Wednesday, 3 June 2015

The Legend of Bessler's Wheel, or The Wheel of Orffyreus

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.

JC


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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22 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Sounds like you're very busy at the moment, John. Well, here are some of my thoughts on the current blog:

    Apparently, Bessler's first public demonstration of a wheel was done out of doors in the town center of Gera (I think all future wheels were demonstrated indoors where Bessler had better control over the conditions and security of the wheel). I wonder if he had to get special permission for the outdoor demonstration such as a permit. Also, I think I've seen a drawing depicting this demonstration that shows the small wheel mounted on the back of a cart which had wheels on it so that it could be drawn about by a horse. At least that clearly indicated that there was nothing external to the wheel which could power it unless, of course, one wants to believe that he had some power source cleverly hidden in the walls of the cart.

    Bessler was obliged to reveal the secret of his wheels to Karl as a condition for the latter's patronage. However, that revelation took place after the Merseberg wheel had been destroyed and before the Kassel wheel had been constructed. That means that Karl must have seen the small 3 ft diameter tabletop sized wheel that Bessler first achieved success with at the house of Richters in Gera. This is, I believe, the demonstration that Frank Edwards alludes to in his "Bessler's Wonderful Wheel" chapter of his book "Stranger Than Science". But, as you've mentioned previously, Edwards' description of the event must have been fictional rather than actually based on Karl's diary. However, I've often wondered why Edwards would write something like that which could so easily be dismissed as impossible. Could it be possible that Karl's diary actually did exist and that, somehow, Edwards managed to get access to it and have it translated into English??? Anyway, I dismiss his account of the wheel mechanics because the description he gives is not in agreement with what my research indicates.

    Speaking of my research, I managed to run the sim for my latest version of Bessler's 3 ft diameter tabletop wheel this morning and was delighted to see that its levers are all shifting smoothly so that their imbalanced configuration repeats itself every 45 degrees of wheel rotation. However, it's not quite time to celebrate yet. I still need to rerun the sim only the next time with the center of mass of the weights and levers shown at its starting location on the wheel's descending side. If that center manages to maintain its position as wheel rotation takes place, then I believe that I will be able to finally declare success. Even then, however, I will immediately construct a 12 foot diameter Kassel type wheel model with its far more massive weights and levers and stiffer springs to make sure it, too, is maintaining the offset position of its weights' and levers' center of mass. If I see that, then it will really be time to celebrate! As soon as the smoke clears, I will begin working on a book to provide the serious Bessler researchers and builders out there with the details of the design Bessler used. It is truly simple, but requires very carefully shaped parts and located attachment points. Only when one has this detailed information does successful duplication of a Bessler wheel become possible.

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  3. Here's a link to that image I mentioned above showing the outside demonstration of the Gera wheel. I don't know how accurate it is, but it certainly is interesting:

    http://altereddimensions.net/main/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/image71.png

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    1. Here's another sketch, apparently by the same artist, showing the demonstration of the Kassel wheel. Note the inaccuracy: there are no upright supports for the axle.

      http://orffyre.tripod.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/.pond/dialogue2.jpg.w560h467.jpg

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    2. Hi , look at this : http://www.durys.daily.lt/?lt=1320226127

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    3. There is mistake in drwings ... Most of people are wearing at least 100 year ahead fashion.

      stlndr

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    4. Excellent detective work, Anonymous! It looks like the two Bessler sketches I found were just composites made by using bits and pieces of some other artist's drawings (meant as illustrations for a book). The pieces were just then photoshopped onto inaccurate drawings of Bessler's wheels. Technically, that is not quite a violation of copyright because the bits and pieces are used to make a new "composition".

      Yes, the outfits of the spectators of Bessler's wheels in the sketches are from the 19th century and not the 18th. Still, despite these negatives, I respect the desire of the sketches' creator to try to depict what various scenes in the Bessler story might have looked like. Eventually, if the secret of his wheels is found and physical replicas constructed, we will see more of such depictions and, possibly, even a full length feature film on the man and his inventions. While I don't think his wheels will have a profound effect on humanity, I do think there's a lot in his story that would be of interest to the general public. It's a very interesting story and, even if it was all a hoax (which I certainly doubt), it deserves a far wider audience than a few websites on the subject.

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    5. Yes the clothes look Dickensian. I'm intrigued by the presence of the stork's bill device held up by the man in the foreground. Bessler only mentioned the stork's bill in his Maschinen Tractate which seems to indicate that who ever drew or commissioned the illustration had studied the drawings and/or read the notes.

      JC

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    6. True, there are many designs in MT that use the stork's bill (which I think are more accurately called "scissor jacks"). Perhaps whoever created the drawing was convinced that these mechanisms were employed by Bessler to produce an imbalanced pm wheel design that worked. The problem with scissor jacks is that they are really nothing more than a series of levers on top of each other. They can lift a load, but to do so another load must drop somewhere in a design. The result is that there is no net motion of the center of mass of a wheel which, unfortunately, will remain right below the axle at the punctum quietus.

      I wish I had some good news to report this morning, but it was again not meant to be. Not because I tested my latest wm2d designs, but because there is some sort of instability in my now antiquated Windows XP operating system that keeps making my wm2d models impossible to modify. Right after I open a model, the tool bar at the top becomes disabled, everything freezes up, and I just get a dialog box stating that it's necessary to such down the program. Then the PC wants to send an Error Report to microsoft. I'm running a Full System Scan on the whole system now to see if there's a bug in it somewhere that is responsible. Damn computers tend to be "buggy" just when you need them the most. Meanwhile, I found out that I can get a free download of Windows 10 this July for my laptop which uses Windows 7 from microsoft. It's sort of like Windows 7 on steroids and even includes a voice activated "personal assistant" which takes the form of a female named "Cortana" (derived from an AI character in the popular microsoft "HALO" video games) who allows the user to just verbally ask her to search the web and write / send emails. She even tells jokes! Sounds like fun and I'm looking forward to it. Now I'm wondering if I could use her to just dictate a book's manuscript?! Now that would really be convenient.

      Hopefully, tomorrow I'll have that "good" news to report.

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    7. So, how many more now?

      What's the number?

      When is this nonsense to end???

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    8. Right now I'm, hopefully temporarily, stuck at about model # 1168. Early tomorrow morning I'll see if I can get things moving again. End? I'm hoping it will "end" with shining success before I hit # 1200 because, if I can not crack this nut by then, that probably means I never will. I would then wonder if it ever would be solved. God knows how many pm chasers went to their graves during the last three centuries after "investing" a lifetime trying unsuccessfully to solve the Bessler wheel mystery. Each was convinced that he would find the answer and was eventually proved wrong by the Grim Reaper they inevitably met up with. I'm hoping I can escape that fate.

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    9. So, it is but 32 more to go.

      A most encouraging new number.

      "God knows how many . . ." - K.B.

      Given the recently revealed particular circumstance that is yours, this seems a quite odd expression for Behrendtian exclamational usage.

      "Each was convinced that he would find the answer and was eventually proved wrong by the Grim Reaper they inevitably met up with. I'm hoping I can escape that fate." - K.B.

      Well, I am positive you will. (Although you might deserve-to, being so very vexing an individual as you certainly are. The Cosmic Vault longs for your "magic" ways of high intellect. Why not accommodate it?)

      And, to add just a note for good, clarifying measure: The Greatest Secret of them all - this being how to impart life to dead material - will not come into any hands that are of the profane! It was not to be a stinking peasant that removed Great Excalibur "hardened by the Dragon's Breath) from the rock's stony embrace. Or, might YOU 'believe' otherwise?

      With longing expectation, we shall be watching as those 32 reduce to ZERO !!

      J.



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  4. Come on now James, you will miss his long winded repetitive daily updates! 😉 After all, why say in ten words what you can say in two hundred?

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    1. I have to admit that you do have a point here.

      Well say'd.

      -James

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  5. Found the problem. About a week ago, I deleted all of my 1168 wm2d models except for the last dozen in an effort to free up space on my heavily loaded, 12 year old hard drive. What I did not realize was that the files for those dozen models were all corrupted and their tasks bars were inoperable. Miraculously, I was able to find a single practice model from years ago that still worked perfectly and I managed to copy and paste my last wheel design into that practice model (after I first deleted the practice wheel from it) and that trick has restored the task bar function. Other than that, however, I got little testing done this morning.

    John wrote above: "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, of course, have to agree with this. What has prevented rediscovery so far is the fact that his design involves a very carefully balanced mechanism whose balance is determined by a particular combination of lever shape, weight mass, lever mass, spring constants, and, most importantly, the attachment of the coordinating ropes and springs to specific locations of the levers and on the wheel itself. Finding this particular combination requires a tremendous amount of trial and error experimenting ever with the help of the numerical data clues given in the two DT portraits. Hopefully, even if I fail to solve the problem and all of the free energy sites and blogs devoted to Bessler eventually disappear from the internet, there will still be a few diehards out there that will keep pursuing a solution. I do know one thing with certainty. Merely philosophizing about the problem without backing up one's theories with physical / virtual models will never lead to a solution.

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  6. Bad morning of testing, folks. Models # 1167 and # 1168 were tested and only failure resulted. After analyzing the failures it was obvious that I still do not have the correct spring constants for the two springs attached to the levers. After an hour of studying the failures, I was able to make model # 1169 which uses what appears to be a spring constant value that appears three times in the DT portrait clues. Partial testing indicates that it is stable as far as the counterbalancing of the weights and levers from 10:30 on are concerned. Of course, assuming I've hit the right value this time, I still don't have the value for the second spring. I will devote much of the next week to focusing on what I have in this model so far and, hopefully, the rest of what I don't have will fall into place. I think I'm very close now. Time will tell.

    From studying Bessler's history, it's obvious that he experienced the same syndrome: convinced that a particular model he was working on had to be "it", only to quickly learn that he was still far away from the success he sought. He experienced this emotional roller coaster ride for about a decade and with hundreds of handmade model wheels until his lucky day finally arrived. He claimed that he had an unusually vivid dream that he found to be invigorating. Perhaps he was at a really low point in his research and that dream encouraged him to continue. It's too bad that we do not know exactly what the dream was, but, apparently, it had a profound effect on Bessler and he probably thought it was a message of some sort from God that he would find success if he continued a bit farther. Although his design was simple, he really wanted the 100,000 thalers as a fair compensation for the extreme emotional / mental anguish he had to endure along the way to final victory. Those that had not experienced such anguish could not, of course, appreciate how much suffering he had to endure. Final verification that he did have a genuine working imbalanced pm wheel will be a nice way to get him some of the credit he was denied during his lifetime.

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  7. If you were willing to share an example WM2D model of your core concept i'd be happy to give a fair analysis of the issues you're facing, however what with all your apparent focus on spring constants, one can't but help feel you're probably chasing your own tail here.

    The reason i think springs may be useful is because Hooke's law introduces potential for an additional time-varying factor in the force integrals, and Noether's theorem tells us that only a time-dependent I/O asymmetry is possible. So springs might offer a force / time differential between input and output trajectories over a given displacement. Big emphasis on 'might' (if i knew how i'd've done so already).

    What i have more difficulty with is the notion that precise relative spring constants could be so important... you may well be edging towards or teetering around the brink of an instability, but an instability is not an asymmetry, and will always eventually wobble into an equilibrium.. Bessler emphasised that absolute accuracy of forces was not necessary ("a little more or less weight here or there makes not a shred of difference"), which must apply just as surely to spring constants as weights...

    Speaking of weights, it's also unclear why you couldn't equally keep your spring constant ratios 'constant' and just vary the weights or lever lengths for the same net effect.. perhaps you need to pan out a bit from the whole focus on spring constants...

    If you were to share an example model, i'd simply analyse it in terms of the relative input vs output force integrals, since this is all that matters...

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    1. Vibe,
      you could be right, remember the video I said to check out ?
      Well I've thought of a way to move the small weight in the video by using a tensioned spring, instead of a motor.
      By the way, as you don't like Star Trek, I guess you won't be buying any of Ken's books on UFO's either !...... :-D

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    2. I don't know about chasing my tail, but I do often feel like I'm painting myself into a corner! I have opted for not altering the mass of my weights in either the 3 foot diameter or 12 foot diameter wheels because I think I have the exact values used and the quantity of individual weights (which was two) attached to the ends of the levers in Bessler's wheels. Having the correct attachment points then obliges me to focus on finding the correct spring constants. At this point in the analysis of the DT portrait clues concerning spring constants, Bessler literally buries the portraitologist in a variety of specific spring constant values. Each must be tried to see what the effect will be. I believe, finally, with model # 1169 that I have the correct value for one of the two springs attached to each lever and using this value with the fixed weight / lever masses I've opted to use does give my model stability. But, then there's the problem of that weighted lever that travels from 6:00 to 7:30 during drum rotation. When I attach the main spring to it that has the spring constant value that works in other parts of the drum, it will not swing it toward the orientation it must have in order to keep the center of mass of all of the weights and levers at a specific location on the drum's descending side. This problem can only be overcome if one further attaches coordinating ropes to it from the 7:30 traveling to 9:00 lever. But, then another problem surfaces because, once a lever reaches 9:00 it must suddenly stop assisting the inward swinging of the 6:00 to 7:30 lever and become weightless (via counter balancing) so that it can then reverse the direction of its inward swinging and begin swinging out and moving its end weights back toward the rim. To do this requires a second spring with a specific constant value be attached to the lever at a particular location. Bessler, again, plays games with the DT portraitologist and provides him with several possible attachment points and spring constant values. Each must be tried, but, fortunately, using simulation software makes life a little easier. If I had to actually hand build each model and then sequentially modify it, I doubt if I would have made any serious progress during the years that I've pursued Bessler's secret imbalanced pm wheel mechanics. The truth is that I have made much progress...just not enough, yet, to finally solve the mystery. Well, hope "springs eternal" as they say and, maybe, this week's experimentation will result in some "good" news to report.

      Thanks for the book plugs, STEVO. Yes, I did author a trilogy on the UFO topic because I've been fascinated by it since I was a teenager just as I was with Bessler's wheels. I'd love to do a book on Bessler, but I don't want to just duplicate John's efforts on the topic which are excellent. I will only do a book if I can offer a plausible solution to the mystery.

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    3. From what i gather you're basically attempting to generate under-balancing torque by raising levered weights on the ascending side.

      So to check the energy balance, simply multiply the MGH of the levered weight on a stationary wheel, and then multiply the torque by angle of the resulting under-balance. Both products are the same, all else being equal, meaning that there's no net PE in the system - at best, it will continue indefinitely in a lossless scenario, but can't drive a load and will halt due to friction in the real world.

      The springs are superfluous to the energy balance of the actual mass displacements they're supposed to actuate.. unless you can find a way to add free energy to them.

      So, with that in mind, suppose the weights fall into an underbalanced position, instead of needing to be raised - but then they'd need raising back into the balanced state, afterwards. The situation's identical and simply the inverse of trying to get them to fall out into an overbalanced state; only to find they cost the same energy to re-lift as any torque the OB generates..

      If you really want to garner confidence in your work, just post up the input vs output force times displacement integrals, showing a disunity. Then it really could be just a matter of finding the right spring constants... However no disunity via simple 2D translations seems possible, unless the levered weights never require lifting relative to the wheel - that is, if they can be made to fall into the over or under-balanced positions, and then also fall back into balance, with gravity or inertial forces paying for both actions, at no cost to the wheel's energy... then you may have a winner.

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    4. It really comes down to trying to stabilize a configuration of weighted levers so that their center of mass is located on a rotating wheel's descending side and stays there during rotation. It's my belief that Bessler found a unique arrangement of weights, levers, ropes, and springs that actually did this. That is, the equilibrium position of the center of mass was always to one side of a wheel's axle and would automatically "fall" back into this position as the wheel rotated. In the process, the masses of the weights and levers would be drained off and made available to either accelerate all of the structures of the wheel and even those of machinery attached to the wheel's axle. It's fairly easy to describe what Bessler was doing. Describing how he did it is an entirely different matter and will require an enormous amount of research. If it did not, then the secret of his imbalanced pm mechanism would have been rediscovered long ago. My search goes on...

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  8. But essentially this is what all overbalancing wheels are attempting to do - keep the center of mass predominantly to one side; whether the weights shift in alternate step-wise fashion, or all in concert.

    The limitation they all come up against is their intrinsic requirement to lift a weight at some point, relative to the wheel - the energy cost of which is always equal to the angular integral of any overbalancing torque so produced.

    To analyse the I/O energies cleanly, simplify - your design can likely be reduced to just two opposing weights at its basis, pairs of which are multiplied around the wheel. So strip it down to a single pair, or even a single counter-balanced lever mechanism; measure the energy its operation requires, then measure the torque times angle of the resulting OB moment and compare the two products - i'll bet you a pint they're equal.

    If they're not, only THEN do you have good reason to start multiplying the mechanisms - which would only be dotting the t's and crossing the i's since OU would already be a fait accompli.

    Otherwise it's a waste of valuable human resources having someone of your tenacity building castles in the air... You know as well as anyone that however well-guided a line of enquiry may seem, this is ultimately a game of elimination - working through the impossibles and discarding them as quickly and dispassionately as possible so as to move on.. the spring constants are incidental - only the I/O energies matter. If we're not seeing the wood for the trees, maybe we're peering through the wrong end of the telescope..

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The True Story of Bessler’s Perpetual Motion Machine - Update

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