movable levers along with the shifting of the center of mass of the scissor jacks. There are no springs in this wheel that I can see.

      Still, no one seems to notice what the principle Bessler found to be "good" in MT 10 is. And, no, it does not involve the use of springs although I now know that their use is absolutely necessary to replicate his design.

  7. An obvious point no one has mentioned.

    In MT10, the curvature of the weight poles allow the levers to collapse on top of one another, allowing the weights to be pulled inward, possibly to the same radius as the pivoting end of the weight poles, and it keeps the poles within the same x-y plane. If straight poles were used, the poles would have to be staggered along the z-axis. So what changes with a longer weight pole? The movement of the weight relative to the circumference or tangent of the wheel. The longer the pole, the closer to weight moves relative to the tangent. So for example, if the pivoting end of a weight pole is connected to the wheel at the 6 o'clock position, and the pole is long enough so that the weight at the other end of the pole is at the 12 o'clock position, the weight moves in and out very close to the tangent of the wheel. Very short weight poles would cause the weight to move inward and outward close to a radial line.

    What interested me with MT10 was the path of the weights is close to the paths the weights take in the Buzzsaw gravity wheel.

  8. Excellent observations about MT 10, Zoelra, but you still not have found the "good" principle that Bessler says this design has. Hint: it's on the left or ascending side of the wheel.

    Yes, the side weights will have to speed up dramatically as they leave their stacked positions on the left side and move back to the rim on the right side. That speed differential is also seen in the "Buzzsaw Wheel" ( but on the same side of the wheel) and, unfortunately, is the reason it can not work! MT 10 does not work either, but Bessler uses it to make a very important statement, imo, about how his genuine imbalanced pm wheels worked. Somebody here must see it by now. I will quote Bessler at this point and ask of all "and still do you not understand?"


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