Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Bessler a Fraud? Prove it.

When our old friend Herman Helmholtz presented the original formulation of what is now known as the First Law of Thermodynamics, beginning with the axiomatic statement that a Perpetual Motion Machine is impossible, he was referring to the idea that a machine that had no external source of energy would run out fuel very quickly and stop.  Such a concept was and is obviously impossible. We, on the other hand, often, mistakenly in my opinion, use the words Perpetual Motion when referring to Bessler's machine, despite the very strong evidence that it acquired sufficient energy to run continuously as long as it was operating within a gravitational field - an external energy source and therefore not a Perpetual Motion machine as such as was discussed by Helmholtz.  He was describing a closed system.

This habit of calling Bessler's machine a perpetual motion machine is like putting our collective heads into the lion's mouth.  We are asking for our ideas to be shot down in flames, because as Helmholtz said, no one had ever invented such a machine therefore they must be impossible.  (Sorry about the mixed metaphors!)

That idea, that Perpetual Motion machines are against the laws of physics, has stayed with us, and it is a seemingly insurmountable wall that has included the Bessler type of machine.  For the purposes of this blog I shall refer to Helmholtz's Perpetual Motion as PM and Bessler's  as PM+G. In other words 'Perpetual Motion with the aid of Gravity'.  I came to this conclusion while trying to understand why everyone else on the planet knew with utter certainty that Bessler was a fraud.

Since Bessler's day people from all over the world have strived to duplicate his wheel, so far without success; and yet there are still only two reasons given why the claims must be false; one is that such machines break the laws of physics, and secondly, that if such a device were possible someone would have invented it.  To put it another way, PM machines must be impossible otherwise someone would have invented one already. Both points originated from Herman Helmholtz, almost 200 years ago. This reasoning is irrelevant if you accept that Bessler did indeed invent a PM+G machine.  That one fact destroys the second point, but only if you are talking about Helmholtz's PM machine.  The fact that Bessler succeeded obviously means that his machine did not break any physical laws.

Space prevents me from rehearsing the reasons why many people now believe that Bessler's claims were genuine and that he did invent a machine which ran continuously with no obvious external supply of energy. If people wish I can briefly go through them in a future blog, but all the information is out there especially on the besslerwheel forum, which you can find at There is more than enough evidence to show that he discovered a way of using falling weights in his wheel, therefore he used the force of gravity to drive his machine.

We are all aware of the many experiment carried out over the last 300 years to try to find the source of energy he used, on the assumption that there must have been some external energy supply, and yet not one single source has been found which would supply enough energy to duplicate the output of his machines.  It is quite clear that it was gravity and not one of the other more unconvincing sources suggested.  In which case if we assume that Bessler was honest it must be possible to make use of gravity without breaking the laws of physics.

There is no good reason why gravity may not be so used, and the idea - the premise - that gravity cannot be so used is wrong,  It is said that 'if the premise is true, then the conclusion must be true', but the reverse is also true, if the premise is wrong then the conclusion must be wrong.  When Helmholtz stated that PM machines were impossible, he was right, but he was not suggesting gravity driven machines were impossible, he wasn't even discussing them. 

The whole house of cards was started, even before Bessler's time, because no-one understood the force of gravity, and any and everything which suggested that something was a perpetual motion machine was lumped together with the PM+G machines as well as the more obvious PM machines whose secret of construction were still being sought despite the obvious fallacy in their design concept.  Despite my many attempts to reprogram people's thinking, the impossibility of PM+G is still lumped to together with PM and, as Mike Wech wrote,'Some things in life become ingrained in your psyche. You can't shake them no matter how hard you try. They're tattooed inside your skull, lying dormant, 'til the moment you need to draw from them.'

Knowing this I am absolutely certain that the sceptics will not accept this possibility until someone produces a working model demonstrating the use of gravity as a fuel and probably not even then.

However I don't see why we should do nothing about their demands - we are doing our best to prove Bessler's claim - so I say, if they are so sure that Bessler was a fraud, why don't they duplicate his wheels and the tests they underwent, but using only the materials and technology that was available then? They cannot use gravity because they say its impossible, but surely someone could have managed to build a fraudulent version in the last 300 years, if his was a fake - and if it was possible? 



Saturday, 14 February 2015

Our Archaic Measuring System.

During my research into the legend of Bessler’s wheel I quickly became aware of the many variations between apparently similarly-named weights and measures, across Germany and elsewhere. Eventually I sorted out the correct ones, and I came to the conclusion that all these weights and measure definitions must have originated from some identifiable source and one that provided a means of verifying a particular measurement.  It seems to me that resource which was once identifiable has been largely lost.

The lost resources were replaced by traditions that can seem amusing.  For example in the 16th century the lawful ‘rod’ was decreed to be the combined length of the left feet of 16 men as they left church on a Sunday morning.  I assume that they would be dressed in their best, including good shoes which might have been larger than their normal work wear shoes, to aid accurate measurement.  The rod in question  (or pole, or perch) is a surveyor’s tool, 5 and a half yards, which is equal to 16 and a half feet and that probably explains the use of 16 men’s feet as a rough guide. Another apocryphal tale records that Henry I decreed the lawful yard to be the distance between the tip of his nose and the end of his thumb.

Traces of those lost resources are still evident in some of our commonly used measurements. Degrees for instance; why are there 360 degrees in a circle?  

This question puzzled me as a schoolboy and the answers I have found over the years have been few and unsatisfactory in my opinion.

The usual suggestion is that it has come down to us from the Babylonians and before them the Sumerians, who, we are told, used a 60 base system of numbering.  They thrived some 6000 years ago and obviously had good reasons for using such a system.

It has been suggested that 60 was used for a base because it has so many divisors. 60 is the smallest number for which 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 are divisors – plus 10, 12, 15, 20 and 30. That makes it much better to work with than a 10 base, so yes that is one reason but is that really the only reason.  Bear in mind that they also used a 10 based system alongside the 60 base.

The Babylonians and their predecessors were familiar with the seasons and knew the earth’s rotation was about 365 days. They used the 360 day and added the additional 5 later. As we saw above 360 subdivides in so many ways.  Seasons included summer and winter, spring and autumn, 90 days each. They divided the 90 days into three lots of 30, making twelve months of 30 days each - all based on 60.

Each day was divided into two lots of 12 hours because that was the average of the summer and winter day lengths. Each hour was subdivided into 60 minutes and each minute into 60 seconds. Each day is equal to 1 degree of the earth’s annual orbit around the sun so 360 degrees for a full circle made perfect sense. At midday in midsummer the sun was overhead so they could mark the middle of the day as noon, and call after noon, well, afternoon! That gave them 6 hours on either side.  

With all these divisions and sub division, they could measure how far the earth rotated in, say, 1 hour or even 1 minute or a second.  1 day = 360 degree rotation and that is also 24 hours, so the shift per hour is 360/24 = 15 degrees /hour and 1 degree = 4 minutes.  Today we know that each degree of latitude at the equator equals nearly 69 miles; each minute of latitude equals just over 1 mile; and each second of latitude equals a fraction over 100 feet.

You can see that the 360 degrees that the earth moves can also be used to measure the angle of arc but the Sumerians also knew that the perimeter of a hexagon is exactly equal to six times the radius of a circumscribed circle, in fact that was probably another reason why they chose to divide the circle into 360 degrees.

I mentioned the ‘rod’ in connection with 16 left feet – why the left feet?  Perhaps it was common knowledge that, contrary to popular belief, the left foot is 80% of the time, the larger foot and 80% of the population is right hand dominant. Anyway, getting back to the rod, the rod is useful as a unit of length because whole number multiples of it equal one acre of square measure. The 'perfect acre’ is a rectangular area of 43,560 square feet, bounded by sides 660 feet by 66 feet long – clearly another pointer to the base 60 system. 

The Sumerians gave us base 60 and thus the analogue clock.  Time is measured in hours, minutes and seconds, all base 60.

Minutes of arc (and its subunit, seconds of arc) are also used in cartography and navigation. At sea level one minute of arc along the equator or a meridian equals approximately one Nautical mile (1.151 miles). A second of arc, one sixtieth of this amount, is about 30 meters or roughly 100 feet. The exact distance varies along meridian arcs because the figure of the Earth is slightly oblate.

Positions are traditionally given using degrees, minutes, and seconds of arcs for latitude, the arc north or south of the equator, and for longitude, the arc east or west of the Prime Meridian.

There is so much more to say about these ancient measuring systems, but there are some who have suggested that the rotation of the earth was only 360 days in ancient times, and was forced into a larger orbit by the close bypass of large asteroid.  This would explain the Sumerians choice of the 60 base even better and there are other related factors.  Perhaps the alterations in orbit might have led to a re-jigging of the distances I mentioned above to a more precise and accurate total.  So each minute of latitude might equal exactly one mile, and each second of latitude equal exactly 30 yards.  This knowledge would provide a constant source of verification of various measures.

One more thing; before the UK went decimal we were used to some old coinage.  12 pence to one shilling, 240 pence to one pound, four crowns to one pound - a distant echo of the 60 base numbering system?

So the old resource which allowed the precise determination of, say 1 foot, or 1 yard, by anyone, then they must have measured the earth, which begs the question if in fact the above is true, how did they know the earth’s size – exactly?


Thursday, 5 February 2015

John Collins is 70 today!

I'm seventy years of age today and in this year, I'm determined to show a proof of principle wheel or how to configure one - and soon.  I am confident that I have the whole solution and it has only taken me 55 years to get here!

I was about 15 when I first read an account of the legend of Bessler's wheel and I spent much of my youth doodling designs which I now know were way off the mark.  When I was about 30  I came across the same book I had read when I was 15 and it re-inspired me to look again into the mystery of Bessler's wheel. I remembered my own scepticism about the assumption that Bessler was a fraud and why, and I determined to get to the truth.  The book was the famous, 'Oddities', by R.Gould and it has served to re-inspire me over the years.

I sought original documents from all over Europe and the USA.  It took years and even when I had copies I couldn't read any of it because it was mostly in German.  I knew I would eventually get it all translated but I did not realise how expensive a task that was going to be.  In the end I advertised in a local paper for someone who was prepared to translate 18th C. German documents for free.

I had about eight replies and although I gave samples to all the respondents, only one stood out. Mike Senior with degrees in 18th C. German - and ancient Greek, astronomy and botany of all things!  He also reads Latin and can quote verbatim from memory, from the ancient Greek texts - and of course speaks fluent German. He is a member of Mensa and regularly has letters published in various science magazines.  Mike has done all my German translations and when he asked me if I wanted a literal translation or did I prefer something more readable that conveyed the spirit of the what the author was trying to say, I chose the latter.  I never realised at that time how Mike's words would be pored over, criticised and sometimes dismissed as inaccurate.  We had no way of knowing that future researchers would seek out clues from the very words used and perhaps I should have stuck to the literal, but it is what it is.

I'm pleased that so many people around the world now have Bessler's words, drawings, thoughts and clues and I hope that they will soon lead to the solution.  The worst thing would be for his work to be lost and for another 300 years pass before the solution was found again.  I really don't think that is going to happen!

So I'm of going out today with my wife and two daughters to celebrate my 70 years and then tomorrow I shall return (at last) to work on my Besslerwheel and finish it!



Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Springs? Not in the way you mean.

Many researchers are convinced that Bessler's wheel contained springs for some undetermined use and I agree that there probably were.  Bessler stated that there were no springs such as are used in clocks and all the usual uses for which his opponents implied.  They suggested that without the springs the wheel would quickly come to a stop.  I have noted many times that Bessler suggests that there might have been springs but they were not crucial to the wheel's operation.

In my own work on this project I have noted that there are situation where a spring could be useful. If you have a lever with a weight on the end and the wheel is rotated by hand to a position where the weighted lever is ready to fall, it has reached what I shall call, the pre-fall position.  At that point you hand-rotate the wheel one or two degrees and the weight falls, right?  But in a real time scenario the wheel is rotating, let us say, under its own steam, or you have given it a push so that it rotates, the weighted lever does not fall just after the same pre-fall position that it did when you hand-turned the wheel.  It goes on for perhaps another 10 or 15 degrees before it grudgingly falls.

In this instance I have placed a weak spring with a fairly long amount of travel in it for the weighted lever to land on and compress.  It is, as I say, very soft and when the wheel and its lever continues to rotate to the next pre-fall position, the inclination for the lever to fall is activated more immediately because the load holding the spring compressed weakens as the lever approaches the pre-fall position, giving  it a little push to bring about the fall.

This fact is due to the wheel's rotation while the lever is about to fall.  When stationary the lever responds to the next incremental degree of rotation and falls; when the wheel is already in rotation the combination of wheel travel and lever-tipping is merged so that the lever is actually falling while its position on the wheel is also falling.

Another way to engender a faster response in the fall of the lever, is to find the pre-fall position first, and then set the lever forward a few degrees so that it begins its fall ahead of the pre-fall point at which its position on the wheel begins to fall.  This does of course limit the amount of travel available for inducing overbalance, but even the smallest difference should be sufficient to overbalance the wheel.

My apologies if this is difficult to explain but it is a genuine problem and solution.  I suggested many years ago that the amount of travel by the weights would  prove to be limited for just this reason. Those who sought success by designing weights to move a maximum amount from inner to outer would be sure to suffer failure in a working model.

As a committed hands-on builder, I am sceptical about simulation software revealing the above facts and so I continue to build.  I am sure that many will jump to the defence of simulation, but I am sure that such niggles will prove invisible unless the input includes such variables.



Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Update - I am right and everyone else is wrong?

Having spent three weeks away recently, I was looking forward to returning to work on my latest version of Bessler's wheel, but this intention has been thwarted by several illnesses in my family.  My family comes first so I have managed to spend less than half an hour there, since before the Christmas holidays..  I had hoped to prove my design for my own satisfaction very soon but it looks as though it will have to wait.

This is a little frustrating for me as I wanted to get the model tested before completing it.  How can I test an incomplete model?  I think that if two mechanism work as I predict they will, then the rest is plain sailing.  I just have to complete the other mechanisms.

One of my recurring concerns is reading about other people's theories about what this or that clue meant.  The authors sound so confident and yet when I read about how this or that design is supposed to fit in with this or that clue etc, part of me wants to show them the errors they are making, because I know how it is supposed to work.

I understand that everyone has their own pet theories and there can't be two which apply equally if they are different, so why should mine be any more likely to lead to the correct solution?  I made a major discovery, possibly as long as two years ago now, and yet I have only recently worked out how to apply it and that after several false starts.  I made this important discovery and subsequently found out exactly what Bessler was intending to convey in his various clues.  Finding further support for my conclusions became a matter of rereading everything, relating what I found to the clues themselves. This being so I am unceasingly surprised at claims similar to mine but which are clearly no way the same as mine. I read their explanation and the temptation to show them why they are so far off the correct interpretation is difficult to resist.  But perhaps it is me who has got the wrong end of the stick, or is it the other guy, or are we both wrong?

What I do know, and this is the vaguest of clues, Scott Ellis founder of the Bessler wheel forum put me on the right track many years ago although I did not recognise it until recently.

For what it's worth, I do not find anything of value in designs for Bessler's wheel which include the use of springs, magnets or temperature variations, I am satisfied that it all hangs on gravity and it will be shown that there is no conflict with the laws of physics.  In fact it has to be gravity and it can't break any physical laws.

My feeling is that my understanding is correct and everyone else is wrong.  It’s very hard to be a lone voice in the wilderness, as we all are. It’s difficult to feel, know, and speak your truth and be greeted by either the dull thud of indifference or the resounding bellow of opposition, scorn and even anger.

The way you respond says a lot about your character. Do you fold up, shut down, or otherwise retreat from speaking your truth? Do you fight back until you wear yourself out? Do you try to prove that what you are saying is right, and that what everyone else is saying is wrong? But one thing is clear: if the upstart perpetual motionists prove to be right, and the others were wrong, what a day of celebration!  So despite opposition and competition I shall continue to seek the solution until I succeed.

 May this be an inspiration to you.



Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Perpetual Motion in Nature?

It has been suggested many times that the secret to discovering how to make a perpetual motion machine will be found in Nature.  One immediately thinks of gravity, but usually it is thought that that is not what those who expressed such an idea had in mind.  They implied that if examples of perpetual motion did not exist in nature then it wasn't possible. 

They declared that history shows that we (mankind) have found a way of obtaining usable motion from the force of the wind and of moving water etc. but for perpetual motion there had to be another  force available to tap and since all forces were known and already utilised there could be no such device otherwise it would have already been invented.

It has been assumed that they sought some kind of mechanical action in nature.  Examples such as the spinning of a sycamore seed as it falls to earth; the way grass and weeds could force their way up through concrete; the expansion of water as it freezes, breaking glass and pottery utensils; the rising tide lifting boats that were grounded at low tide; the expansion of steam in a boiler.  All these actions and their causes were clearly evident and ways could be found to make use of them, but not gravity apparently.

Yet gravity is a force of nature.  Without it the sycamore seed would not fall;  the tides would not rise and fall.  In fact none of the actions in nature  mentioned above that have been observed have led directly to an invention.  Of course there are examples of single-bladed propellers, not dissimilar to the sycamore seed, but that was not the first design derived from such an idea but was developed for other reasons later in the history of flight.  I doubt that the windmill derived from observation of the effect of the wind on trees and falling leaves.  It is more likely that initially the use of sails on sailing boats  led to the use of windmill sails made of canvas, such as were and are used all over the middle East.  Sails probably developed from seeing sheets of cotton or dyed materials, drying in the wind on lines, So although the action of forces on material things was observed and ways of using them discovered, finding ways of using gravity other than for falling weight clocks, not a continuous process such as was sought, was deemed impossible.

So what Bernouille and Boyle, for instance, were saying, was that we needed to find a force in nature to power the perpetual motion machine; not necessarily a specific mechanical action observed in nature.  Of course perpetual is an ambiguous word; if a machine ran for ten years it would be as good as a perpetual motion machine; a windmill could be described as a perpetual motion machine as long as the wind continued to blow, but neither are perpetual in the literal sense of the word.

It has been assumed that looking for the answer in nature meant finding an example of perpetual motion in action rather than simply an available force such as gravity.  Gravity is obviously that force and is really the only one left to us that might accommodate our aim - and it's entrance into the world of continuous propulsion is imminent.

In describing perpetual motion as being acceptable if it only lasted ten years, I omitted to point to the spinning of our planet earth as a perpetual motion machine, which has been spinning for a lot more than ten years; perpetual motion is all around us and is clearly continuous as far as we are concerned even if ultimately it stops.



Friday, 9 January 2015

Happy New Year and my Resolution.

I have a very good feeling about this year - I am certain that the solution will be revealed!  That's my new year's resolution to achieve!

I'm working on a slightly smaller model at present because my previous one used levers which were too large and I was unable to build in the fine detail required by the mechanism, which resulted in it being too stiff and ungainly to move easily under gravity.  My current model measures only 3 feet wide, two inches thick, and will weigh about 5 pounds, although that may increase if I need heavier weights.  The levers are thin and light and work much more smoothly

I'm not the best engineer and builder and I'm finding the task quite demanding and I am considering alternative options should my limited expertise be insufficient for the job.  I could call upon someone who is an accomplished engineer and a willing collaborator but unfortunately he lives far away, and I'd prefer to find someone in the England if possible, so that we can work together more easily - some of our discussions may involve adjusting certain details to conform to what I believe is the solution, and this would be difficult to achieve if we were too far apart physically; or I might seek out an accomplished animator so that I could produce a video explaining in detail why the design is as it is and how it works; or perhaps I could share what I have with someone who would be prepared to sign an NDA, and could then take on the task for me.  These are merely options due for consideration if I can't complete this task

But my priority is to try to finish it myself, even if it is not very attractive nor efficient, as long as it does just enough to prove the principle, I shall be content.

So back to the workshop!  I work slowly and intermittently and this means it may be a while before I get to make a decision on my next step, but that is how things stand at the moment.


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