# Thread: How would you improve this perpetual motion machine!

1. ## How would you improve this perpetual motion machine!

Here is an opportunity for experienced engineers to put their technical expertise on display...

Thanks to physicists, metaphysicists, metaphysicians and other people without the relevant expertise to abstain from posting, although you're welcome to look and take notes. It's never too late to learn from those who know these things.

The rough sketch below explains a possible principle for a perpetual motion machine...

Perpetual motion machine

The magnet at the top pulls the metal ball up the ramp. When the ball gets at
the top of the ramp, it drops through to the hole and returns by the curved slope
to the bottom of the ramp, where it is again attracted up the ramp by the magnet.

Question: 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?

Please note that the general principle should not be affected by your improvements.

Thank you to limit yourself to three or four modifications at most.

Thank you also to explain the modifications you propose.

Please note I already tried to have suggestions from engineers supposed to have an interest in logic but it turns out they don't understand the question to begin with. So, perhaps people here will be more practical in their approach to it.
EB

2. How does this do anything at all? If the magnet is powerful enough to pull the ball up the ramp why doesn't it pull the ball up the curved path instead as that's a lower energy path.

3. Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel
How does this do anything at all? If the magnet is powerful enough to pull the ball up the ramp why doesn't it pull the ball up the curved path instead as that's a lower energy path.
So it will run backwards.

This OP makes no more sense here than it did the first time it was presented - There's plenty of ways to make this setup 'run' - cycle the ball around the tracks - but none that don't involve either a concealed store of energy (battery, coiled spring, etc.), or an external energy source (Solar cell, human intervention, etc.), or breaking the laws of physics (paint the underside of the straight track with unobtainium, which blocks magnetic fields), or some other 'cheat'.

There are loads of ways to give the strong impression that you have built a perpetual motion machine, and some are very subtle. Often engineers and scientists are the easiest people to fool with these things - they are used to dealing with clever but essentially honest people, and are therefore often suckers for cheating and misdirection, leading to the erroneous conclusion that if they can't spot the cheating, there isn't any.

That's why the best debunkers of such nonsense are often stage magicians and 'psychics', whose livelihood depends on fooling people into believing things that are untrue.

There's no way to make a similar machine to this one cycle even once without an energy store or energy source. There are loads of ways to fool people into thinking that you have - but fooling people (even very smart people) isn't difficult at all.

4. Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel
How does this do anything at all? If the magnet is powerful enough to pull the ball up the ramp why doesn't it pull the ball up the curved path instead as that's a lower energy path.
And yet another one amongst the bright, smart and educated who can't even get himself to try and understand the bloody question to begin with.
EB

5. Originally Posted by bilby
This OP makes no more sense here than it did the first time it was presented - There's plenty of ways to make this setup 'run' - cycle the ball around the tracks - but none that don't involve either a concealed store of energy (battery, coiled spring, etc.), or an external energy source (Solar cell, human intervention, etc.), or breaking the laws of physics (paint the underside of the straight track with unobtainium, which blocks magnetic fields), or some other 'cheat'.

There are loads of ways to give the strong impression that you have built a perpetual motion machine, and some are very subtle. Often engineers and scientists are the easiest people to fool with these things - they are used to dealing with clever but essentially honest people, and are therefore often suckers for cheating and misdirection, leading to the erroneous conclusion that if they can't spot the cheating, there isn't any.
Question: 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?

Nothing else but the bloody question.
EB

6. There must be some point where the pull of the magnet is weaker than the pull of gravity. One might have to fiddle with the angles of the ascending and descending slides.

But I expect that the upwards slope would end up being very shallow, which means the ball would start a long way away from the magnet, which means the ball would not be strongly influenced by the magnet.

Gravity has a constant exertion on the ball throughout the entire mechanism, whereas the magnet's influence drops off the further away it is. So the magnet's exertion has to be stronger than gravity's exertion down at the bottom of the ramp. But it must be less than gravity's exertion plus the potential energy at the top of the ramp. Might be difficult finding that sweet spot.

Other potential problems: the influence of the magnet would have to be strong enough to pull the ball up the ramp from the bottom, but not so strong that the ball jumps the hole at the top.

Also, some design would be necessary so that at the end of the downward descent, the ball has a clear smooth path up the ramp, because at the full distance, even the slightest interference would block the ball from starting its upward ascent.

7. Originally Posted by Speakpigeon
Originally Posted by bilby
This OP makes no more sense here than it did the first time it was presented - There's plenty of ways to make this setup 'run' - cycle the ball around the tracks - but none that don't involve either a concealed store of energy (battery, coiled spring, etc.), or an external energy source (Solar cell, human intervention, etc.), or breaking the laws of physics (paint the underside of the straight track with unobtainium, which blocks magnetic fields), or some other 'cheat'.

There are loads of ways to give the strong impression that you have built a perpetual motion machine, and some are very subtle. Often engineers and scientists are the easiest people to fool with these things - they are used to dealing with clever but essentially honest people, and are therefore often suckers for cheating and misdirection, leading to the erroneous conclusion that if they can't spot the cheating, there isn't any.
Question: 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?

Nothing else but the bloody question.
EB
There are no ways to make the ball cycle even once that don't include the addition of a store of energy, or an external energy source.

There's an almost infinite number of ways to make it 'work' if you allow these.

I have already suggested a couple; Personally I think the electromagnet idea is my favourite, but lots of other options exist - a spring loaded ram to flick the ball up the ramp when it reaches to bottom would be fun.

8. Originally Posted by Speakpigeon
Here is an opportunity for experienced engineers to put their technical expertise on display...Thanks to physicists, metaphysicists, metaphysicians and other people without the relevant expertise to abstain from posting, although you're welcome to look and take notes. It's never too late to learn from those who know these things.

The rough sketch below explains a possible principle for a perpetual motion machine...

Perpetual motion machine

The magnet at the top pulls the metal ball up the ramp. When the ball gets at
the top of the ramp, it drops through to the hole and returns by the curved slope
to the bottom of the ramp, where it is again attracted up the ramp by the magnet.

Question: 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?

Please note that the general principle should not be affected by your improvements.

Thank you to limit yourself to three or four modifications at most.

Thank you also to explain the modifications you propose.

Please note I already tried to have suggestions from engineers supposed to have an interest in logic but it turns out they don't understand the question to begin with. So, perhaps people here will be more practical in their approach to it.
EB
Ok. I read the post. As an engineer 'perpetual motion' is a non starter. If it is perpetual motion you are looking for it is not possible, many have tried. There is no possible modification that will result in a self sustain motion. That is the logic of it.

If you apply for a US patent for a device that is self sustain once started and never stops it will be rejected outright.

metaphysicists, metaphysicians and other people without the relevant expertise That's you all over.

9. Originally Posted by James Brown
There must be some point where the pull of the magnet is weaker than the pull of gravity.
There would be in infinity of them. So, where do you mean exactly?

Originally Posted by James Brown
One might have to fiddle with the angles of the ascending and descending slides.
OK, that's acceptable, within reason.

Originally Posted by James Brown
But I expect that the upwards slope would end up being very shallow, which means the ball would start a long way away from the magnet, which means the ball would not be strongly influenced by the magnet.
Ah, fair point. The longer the ramp, the weaker the pull of the magnet at the bottom of the ramp.

Originally Posted by James Brown
Gravity has a constant exertion on the ball throughout the entire mechanism, whereas the magnet's influence drops off the further away it is. So the magnet's exertion has to be stronger than gravity's exertion down at the bottom of the ramp.
If so the ball goes up.

Originally Posted by James Brown
But it must be less than gravity's exertion plus the potential energy at the top of the ramp. Might be difficult finding that sweet spot.
What do you mean "potential energy" here?

Originally Posted by James Brown
Other potential problems: the influence of the magnet would have to be strong enough to pull the ball up the ramp from the bottom, but not so strong that the ball jumps the hole at the top.
Fair point. Fast already suggested an elongated hole and a "plastic blade angled such that the ball will be caused to take a downward trajectory". I take it the blade would come across the path of the ball on the ramp, immediately above the hole. Seems an effective solution.

Originally Posted by James Brown
Also, some design would be necessary so that at the end of the downward descent, the ball has a clear smooth path up the ramp, because at the full distance, even the slightest interference would block the ball from starting its upward ascent.
Fair point.

Still, for now, I don't see the ball even going ten cycles. You brought up a number of crucial points but not much in terms of solutions.
EB

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