I ask this question because a discussion on the Besslerwheel forum touched on it. I know when I first encountered R. Gould’s account of the legend of Bessler’s wheel, I became certain that the maid had lied describing her part in a deception designed to convince people that Bessler’s wheel was faked.
In a court of law the defence tries to discredit an important witness i.e., the maid, and proving that they lied might lead to the case being thrown out. Add to that the word of a just and reputable witness for the defence, i.e., Karl the Landgrave, who saw the interior of Bessler’s wheel, and it becomes certain. Generally one adds the support of a respected character witness, i.e., Gottfried Leibniz, and huge damages might be awarded too the accused,
So my first thought was, how wonderful it would be to prove wrong, all those complacent teachers who dismissed my questions about the possibility of building a perpetual motion machine with scorn and laughter. Later, once I had added absolute certainty to my earlier naive self by researching the history of the inventor, I began to think in terms of financial reward, and add to that the enormous enjoyment in proving the experts wrong, plus acknowledgement that I was right and they were wrong.
Latterly the need for high financial returns have been mitigated by two things, firstly the growing need for something which will reduce the effect of climate change, pollution and the lack of any realistic economic solutions to the energy crisis. I think that is far more important - and secondly my granddaughter, Amy’s need for strong financial support once she comes home from the neurological rehab unit, although she’s an extremely determined young woman who won’t be tamed by a waist-downwards paralysis!
Returning to the emotive term which we all use, ‘perpetual motion’, ever since I started on this journey, my questions, ideas and beliefs have been met with instant dismissal, scorn or laughter or sometimes I think they are humouring me out of politeness. This reaction can generate mild paranoia in your mind and you get so you don’t want to mention it for fear of an unwanted response. But of course they may not be humouring me, perhaps they are really interested, but we all want to be liked or respected and we tend to play safe and say nothing.
Bessler seemed unhappy with the term, (I’m calling it PM to save me time) calling his wheel self-moving and arguing that it couldn’t be perpetual anyway because nothing lasts for ever, wood rots, metals corrode, wear and tear and break downs occur. The word, perpetual, implied infinite and without end, whereas, continuous, does not.
We refer to steam engines, petrol engines, diesel engines, water wheels etc, because those names refer not to the energy source but to an important ingredient without which they cannot function. Electric cars rely on stored energy from their batteries. They each depend on something which is not an energy source but which can be used to create an energy source and which they use to produce motion.
The engines I’ve mentioned use fuel which has to be converted into an energy source. Wood, coal, oil, petrol, gas all kinds of fuel which need to be burned to produce heat, hence the term burning fossil fuels. Other kinds of fuel provide energy in different ways but all of them require an intermediary, such as fuel ignition system, hydroelectric and water wheel systems need flowing water, courtesy of gravity, in fact they rely on it.
Which leads us to the Bessler wheel, which in my opinion relies on the presence of gravity without which it cannot function. It’s intermediaries are the weights. The logical name for it is either gravity wheel or gravity engine.
My answer to the question in the title of this blog...I JUST WANT TO KNOW HOW HE DID IT!