# Thread: Help improve this perpetual motion machine!

1. Originally Posted by steve_bank
For a device to be labeled perpetual motion implies an efficiency of 100%.
Thanks Steve.

Still the same old Steve!

Seems like perpetual old Steve to me.
EB

2. OK, let's call it a day. I guess it was the wrong venue for this thread.

I should have known. Logic!
EB

3. Originally Posted by Speakpigeon
Originally Posted by steve_bank
For a device to be labeled perpetual motion implies an efficiency of 100%.
Thanks Steve.

Still the same old Steve!

Seems like perpetual old Steve to me.
EB
Oh, I get it. This is a child's imagination game that is not supposed to be related to reality. That is ok if you frame it that way. You called a perpetual motion machine. That evokes a scientific response.

Current science precludes such a device here on Earth.

There are plenty of actual attempts detailed on the net.

4. Originally Posted by steve_bank
Oh, I get it. This is a child's imagination game that is not supposed to be related to reality. That is ok if you frame it that way. You called a perpetual motion machine. That evokes a scientific response.

Current science precludes such a device here on Earth.

There are plenty of actual attempts detailed on the net.

Originally Posted by Speakpigeon
So, what improvements do you think would have to be made to improve the contraption to the extent that the ball would do at least a few cycles?
Originally Posted by Speakpigeon
This is a straightforward technical question. I've given a realistic representation of the contraption. The design is a very simple. I think it wouldn't work as pictured but perhaps a small number of minor improvements would make it work, meaning for example at least ten of the expected cycles of the ball inside the contraption. I would assume that the MIT or NASA could make it go on for 10,000 cycles or more but I'm not asking for the Moon. You can use the material you want, make the contraption bigger or smaller, within reason, use a large magnet or a small one, adjust its position, modify the curve of the downward slope and generally add whatever you think is absolutely necessary to make it work as long as you can explain why it is necessary.
EB

5. Originally Posted by Speakpigeon

You can do the same easier still, for less money and less complicated. Just pick up the ball with your bare hand and push it through the hole at the top of the ramp and then pick it up again at the bottom of the ramp.
Sure. You can do an almost infinite number of different things to make the ball cycle around the machine.

But to make it complete a single cycle requires some input of energy from somewhere. It's not going to fool your audience if you use your hand, unless you are a master of misdirection.

There's no way that a permanent magnet with sufficient field strength to start the ball moving up the ramp will allow the ball to fall through the hole; The inverse square law means that getting closer to the magnet very quickly increases the attractive force.

The obvious solution if you want at least one cycle is to use an electromagnet, so you can reduce or eliminate that force once the ball reaches the top of the ramp - if you don't do that, then you need to counteract the magnetic attraction some other way. You could just use your hand; Or there are an almost infinite number of other options - put a small motor in the ball; add mass to the ball, perhaps by having it hollow and filling it with a dense material at the top of the ramp by some means, or simply replace it with a denser or non-magnetic ball of similar appearance (you could have a stash of such balls concealed somewhere).

Conjurers and stage magicians have loads of ways to make the seemingly impossible happen. But none require breaking the first law of thermodynamics. And obvious 'cheats', like just using your hands, are boring unless the conjurer is able to misdirect your attention and make you fail to notice that that's what he did.

Did you have a particular answer in mind when you asked your question? If so, you could share it now, as it seems unlikely that you are going to be able to tease it out of this audience via the pseudo-Socratic method you appear to be attempting.

If not, then I don't think there's anything more to discuss - the machine can only be modified to complete one or more cycles by introducing an energy source or storage of some kind, and while there are a very large number of ways to do that, only those which are non-obvious are particularly interesting.

6. Originally Posted by Speakpigeon

Originally Posted by Speakpigeon
This is a straightforward technical question. I've given a realistic representation of the contraption. The design is a very simple. I think it wouldn't work as pictured but perhaps a small number of minor improvements would make it work, meaning for example at least ten of the expected cycles of the ball inside the contraption. I would assume that the MIT or NASA could make it go on for 10,000 cycles or more but I'm not asking for the Moon. You can use the material you want, make the contraption bigger or smaller, within reason, use a large magnet or a small one, adjust its position, modify the curve of the downward slope and generally add whatever you think is absolutely necessary to make it work as long as you can explain why it is necessary.
EB
Again the words perpetual motion is a non starter.

The basic design will not work. As I said if the magnetic filed is strong enough to pull up the ramp, the ball will not br able to make the turn back up. Loren has the same comment on the second thread you started on hobbies.

For design work I charge by the hour. Read some engineering texts on electromagnetics, you say you know calculus. Hayt's Engineering Electromagnetics is an easy read.

7. The hole need not be at the top where the attraction is strongest. The point is to make full cycles, not cycles to their fulllest extent. Move the hole down slope by 5%, as measured by total length of straight path the ball takes. Also, the hole itself needs to be elongated giving the ball opportunity to drop prior to full ascent. A plastic blade angled such that the ball will be caused to take a downward trajectory due to combined magnetic and gravitational force. A second weaker and directional magnet can be situation underneath the hole to assist if necessary.

8. Originally Posted by fast
The hole need not be at the top where the attraction is strongest. The point is to make full cycles, not cycles to their fulllest extent. Move the hole down slope by 5%, as measured by total length of straight path the ball takes. Also, the hole itself needs to be elongated giving the ball opportunity to drop prior to full ascent. A plastic blade angled such that the ball will be caused to take a downward trajectory due to combined magnetic and gravitational force. A second weaker and directional magnet can be situation underneath the hole to assist if necessary.
Indeed. But you will also need some strategically placed unobtainium shielding to block the magnetic, or gravitational, fields (or both, but in different places).

9. Take it to another universe, somewhere where the physics enable magical activity.

10. Originally Posted by fast
The hole need not be at the top where the attraction is strongest. The point is to make full cycles, not cycles to their fulllest extent. Move the hole down slope by 5%, as measured by total length of straight path the ball takes. Also, the hole itself needs to be elongated giving the ball opportunity to drop prior to full ascent. A plastic blade angled such that the ball will be caused to take a downward trajectory due to combined magnetic and gravitational force. A second weaker and directional magnet can be situation underneath the hole to assist if necessary.
Good Lord, thank thee for that.

Apparently, the philosophically-minded appear to be those who not only can explain themselves in good English, but also understand the question to begin with, and, wait for it, provide sensible answers.

So, yeah, I take the elongated hole and the angled blade, plastic or not, though, OK, not ferric.

The second magnet is not accepted as too expensive and too complicated.

Moving the hole, OK, but just a bit. It's very expensive to move a hole, you know.

Not good enough but we're getting there.
EB

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