A brief aside in one of the posts on the besslerwheel forum, gave me pause for thought. When someone comes to a reasoned explanation for Bessler's wheel, without having actually made a working model, that explanation might be termed a hypothesis, however the three terms, hypothesis, law and theory have similarities and may overlap in places.
I found the critical feature that enables gravity to work on weights so that they cause the wheel to rotate. I called my discovery about why Bessler's wheel did not break any physical laws, a principle or an observation. I read that a hypothesis is an educated guess based on an observation. So it might be a hypothesis, but apparently a hypothesis can be disproved, but not proven to be true. I can prove my hypothesis is correct so it can't be a hypothesis.
A scientific theory summarizes a hypothesis or group of hypotheses that have been supported with repeated testing. A theory is valid as long as there is no evidence to dispute it. Therefore, theories can be disproved. So my discovery can't be a theory because it can be proved and it can't be disproved.
A law generalizes a body of observations. At the time it is made, no exceptions have been found to a law. As my Bessler-Collins principle lies within the scope of an existing set of laws it is already covered and cannot be a law on its own.
So my problem is this; I have reasoned an explanation for why Bessler's wheel worked and how. The principle which I have called the Bessler-Collins principle still escapes a valid definition. I can prove it works both by describing it with illustrations, and by physically making a testing model which performs as predicted.
Fact: In science, an observation that has been repeatedly confirmed and for all practical purposes is accepted as “true.” So it is just a fact, an observation or a description of something that is well-known but has so far escaped everyone's noticed, or as I think Bessler put it, 'I found it where everyone else had looked'.