Let's think about gravity and gravitywheels. Gravity is a force pulling together all matter, and things that have a lot of matter such as planets pull more strongly. So the more mass an object has, the heavier it is.
But distance comes in to it too; it depends on how far you are from something, how strong the attraction is, which is why we are stuck to the surface of the Earth instead of being pulled off by the Sun, which has vastly greater gravitational pull than the Earth. But distances are relatively small so it need not concern us here.
There's a whole bunch of theories about what the attractive force is, but that needn't concern us, either. The basic concept is that there is an attraction between any mass on or near the surface of planet earth, and the earth itself. So when a weight positioned within a gravitywheel, such as Bessler's wheel, falls, it does so because of the attraction between itself and the earth. Although the two masses are attracted to each other, the earth being so much the greater mass, the amount of movement of the earth towards the weight is negligible.
Now, I have proposed many times that Bessler's wheel had to be an open system because a closed system could not sustain rotation before it ran out of energy. I had read in my original research that a closed system had no access to the outside for its energy. It seems that since I originally understood this, the definitions have been changed, and there is now a third system called an isolated system. It is important to note that isolated systems are not equivalent to closed systems. Closed systems cannot exchange matter with the surroundings, but can exchange energy. According to Wikepedia, isolated systems can exchange neither matter nor energy with their surroundings, and as such are only theoretical and do not exist in reality, but almost as an after thought it adds, that "in practice, a system can never be absolutely isolated from its environment, because there is always at least some slight coupling, such as gravitational attraction." So we now have the situation that it is an open system because it has access to gravity, it is a closed system because it can exchange energy but not matter, and it may also be an isolated system because it might be affected by gravity. Just kidding, right?
It has been argued that because gravity permeates the interior of the wheel, the weights are moved by the presence of gravity within the wheel and therefore it is not an exterior force. The gravitywheel must therefore, be a closed system. Of course it depends whether you think of gravity as energy or force - certainly it induces potential for movement in objects with mass, and can therefore be thought of as having potential energy even if it isnít energy itself
My own view now is that because gravity affects the wheel it also affects the weights and with the correct design gravity can be used to turn the wheel. A method could be incorporated which would comply with the requirement to exchange matter as well as energy so such a wheel may well be described as closed system. The greater force of attraction which causes the weight to fall, comes from the earth which is obviously outside the wheel. The energy source, sorry, source of the force, is therefore external. It must therefore, be an open system or a closed one but not an isolated one.
Is this attractive property of gravity capable of driving a weight-driven wheel? I see no reason why not. Elsewhere and frequently, I have analogously likened the force of gravity to that of water and wind. Many find my analogy unacceptable because they, gravity, water and wind, appear to be dissimilar forces. I agree that they are different but the reason for my use of this comparison is that gravity is often referred to as a conservative force and yet so are wind and water currents. What is a conservative force and why should it prevent our use of it to drive a gravitywheel?
It is recognised that work done by a conservative force, in moving an object between two points, is regarded as being independent of the path taken. In which case if an object is made to travel in a closed loop, the net work done by a conservative force is zero. The obvious inference from this fact is that gravitywheels, as designed so far, cannot possibly work because their weights must follow a closed loop. This statement regarding conservative forces is absolutely true and it applies to gravity - and to wind and water currents. They are all conservative forces. Yet we use wind and water to drive machinery with no problem so why should gravity be different?
The difference lies, not in the make up of the three forces, but how they interface with the rotatable devices. Savonius windmills take advantage of the wind by offering differing but rigid surfaces to the oncoming wind, on the one side a more resistant surface and on the other a less resistant one. Similarly water turbines offer blades which offer alternating surfaces to the water. The Savonius blade is preshaped to work to the best advantage to spin in the wind, as is the water turbine. Neither have any means nor necessity to move the actual blades relative to each other, apart from rotating about the centre of rotation. But the gravitywheel cannot be pre-shaped in the same way. Instead of offering a stiff unbending surface with built in biases, it has to offer a stiff unbending surface which has no inbuilt bias. By bias, I mean the varying resistance to wind and water obtained by the differing surface presented to the wind and water. So in the gravitywheel we have to introduce an alternating bias, to match the bias supplied in the above mentioned wind and water wheels.
There is only one group of items which can be moved to comply with the requirement to include alternating bias and it consists of the weights. The problem has been that in all designs published so far, the work which the design requires gravity to do in shifting weights, has always been double that available. I mean that when a weight falls, it cannot be then lifted by the same packet (or piece or bunch of gravitons, call it what you will) of gravitational energy that caused it to fall in the first place. A second packet of energy must somehow be introduced to lift the weight back to its previous position. If we are to believe Bessler, that second packet of energy was also gravity.
Copyright © 2011 John Collins