Sunday, August 12, 2007

Perpetual Motion Machine?

Invented by Mr. Reidar Finsrud, the whole machine is placed inside a glass mount, to prevent visitors who view the machine in the gallery from touching it.

A steel ball (about 2.7 inch diameter, 20 pound) is rolling on an aluminum track, about 25 inches in diameter, placed horizontally. Three pendulums, about 45 inches long with tunable weights at the lower end, controls three horse-shoe magnets that the steel ball has to pass by on the track. Embedded in the track is a (mechanical) controlling/timing mechanism. It looks like a steel wire bent into a triangular track, 5 inches long. The ball rolls over it and pushes the wire down through a slot in the track. This affects one of the pendulums and regulates its swinging motion. The steel ball has not stopped revolving for months.

The magnets and pendulums overcome the intermittent effect of the friction. Basically, the pull of the magnetism resets the velocity of the ball on each pass.

Outside of being an interesting device to watch, I can't think of a practical application for it.
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