Why do we lay ourselves open to ridicule? We have been taught that what we seek is an impossible dream. Thousands of people have tried to find the answer to making a perpetual motion machine but failed ... apparently. It’s seen potentially as a labour saving device - a boon to mankind. Instinctively we all know that a weight driven wheel is possible, despite going against everything we’ve been taught.
But what, in the end, is it that we seek? We would like to provide an alternative way of producing electricity that didn’t have to rely on the sun, the wind or the tides; that was clean and cheap - but is there more? Is it fame or fortune or the knowledge that we were all right and the experts, scientists, teachers, sceptics, cynics and critics were wrong. Will we be heroes if we succeed? The pleasure to be derived from seeing the look of disbelief, the swift u-turns, the anger, the arguments of those who continued to reject the evidence and the eventual, albeit reluctant, acceptance of the evidence would be so overwhelming as to be beyond anything that has happened in our lives.
This would not be just for ourselves but also an acknowledgement of the efforts of all those thousands of people (I was going to say ‘men and women’, but there seems little evidence that women have ever taken an interest in pursuing this apparent delusion) of people who over the centuries have sought to find the solution to this puzzle. Among those there have been some of celebrity status, but they have always been reluctant to express their willingness to admit their curiosity to find the answer to the perennial question, is a perpetual motion machine possible?
Those who deny Bessler’s wheel was genuine and those who explain why it was perfectly possible, are absolute opposites. The traditional view is that such machines are closed systems and will quickly exhaust any energy stored within. You all know my view on the subject; since they can’t be closed systems because they would clearly be impossible, they must be open to an exterior source of energy. We start from the fact that we believe in Johann Bessler and his wheel, whereas the sceptics believe he was a fake.
Unless someone can prove Bessler and his machines were genuine there can never be a satisfactory conclusion to our search. “Proof” exists and is widely taught that weight-driven perpetual motion machines cannot be made, but there is a saying, “you can’t prove a negative”, so does that mean you can’t prove that Bessler’s wheel was impossible? On the other hand the reaction we all experience is the opposite, “prove it!” That’s what they tell us, and they are right, no amount of theorising will convince anyone against three hundred years and more of determined denial.
They tell us that the proof that such machines are impossible is already out there and accepted so why do we continue to butt our heads against the wall of scepticism? Because we prefer to dream the impossible. There is an old saying written in various ways, which I learned long ago, which says, “the difficult we will do immediately; the impossible will take a little longer”. I think it sums up our approach to this puzzle.