Perpetual motionist and physicists are like two poles of a magnet and they have been at war against each other. If physicist would spend a little time learning up perpetual motion, which is not really all that difficult, he can easily discover for himself who is right and who is wrong. So far as historical records mention, in the field of perpetual motion, Orffyreus is the keenest and also the most successful experimenter who attempted to have constructed 300 models before he finally obtained perpetual motion in his time to the shock of Isaac Newton and rest of the scientists. As alchemy is the precursor of chemistry, much of the science of mechanics, science of magnetism and science of hydrostatics has originated from the past attempts to construct different types of perpetual motion machine using diverse natural forces, we have Over-balancing wheel, magnetic perpetual motion machine, water based closed perpetual motion machine respectively invented by a number of perpetual motionists in the past. “…the problem of making a machine that would run for ever has probably absorbed more man-hours than the building of the Egyptian pyramids”, says A.K. Dewdney the author of the book “Beyond Reason. Eight great problems that reveal the limits of science”[i] Though efforts of the perpetual motionist have been ridiculed by ignorant scientist as waste of time and energy, he is still one of the most dedicated experimenters in the whole history of science. This point raises many interesting questions: Is perpetual motionist, an earnest experimenter a crackpot? Did any originator of thermodynamics really seriously attend to the problem of perpetual motion or did he ever try to invent a perpetual motion machine? In an attempt to answer these questions, I don’t want to be digressed much with perpetual motion here, instead all above questions; I would briefly answer with a single big “NO”. But, let us raise a more fundamental question. Did Einstein ever make any experiment? As far as I know Einstein had no real disposition of being an experimental scientist, mostly he raised his theories on the basis of “thought experiments”. He did not prefer to make any actual experiments because of his “lack of imagination and practical ability”[ii] instead he chose to mathematical abstraction. Einstein realized his practical limitations since very young age which is evident from one classroom essay Einstein wrote in French at the age of 16, explaining why he would like to study theoretical mathematics or physics. He wrote: “Above all it is my individual disposition for abstract and mathematical thought, my lack of imagination and practical talent. My inclinations have also led me to this resolve. That is quite natural; one always likes to do things for which one has talent. And then there is a certain independence in the scientific profession which greatly pleases me.”[iii]
Einstein’s knowledge and inclination of abstract thought in mathematics also heavily relied on his friend Marcel Grossmann and later on his wife Mileva, without help of them he could never pass the examinations and “seek out the paths that led to the depths.”[iv] After he graduated from the Aarau School and entered the Institute of Technology in Zurich, with help of his friend Marcel Grossmann, Einstein was able to recognize that physics was his right subject, only in which he could “seek out the paths that led to the (metaphysical) depths.” He also never hoped that he could be an outstanding student. Fortunately his friend Marcel Grossmann had all qualities of being a brilliant student that Einstein lacked. While Einstein used to drowse in the library or the laboratory, Grossmann took excellent notes at the mathematics lectures, and gladly shared with Einstein and explained him before examinations so that he could pass them. Einstein later confessed, “I would rather not speculate on what would have become of me without these notes.”[v]
“It is often said the experiments should be made without preconceived ideas. That is impossible. Not only would it make every experiment fruitless, but even if we wished to do so, it could not be done.”
Henri Poincaré; Science & Hypothesis[vi]
“The test of all knowledge is experiment” says Richard P. Feynman. However, according to Aristotle experiment is not the last stage in the verification of opinion, and the higher postulates of science must be ascertained directly for their truth by mind and not senses. Modern scientist treats experiment as last word in verification of an idea or hypothesis. Biologist John N. Moore has observed that “...at the core of scientific method or methods is experimental repeatability or reproducibility”[vii]
It is mainly the idea that governs our experiment and its set up. Experimenter has an intimate link with his experiment, and outcome of the experiment is predetermined by his actions. Scientists often wear blinkers. They only see what they expect to see. Scientist, before running his experiment has a mental set up consisting of assumptions, hypotheses, which guide his experiment. In fact, without the prior mental setup there can be no experiment. He cannot conduct an experiment without a previous thought; the result of his experiment can only help him to test certain assumptions which he holds. For example if we are interested in knowing how light behaves; as a particle or as a wave? That would depend on the person performing experiment. If the experiment is rigged up to study the wave like qualities, light manifest itself as a wave, and if the experiment is set up to prove its particles like nature, it will manifest itself as a particle. The result of experiment will therefore depend on the experimenter and how he wishes to perceive reality. This also applies to experiments set up to determine the nature of energy. Any one, who wishes to observe creative aspect of energy, therefore will require setting up experiment on perpetual motion.
Perpetual motion is a bright idea but it’s a tragedy that great men of science have tried to slay this beautiful idea by presenting us ugly facts, false arguments, insufficient evidence – everything arose by their misleading experiments. Unfortunately, they made many mistakes. The apparatus they designed for their experiments to see possibility of perpetual motion had no direct relationship to any true design of perpetual motion machine. It has been difficult to create a right design of gravitational perpetual motion machine as it requires great ingenuity and persistent effort from the inventor to obtain perpetual motion. To set an overbalancing wheel in perpetual motion, inventor has to skillfully try a combination of simple machines like inclined plane, levers, wheel and axle to see the effect of weights onto them so that moments of weights always exceed on half of the wheel. Only few scientists have made their observations on the system of weights design of that was far from the real design of an over-balancing wheel. What scientists did? It is obvious; they did nothing meaningful and serious to design a correct perpetual motion machine of this kind. Leonardo da Vinci, Newton and Huygens, thus, were in hurry to pronounce that perpetual motion was impossible.
In the section on history of law of conservation of energy, I have attempted to critically examine their experiments and bring to notice of readers their errors, which led them to conclude that perpetual motion was impossible. These studies include a vast array of misleading experiments i.e. study of inclined plane, pendulum, study of lever, study of properties of liquids, and studies on heat and its relationship with work etc by a large number of scientists that led to the foundations of mechanics, hydrostatics and thermodynamics respectively. In each case, we may question the range of situations in which the experiment was carried out. Each scientist determined that his experiment worked best in situations where he could isolate the phenomenon of interest, by eliminating or accounting for extraneous factors, and where he could repeatedly test the system under study after making limited, controlled changes in it.
We are familiar with Galileo’s discovery of laws of pendulum but it was an error to apply laws of pendulum to refute perpetual motion. It is true that pendulum operates on certain laws but it is not obligatory that those laws which govern the motion of pendulum must also govern the motion of a perpetual motion machine and motion of the Universe also as Galileo believed. After all the basic design of the vast Universe and perpetual motion machine is far different from what a simple pendulum is. And there is no valid connection between a pendulum and a perpetual motion machine. There is nothing common between them, of design or of similarities in movement of parts. Yet on the basis of the argument that perpetual motion cannot be possible because a pendulum does not take a height greater than the point where from it begins its fall, if anyone concludes so, he would be in a gross error. We must not be in hurry to extrapolate our results to apply to a different system that we cannot observe consistently and when we are not sure that we are on the right path. An extrapolation may seem logical but it is not necessarily true. So Galileo’s or Huygenes observations on the pendulum that it cannot rise higher above the point from where it was initially released does not reflect any thing directly on the possibility or impossibility of perpetual motion machine. Pendulum only represents a simple harmonic motion while various parts in perpetual motion machine demonstrate a combination of various types of other motions - rectilinear motion, rotary motion and oscillating motion. Oscillatory motion and its laws by which motion of a pendulum is governed only relate to few parts in machine and constitute a fraction of overall different motions of various parts in perpetual motion machine. Therefore, conclusion about possibility of perpetual motion machine based on study of a pendulum is false and misleading. Most people are ready to believe something that is based on experiment without knowing that many things could have gone wrong in an experiment and experiment itself might be a misleading experiment. It is unreasonable to extrapolate laws that applied to parts to the whole. Extrapolation based on a series of observations on the assumption that same trend continues might be wrong. There is always a risk in applying conclusions reached from experimentation in one situation to another situation. A scientist also tends to be a philosopher. Speculations employing the technique of science but extending far into unknown and unverifiable must be out of the realm of science. For example cosmologists in creating theories of beginning of Universe extrapolate scientific patterns of knowledge and thought without a body of confirming fact. It is a pleasant and perhaps profitable endeavor, but it is not science; similarly speculations concerning the beginning of life are interesting and may stimulate a biologist to create effort, but the speculations themselves are not science. Speculations play vital role in an advancement of science but speculation and other products of imagination as well as many other things that contribute to the growth of science are themselves not necessarily scientific. Einstein said: “No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.”
In Helmholtz life, what led him to his radical skepticism, to adopt his strange view of the impossibility of perpetual motion? What went wrong? Certainly ignorance—he evidently did not understand true claims in the history of perpetual motion. Helmholtz was a very good scientist, but of a sort I'd never dreamed possible. Helmholtz had no first hand experience of perpetual motion. He did not know about Orffyreus and his works. It is strange that one German did not know another man in his own country. His analysis of perpetual motion machines was very superficial. Then, how can we credit Helmholtz as scientist having made good observations to settle issue of perpetual motion? Limited and erroneous observations, led Helmholtz to a hasty generalization, creation of a law which badly hindered progress of perpetual motion. Ever since law of conservation of force was established by him, faith of people in perpetual motion began to shake. Like a Dr. Frog in a little well, he confined his attention to only those attempts at perpetual motion machine that were abortive. In his famous paper presented to the Berlin society we can easily see that he never mentions Orffyreus. It is quite strange to know how totally ignorant he was about his neighbor inventor Orffyreus who successfully invented and demonstrated his perpetual motion machine at the Castle of the Weissenstein before men of science and became famous throughout Europe. It appears that he intentionally didn’t mention Orffyreus for the fear that it would jeopardize his contention to disprove perpetual motion. It seems that Helmholtz had no right training in observation. He could have devoted more time to examine Orffyreus’ claim of gravitational perpetual motion machine that produced power continuously out of nothing. Orffyreus’ Perpetual motion machine, as we know now, was direct demonstration of the nature of energy or direct proof that energy can also be created from nothing. Like untrained thinkers, he jumped to conclusions on insufficient evidence. Can we forgive Helmholtz for his mistakes? To err is human; to forgive is divine. On this ground we can forgive mistakes of our great man.
Let us remember what Max Plank said in his Nobel Prize address:
“Looking back.... over the long labyrinthine path which finally lead to discovery (of quantum theory), I am vividly reminded of Goethe’s saying that men will always be making mistakes as long as they are striving after something.”
It is our common mistake to ignore or rule out data, which do not support the hypothesis. Ideally, the experimenter is open to the possibility that the hypothesis is correct or incorrect. Sometimes, however, a scientist may have a strong belief that the hypothesis is true (or false), or feels internal or external pressure to get a specific result. In that case, there may be a psychological tendency to find “something wrong”, such as systematic effects, with data which do not support the scientist's expectations, while data which do agree with those expectations may not be checked as carefully. The lesson is that all data must be handled in the same way.
Psychologists say that our mind is very much tricky and has inherent tendency to rationalize that is to justify by reason, an argument, a view which suits well to our self interest, instincts, prejudice and similar factors which we actually do not realize or admit even to ourselves. I wonder how the talents of scientists have deserted them so systematically when they turned to the study of motion and mechanics without conception of perpetual motion. Equally, when we know that their talents had deserted them, why to take their writings in physics so seriously.
Our laws continue to be used by us even if there are deviations not sufficiently great to affect and measurement and calculation. We tend to neglect deviations. Deviation is never given proper attention it deserves. If deviation is given more attention, it can lead to more fruitful results and better understanding of law also. In many cases, where we have deviations, we overlook these deviations and try to achieve uniformity through statistical average method. For example we consider acceleration due to gravitation to be 9.8 meter/second2. This is not everywhere. It's very is slightly on equator as compared to poles where it's value is less than 9.8 meters per second square. When we say that every atom of oxygen has an atomic weight 16, we have absolutely no valid ground for regarding this uniformity as well granted without looking deviation in indivisible atom. We don't have direct means to deal with individual atom and even if we had, we would need many lives to observe each individual case as number of atoms in a gram is of order of order 6.03X 1025 . Instead of dealing directly with individual masses we infer its properties from the behavior of sensible masses with which we can deal more directly. The oxygen atom might actually fluctuate in individual atomic weight about an average; yet, so long as we cannot deal them individually but only in bulk, these fluctuations, if only sufficiently small, would produce no appreciable effect on our results. And would therefore properly be treated in and science as non existence. Anthropology, psychology all other sciences predict human being behavior method of statistical average.
A.E.Taylor in his Elements of metaphysics has aptly remarked:
“We can readily see that a non human observer with senses incapable of perceiving the individual differences between one man and other might be led from the apparent uniformity of behavior exhibited by vast collection of human being to the same sort of conclusion which we are tempted to make about atoms. It is our common practice in laboratory that results are in actual practice obtained by taking mean of a long series of particular results and treating the minor divergence from their mean as non-existent because they are negligible for all practical purposes. Our laws rigidly conform to natural processes because individual cases remain insignificant to our interest or purpose. There is no guarantee for the conclusion that the course of any one individual process is absolutely uniform with that of any other. Our present day scientific construction overlooks individual details either because our means of observation are insufficient to detecting or because if detected, it is of no significance for the original object of our science - practical utility and interference with the course of events.”
We are not always ready to accept our errors so easily. A famous scientist once said, “Smart people (like smart lawyers) can come up with very good explanations for mistaken points of view.” Many mistakes in experiment arise from the failure to estimate quantitatively systematic errors (and all errors). There are many examples of discoveries which were missed by experimenters whose data contained a new phenomenon, but who explained it away as a systematic background. Conversely, like perpetual motion there are many examples of alleged “new discoveries” which later proved to be due to systematic errors not accounted for by the “discoverers.”
Science progresses by trial and error. It seems that making of mistakes by men is natural as it is often said to err is human. . But detecting errors and throwing out them is definitely rational. Errors once committed is not detected in time are often repeated. Error of alleged impossibility of perpetual motion is a persistent error, which has passed, unnoticed over hundred of years. Psychologists have found that once an error is made then there is a tendency in us to repeat it again and again. For example in checking a manuscript of the book, we may find a spelling error throughout the book, in adding up a column of figures; some error may be repeated again and again.
W.I.B. Beveridge explains the phenomena of persistent error in following words.
“When we ponder over a problem, each time our thoughts take a certain course, the more likely is that course to be followed next time. Associations form between the ideas in the chain of thoughts and become firmer each time they are used, until finally the connections are so well established that chain is very difficult to break. Thinking becomes conditioned just as condition reflexes are formed. We have enough data to arrive at a solution to the problem, but, once we have adopted an unprofitable line of thought, oftener we pursue it; the harder it is for us to adopt the profitable lines.
Errors in experiments have several sources. First, there is error intrinsic to instruments of measurement. Because this type of error has equal probability of producing a measurement higher or lower numerically than the “true” value, it is called random error. Second, there is non-random or systematic error, due to factors, which bias the result in one direction. No measurement, and therefore no experiment, can be perfectly precise. At the same time, in science we have standard ways of estimating and in some cases reducing errors. Thus, it is important to determine the accuracy of a particular measurement and, when stating quantitative results, to quote the measurement error. A measurement without a quoted error is meaningless. The comparison between experiment and theory is made within the context of experimental errors. Scientists must ascertain how many standard deviations results from the theoretical prediction? They must ensure that all sources of systematic and random errors been properly estimated.
As stated earlier, the scientific method attempts to minimize the influence of the scientist's bias on the outcome of an experiment. That is, when testing a hypothesis or a theory, the scientist may have a preference for one outcome or another, and it is important that this preference do not bias the results or their interpretation. The most fundamental error is to mistake the hypothesis for an explanation of a phenomenon, without performing experimental tests. Sometimes “common sense” and “logic” tempt us into believing that no test is needed. There are numerous examples of this, dating from the Greek philosophers to the present day.
In a field where there is active experimentation and open communication among members of the scientific community, the biases of individuals or groups may cancel out, because experimental tests are repeated by different scientists who may have different biases. In addition, different types of experimental setups have different sources of systematic errors. Over a period spanning a variety of experimental tests (usually at least several years), a consensus develops in the community as to which experimental results have stood the test of time.
Learning often creates conditioning of mind, which is a barrier in process of invention. Invention demands promoting original thoughts which are possible only when one is free from bias. Then what is the remedy? How one can free his mind without getting conditioned? There are many ways to get rid of conditioning: Critical thinking, skeptical attitude, temporary abandonment and discussion may provide investigator an opportunity to look the problem in a new light, and then new ideas arise. An easy thing to do is to temporarily abandon an experiment. Nicolee says: “ the longer you are in the presence of a difficulty, and less likely you are to solve it.” It is our common experience that when we forget something, no conscious efforts helps us to recall till we temporary abandon the problem. After sometime, memory automatically comes over the surface. Those who know art of writing an article understand better the beneficial effect of laying aside articles for few days so that on coming back to it, flaws are apparent that escaped the attention of the writer before.
We should not undermine the contributions of Vedic sages who had talents, to understand and manipulate natural forces to achieve a desired end. As far as basic nature of fundamental forces of nature is concerned; Vedas are surprising in its depth and sophistication. The systematic study of Vedas lead us to an anti thermodynamics. By anti thermodynamics, I mean that basic principles of nature as discovered in Vedas are in flagrant contradiction with laws of thermodynamics. The basic notions of energy and work in Vedas are at odd with those of classical thermodynamics, these one can easily discover provided that one watches the growth of ideas in Veda carefully. I have attempted to show that this principle of conservation of energy cannot be drawn from Vedic hymns since Vedic hymns presents a version of the reality based on perpetual motion, and more in general, an application of the principle of sufficient reason to creation. In conclusion, through hymns of Rg Veda, looking an at all different theory of thermodynamics was achieved in a great part.
In fact, Vedic theory presents axioms-principles, no “hypotheses” only. By adhering to both the principle of sufficient reason and experimental data (see volume entitles Design of Gravity Motor), I present a new theory of perpetual motion. Since theory is also directly based on experiment of perpetual motion, the classical conservation laws are at once violated. No doubt gravity motor has great heuristic value, it is unfortunate that scientist considered Orffyreus’ mechanics as a folly without any practical and “theoretical value”. Instead they studied phenomena of heat in which steam engine led them to false generalizations about the nature of Universe. When technology meets innovation, passion and religion, the creation is nothing sort of an impossible phenomenon at terrestrial level hitherto not conceived by scientist. Vedic hymns on perpetual motion effortlessly combine religion and technology. Perpetual motion is an unstoppable force that knows no boundaries of time. Vedas provides foundation for the perpetual motion technology. A blend of these ancient age technologies will always keep you ahead of the rest. To attain perfection, you need to evolve technology many times over. When technology supersedes itself, it creates a history.
[i] A.K. Dewdney, Beyond Reason. 8 great problems that reveal the limits of science ISBN: 978-0-471-01398-3 Publisher: Wiley
Quote from Math in Cosmos, Chapter I The Energy Drain, Impossible Machines
A. K. Dewdney, Ph.D (Ontario, Canada), was the author of Scientific American's "Computer Recreations" column for eight years. He has written several critically acclaimed popular math and science books, including A Mathematical Mystery Tour
[ii] In article “Relativity and Religion” Ashley Prevost states: “Einstein credits his interest in physics and mathematics to his “disposition for abstract and mathematical thought” and his “lack of imagination and practical ability” (qtd. in O’Connor and Robertson par. 4). His sister recognized his thoughtfulness when he was only a small child as he would often pause to think for awhile before he actually said anything (Bellis par. 2)”
[vi] Henri Poincaré; Science & Hypothesis; p143
published by The Foundations of Science, New York: Science Press,
http://www.archive.org/details/foundationsscie01poingoog; This book includes the English translations of Science and Hypothesis (1902), The Value of Science (1905), Science and Method (1908).
[vii] Moore, John N. (1973), The American Biology Teacher, pp. 23-26,34,.