Simulating A Real Perpetual Motion Device

Perpetual motion and notions of ‘free energy’ devices are some of those pseudo-science topics that seem to perpetually hang around, no matter how many times it is explained how this would literally violate the very fabric of the Universe. Even so, the very notion of a device which repeats the same action over and over with no obvious loss of energy is tempting enough that the laws of physics are employed to effect the impossible in a handy desktop format. This includes the intriguing model demonstrated by [Steve Mould] in a recent video, including a transparent version that reveals the secret.

This particular perpetual motion simulator is made by [William Le] and takes the form of metal balls that barrel down a set of metal rails which turn upward so that each metal ball will land back where it started in the top bowl. To the casual informed observer the basic principle ought to be obvious, with magnetism being a prime candidate to add some extra velocity to said metal ball. What’s less obvious is the whole mechanism that makes the system work, including the detection circuit and the tuning of the parameters that tell the device when its electromagnet should be on or off.

When [Steve] figured that he could just make a transparent version using the guts from the one he purchased, he quickly found out that even with [William]’s help, this wasn’t so easy. Ultimately [William] hand-crafted a transparent version that shows the whole system in its entire glory, even if this is somewhat like demonstrating a magic trick in an easy to follow manner.

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