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Perpetual Motion?

The 1st Law

Nature Trumps Science

Questions Raised



Eyewitness Accounts






Discussion Board



"Unlike all other automata, such as clocks or springs, or other hanging weights which require winding up, or whose duration depends on the chain which attaches them, these weights, on the contrary, are the essential parts, and constitute the perpetual motion itself; since from them is received the universal movement which they must exercise so long as they remain out of the centre of gravity; and when they come to be placed together, and so arranged one against another that they can never obtain equilibrium, or the punctum quietus which they unceasingly seek in their wonderfully speedy flight, one or other of them must apply its weight at right angles to the axis, which in its turn must also move."
- Johann E. E. Bessler, 1717

Clues to the Wheel's Design

  • Machine was set in motion by weights.
    - Bessler

  • Weights acted in pairs
    - Bessler

  • Weights gained force from their own swinging.
    - Bessler

  • Weights came to be placed together, arranged one against another.
    - Bessler

  • Weights applied force at right angles to the axis.
    - Bessler

  • Springs were employed, but not as detractors suggested.
    - Bessler

  • The machine's power was directly proportional to its diameter.
    - Bessler

  • Weights may have been pierced in the middle and attached by connecting springs.
    - Acta Eridutorum, An Account of the Perpetuum Mobile of J. E. E. Orffyreus, 1715

  • Weights were heard hitting the side of the wheel going down.
    - eyewitness accounts

  • Machine made scratching noises, as if parts or poles moved over one another.
    - eyewitness accounts

  • Weights may have been attached to movable or elastic arms on the periphery of the wheel.
    - Johann Christian Wolff, eyewitness account

  • Weights may have landed on slightly warped boards.
    - Johann Christian Wolff, eyewitness account

  • Weights were cylindrical.
    - Johann Christian Wolff, eyewitness account

  • About 8 weights fell during each revolution of the wheel, which took about 3 seconds. (wheel diameter ~ 12 feet)
    - Joseph Fischer, eyewitness account

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