What trickery is used in this video? (Alleged perpetual motion machine.)

I know perpetual motion machines are impossible to construct due to conservation of energy. So what trickery is used in this video?

Watched it a few more times. At first I thought there must be a hidden battery, motor, pulley, and belt in one of the wheel’s supports. But now I am wondering if compressed air has something to do with it. If you listen very closely, you can hear a “hissing” sound while the wheel is turning. And I think the hissing begins a fraction of a second before the wheel begins to turn. Not sure.

Could be air, or a lot of things. With a well balanced wheel and low friction bearing he might be able to get some initial motion that way, but the acceleration must be from some outside force.

I don’t think there’s any trickery. He only let it run for a few seconds at a time. I’d be willing to bet that after a few minutes/hours it slows down and finds some kind of equilibrium (though, I’ll admit), I’m not sure where, just that it’ll stop. My guess is that eventually the ball falls down to the bottom and that’s that. Furthermore, I wouldn’t be surprised if it only took a few seconds.

I did hear the hissing, I did notice that it stopped and started, I also noticed that he always kept his hand on the wheel when it wasn’t moving (to prevent it from moving), but I’m not sure about the compressed air theory. I took a close look at the edge of the wheel when he flipped it over. There’s no vanes or anything for compressed air to grab and push the wheel with.

I’m not sure. I don’t think it’s fake (that is, with an outside source of energy), I just don’t think it’s sustainable. If it is, I think he’d let it run for more than a few seconds.

There are no vanes, but the outside of the wheel is grooved in such a way that air could very easily be channeled to push it.

No vanes or grooves are needed. Blow air over a smooth sided cylinder mounted on an axle and it will rotate.

Would it not just work with a powerful magnet and a steel ball? Obviously not perpetual though.

Sure, it could get started that way because he moves the magnet initially. After that if the magnet doesn’t move and there’s no other trickery the wheel should slow down instead of accelerating.

True…but the groove means less air from a more directed source would be more effective and less noisy, and you would have less of chance of the air going off to the side and blowing his shirt and jacket.

why don’t we see it from all angles? There is ample space for a power and motive mechanism to be hidden.
what’s in the little gizmo he puts up against the wheel? we don’t see it in any detail so it could be a rotating magnet with an internal power supply.

There’s trickery of some sort - the rotation of the wheel accelerates. A permanent magnet won’t make it do that.

The board on which it is built is about 20mm. You can get a lithium battery and electric motor that are no more than about 10mm thick. They could easily be accommodated in a recess under the wheel, with a friction drive onto the wheel.

There is no reason to assume this involves anything more complicated than that.

Work done ? He demonstrates work done is tiny, as the wheel rotates very easily, very small friction.
The work done can come from the loss of magnetic field in the magnet.
When the ball bounces up, the field strength must be very high and changing… This then de-magnetises the magnet he hold in his hand, ergo the store of energy in that magnet is being drained. Its a quirk of the high strength rare earth magnets.

The magnet in his hand may be draining fast even without the ball in use.

My money is on some kind of induction motor in the magnet gizmo.

I’m going with the box containing the magnet - why a box? he uses a simple stand for the wheel, why not a simple stand for the magnet?

If you can ‘commutate’* magnetism, you can have a simple motor for as long as the magnetism lasts. But I don’t see any scheme for commutating this motor.

    • see ‘commutator’ for electric motors

Hidden motors seem like a trouble compared to a jet of air.

However, this video has a little pre-amble calling it an F.S. Mackintosh Wheel. That appears to be a generic name for over-balanced wheels. In this videohe shows a number of such designs, all running only for seconds. Perhaps he is very good at constructing low friction over-balanced wheels which look impressive for a few seconds.

I’ve heard this explanation a lot in this context, but I have never actually heard of a working device that genuinely works by ‘using up’ the magnetic field of the components. I accept that it sounds theoretically possible to extract finite work from magnets by destroying them, but has anyone ever actually made such a device (I mean, not a device that was passed off as a PM machine, where we are not dealing with a straight-talking inventor)

Sure, Magic Wheels (ie, devices using magnets to extend the momentum of a light wheel) have existed since the middle ages.

Just a quick aside. I’m not good at this type of thing as I don’t understand a lot of science. You say the that you can get ‘finite’ work from magnets but it will destroy them. How could a magnet be destroyed? I’ve had magnets as a kid and they never went dead, they would always work even after being stuck together for several years. What is the explanation, in layman’s terms, please.

Many atoms behaves like a little magnet. Classically magnets wizzing around the nucleus make a magnet. When you assemble these atomic magnets into a large object the individual magnets all point is different directions and the magnetic fields all cancel out. Some materials (and especially some metals) can from large scale assemblies where the atomic magnets line up, and the large scale assembly behaves like a magnet. Metals like iron form tiny crystals within which many of the atoms are lined up - and so the tiny crystal (a domain) is magnetic. Usually these domains are still all pointing in mixed up directions, but if you apply an external magnetic field you can force them to physically align with the field. Some metals will retain some of the alignment after the external field is removed.

It takes energy to turn the domains. Imagine you have two permanent bar magnets. They will try to stick together so that the hold together N-S and S-N at each end. Externally there isn’t a big magnetic field as the two magnets are mostly cancelling each other out except when you get very close to the pair. However if you grab one of the magnets and twist it around so that the two magnets are both pointing the same direction, and glue the two together, you will have a much more powerful external field, as the two magnets are now working together. But it took energy to twist the magnet around. That energy is locked up in the glued together pair. If you did something nasty to the glued pair that allowed the magnets to twist back to their preferred position this energy would be released, and the big external magnetic field would be lost. Nasty things might include mechanical shock that breaks the glue bond.

Real magnets are the same. It takes energy to push the domains around, and the domains will revert to an unordered mix of directions if you provide a way of letting them slip. Mechanical shock and heat are both good ways. Also a reverse magnetic field of sufficient power will also do it. In a typical magnet the energy that was locked up is going to be dissipated as heat as the domains slide about. But in principle, you might set up a system whereby some of the energy in the magnet could be extracted by some other means. A collapsing magnetic field will induce current into a wire for instance.