Sunday, 19 June 2022
Johann Bessler’s Research & Development.
I’m still in the process of moving into our house. There’s a lot to do and my workshop’s having to take a back seat while I get us settled in. I was in two minds about sharing what I know now or waiting until I can build the finished wheel in my workshop. But I think that releasing any information risks it being lost or ignored so I’ll just keep going and hope to finish things as soon as possible.
How was it that Johann Bessler was able to solve a scientific puzzle that seems to have evaded the rest of us? Perhaps we are all too well educated, we understand so much more than was available to him? He had spent years studying the machinery of his day, clocks and watches, windmills, pumps, organs etc, he was well taught in mathematics, music, etc. He didn’t just study them, he learned about operating and maintaining them. He was obviously very practical and highly skilled in those subjects which interested him. He also read Acta Erudorum, (in Latin) a scientific journal, keeping up with the latest scientific discoveries and theories, but because had not begun to move in those more exalted circles it may have been easily accessible to him prior to his discovery of the correct configuration of his Perpetual Motion machine and Karl the Landgrave’s patronage.
I think he quickly became familiar with the actions of levers and pulleys and configuring actions at a distance (to borrow a phrase) in his study of organ building, and he was already able to build watches and clocks, which opened his mind to cogs, gears, pulleys and levers. He could only do the same as us, but he could ignore what he didn’t know, unlike us. We spend much time discussing where the energy came from, and so much theory about forces, vectors, acceleration, circular motion etc. None of this needed to concern Bessler, he used his practical experience to solve the problem.
Bessler spent most of his time thinking about his wheel and how to make it turn continuously and realised that it had to be permanently out-of-balance otherwise how could he expect it to turn continuously or….permanently?
Two actions had to be available in order for continuous rotation to take place. If a weight was ready to fall but had not fallen yet, then another action must have been active and engaged in rotating the wheel just enough to tip that weight which hadn’t fallen yet, continuing the existing rotation. Bessler told us that his weights worked in pairs, so when that first weight fell, it must have lifted it’s paired weight, positioned in an earlier segment behind, some of the way back up. But that paired weight in its earlier segment must have had some ability to rotate the wheel that little bit when it fell, just as it’s twin would do when it fell.
That is so difficult to explain, but I can picture it and I think that kind of process went on in Bessler’s mind, before he suddenly realised how to work it.
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