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free energy with magnetic shielding?

Posted on 2003-11-20
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Last Modified: 2008-03-10
say I have a device like this:


-- = frame
MM= a powerful earth magnet
**= magnetic shield
MT= a piece of metal thats free to move up and down.


State 1:

Metal is attracted towards the magnet
------------------------
MMMMMMMMMMMM
                               ***************
       /\
        |
MTMTMTMTMTMTMT
-------------------------

State 2:

As metal approaches the magnet, shield is inserted.

------------------------
MMMMMMMMMMMM
                 ***************
       /\
MTMTMTMTMTMTMT

-------------------------

State 3:

As metal almost reaches the magnet, shield blocks the magnet

------------------------
MMMMMMMMMMMM
***************
MTMTMTMTMTMTMT


-------------------------


State 4:

As metal is no longer being attracted up, it falls, generating more than enough energy to pull the shield back out.

------------------------
MMMMMMMMMMMM
***************<-->
            /\
             |
            \/
MTMTMTMTMTMTMT
-------------------------


Is this free energy or what?

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Question by:Voice
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LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:GwynforWeb
ID: 9792292
The energy gained by the metal plate comes from the magnetic field of the magnet. After the plate has risen the magnetic field is not as strong as it was before. Eventually the field comes zero and the energy to remagnetise the magnet will equal  that obtained from the rising and dropping the plate
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Expert Comment

by:GwynforWeb
ID: 9792395
there is an energy loss from the magnaetic field to the plate as well  as it will become magnetised itself
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Expert Comment

by:aburr
ID: 9793171
How are you going to insert the shield? I can conceive of a mechanical arragement where the rising plate pulls up on a rope which, through two pullys, inserts the shield. But consider that arrangement in slow motion. As the plate rises the shield enters the field between the magnet and the plate but as it enters the field it reduced the pull of the field on the plate. Eventually the pull of the magnet on the plate will be reduced to just enough to counteract gravity. At that point equilibrium has set in. The plate no longer rises or falls. The shield does not move. Nothing happens. (In particular you do not get any free energy.) Good try but the energy crunch continues.
-
Note to gwynforweb. The magnet can be a permanent magnet which will not need to be remagnetized. The total field never needs become zero. It just becomes zero (or at least reduced) at the plate. The plate need not develop any permanent magnetism.

The plate will become warm as it enters and leaves the magnetic field, thus turning some of the mechanical energy into heat. But in principle this energy loss can be considered negligible.
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Expert Comment

by:ahoydave
ID: 9794953
The energy and more is lost in forcing a magnetic material through the field to be a shield.
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Author Comment

by:Voice
ID: 9795831
aburr, if the energy created by the falling piece of metal is more than enough to move the magnetic shield in and out, a pully arrangement is not necessary. The pulling-in-and-out could be done by a seperate motor, running on the energy of the falling metal.


ahoydave, are you absolutely sure about that?
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Author Comment

by:Voice
ID: 9795851
ahoydave, and is it true even if half of  the insertion 'creates' energy? that is, the magnet will pull the shield toward it for the first half of the run; the energy loss is from extracting the shield.

all, hypothesize a really big, strong, magnet and a large piece of metal so that the distance between shield and metal is enough to overcome any unrelated cost (friction in the motor for instance) by virtue of the amount of energy being generated.
in other words, forget the small stuff and figure out if this system really makes a surplus of energy.

and if we decide it works in the name of decency, don't patent it before me please
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Author Comment

by:Voice
ID: 9795880
in a related question (125 points more for this one)

Hypothesize two wheeles of equal size. One is fixed, one is free to turn.The two wheels have fixed magnets and magnetic shields on them, with the magnetic poles and shields set such that 'coming', opposite poles are attracted to each other, but 'going', the magnetic fields are blocked. Will the free wheel just keep spinning?

ahoydave, remember that the energy cost of moving the shield in and out is pretty much fixed, while the energy gain can be made larger by increasing the size of the magnet and the metal.
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Author Comment

by:Voice
ID: 9795928
scratch that last, I realizes that increasing the magnet size increases the resistance against moving the shielding.

The question then, is one of physics
well, two I guess


Does the energy expended in moving the shield necessarily outweigh the energy gained by any piece of metal it can attract? why?

Will a magnet definately be demagnatized, and at a rate high enough to matter/ require replacement quickly enough to render digging up new rare-earth magnets not cost effective relitive to existing methods of creating energy?
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Author Comment

by:Voice
ID: 9795943
for those purists who will crucify me for saying 'create energy', substitute 'generating electricity'
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Accepted Solution

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grg99 earned 400 total points
ID: 9796977
Ok, your idea works just fine from a qualitative viewpoint.  MEtal can be raised by magnets, and metal seets do provide magnetic shielding of a sort.

Problem is, you also have to show that it works QUANTITATIVELY.

That is, you'd have to show the work you get from the rising plate is greater than the work needed to move the shield sideways.

Its probably not too hard to show that the work required is the same in both cases.

And there's a lot of energy lost, as you're moving a short-circuit thru a magnetic field, resulting in lots of electromagnetic induction and losses, as in effect the sheets are like shorted electrical generators, generating plenty of drag.

I can't do the math, but I'm willing to bet any amount of $$ the math would show it you don't get something for nothing here.

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LVL 17
ID: 9798555
I designed an engine many years ago that consisted of a wheel with magnets arranged around the rim with the same pole pointing outwards. At one side was a fixed magnet with the opposite pole pointing towards the magnets on the wheel and a magnetic shield between the magnet and the wheel, slightly to one side.
The principle of operation is that one of the magnets on the wheel is drawn towards the fixed magnet, as it reaches the magnet, it falls behind the shield and the attraction to the next magnet round  becomes stronger.
Even though I had solved the worlds energy problems, my parents refused to buy a load of magnets for me to build one.
My Dad said that it wouldn't work (something to do with perpetual motion) and there was no such thing as a magnetic shield.

Of course if you heat a lump of metal it ceases to become magnetic and if you are prepared to add a bit of energy to the system you can get things to move.

http://www.scitoys.com/scitoys/scitoys/magnets/magnets.html#curie_effect

or you can build a gun that works by magnets (but not a perpetual motion machine - it's explained quite well at the bottom of this link):

http://www.scitoys.com/scitoys/scitoys/magnets/gauss.html

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Expert Comment

by:ahoydave
ID: 9800039
The object you intend to move by the magnetic field will cause the shape of the field to change thus changing the force needed to move the shield. Such reshaping of magnetic fields is what creates constant voltage transformers, flux gates, and MHD generators. Perhaps some day it will give us controlled sustianable fusion.
I like ideas that seem to generate (or disintegrate) energy because they show how over-simplification can lead people astray. Einstein was given a compass when he was 9. His autistic obsession with the forces that controlled the needle followed him to the grave, and led to relativity. Perhaps you should ask yourself what is going on with my theory.
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Author Comment

by:Voice
ID: 9802026
can anyone state certainly and prove that the energy required to move the magnetic shield into and out of the magnetic field is greater than the energy given to the piece of metal thats moving up and down?
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Expert Comment

by:grg99
ID: 9802701
Well, let's put it this way.

Magnetic fields have been extensively studied for well over 150 years now.

The laws of thermodynamics have been under similar scrutiny.

What are the chances that you've thought of something that dozens of physicists havent already investigated to death, both theoretically and practically?



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Expert Comment

by:ahoydave
ID: 9804024
Proof implies that those demanding it are satisfied with the answer. I do not feel I can meet that criteria nor should I try. I cannot prove a negative and therefor such efforts would be foolish. I can say, with my own certainty, that the losses would outweigh the gains but someone clearly disagrees. Build your system to prove it does. There are other ideal that sound too good to be true. Here is an example:
Reverse osmosis is a technique that can filter even salt from water. All that is needed to force water through a reverse osmisis filter is a small pressure difference. An example is a home water purifier. Why not sink a pipe with a reverse osmosis filter into deep ocean water. The salt free water forced into the pipe is lighter than the surrounding salt water so it would come flowing out of pipe without any pumping and still leave a string pressure at the bottom to forces more water through. The depth you sink the filter will determine the pressure. The end result is free energy and your only waste is pure fresh drinkable water. I suspect the tree huggers in California would love this as they need both.
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by:grg99
ID: 9804679
>The salt free water forced into the pipe is lighter than the surrounding salt water so it would come flowing out of pipe without any pumping and still leave a string pressure at the bottom to forces more water through.

The only reason water flows thru the membrane is because you've pumped the water out of the tube (or similarly, pushed the tube full of air down into the water.   Both take a lot of energy.  

As the tube fills with desalinated water, the pressure differential drops as the tube fills up.  The tube will fill up until the difference in pressures equals the osmotic pressure.
No magic, no free energy, just basic biophysics, and again, well known for many decades if not centuries.

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Expert Comment

by:GwynforWeb
ID: 9806158
There is a piece of the puzzle missing here, the idea so far being that the cost of the barrier movement should balance the energy gained . What if the rising plates are started form differnt distances , the potential energy has changed but the barrier cost has not. (I can stop the rising plates at some set distance from the magnet so the velocity through the field does not effect the calculation)
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LVL 17
ID: 9809425
Additional to my wheel description:

The failure would occur as the first magnet begins to pass behind the shield.
At some point, the attraction between the first magnet (the one moving behind the shield) and the attraction of the second magnet would be equal and so the wheel will not continue to rotate.
Even if a shield existed that could prevent the flux from leaking around it, the first magnet would be gradually covered by the shield as the distance of the second magnet to the fixed magnet gradually reduces. There will be a point of rotation where the reverse pull of the first magnet will equal the forward pull of the second magnet and the wheel will just stop at this balance point.
Moving the shield forward against the fixed magnet will not stop this happening. All this would do is reduce the maximum pull of the first magnet to the fixed, the balance point would just be reached when the second magnet was further away.



About magnetic shields, from:

http://www.magnetic-shield.com/faq/faq.html

"What blocks magnetic fields?
There is no known material that blocks magnetic fields without itself being attracted to the magnetic force. Magnetic fields can only be redirected, not created or removed. To do this, high-permeability shielding alloys are used. The magnetic field lines are strongly attracted into the shielding material."

With the engine in the original question
The shield is attracted to the magnet, and it closer to the magnet than the moving iron as it is between the two. It will therefore take more force to remove the shield than was given to the moving iron on the upstroke by the magnet.

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Expert Comment

by:grg99
ID: 9810339
Magnetic fields drop off at something like the THIRD power of the distance, so the nearby shield is going to be much more attracted than the rising piece.

You can calculate the relevant amounts of work involved by assuming the shield is placed at various angles approaching perpendicular to the magnet.  Calculate the amount of work at 0 degrees, 45 degrees, 89.9 degrees, the amount of work should be totally  independent of the angle (otherwise we could extract energy  just from metal items rising at small relative angles).

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Author Comment

by:Voice
ID: 9817771
ahoydave,

this is provable or disprovable without building the system; I will not accept "I think this will happen" as valid.

gwynforweb,

yes, but you cannot put the magnet closer than the shield.

robind

125 points for disproving the wheel idea, and kudos for thinking of it before me.

grg99 and robind

but the shield can be much lighter than the main engine's hunk of metal, resulting in a difference or energy requirements that still leaves the possibility of energy captured from the magnet being generated into electricity a possibility, no?



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Author Comment

by:Voice
ID: 9817845
And I still can't see how both inserting and removing the shield presents a major cost of energy:


MMMMMMMMMM
                   <----**************** magnetic pull toward the magnet

MMMMMMMMMM
          <----*************** now only the left side of the magnet is significantly pulling; the right side is just pulling up

MMMMMMMMMM
*************now the shield is just being pulled up

During the 'in' stroke, the magnet is helping, not hindering; furthermore, with the exception of radiation and heat created by this action, the pull out equals the pull in.

am I wrong? how?
is the radiation and heat generated in itself enough to counter the inward pull of the magnet to a significant degree? I know it isn't countered completely, or it would be impossible to pick up any piece of metal with any magnet
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Author Comment

by:Voice
ID: 9818114
Can we put a wire on each side of the shield and get some of the energy back that way?
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LVL 17
ID: 9818305
You can get some energy back from your wires and by trapping and re-using any generated heat, but it's not going to work - there's a law somewhere.

Beyond my knowledge here, but surely it's not the physical weight (mass) of the shield that is in question here but the attraction of the magnet to the shield.

Even if the shield was as light as a butterfly's wing, if it is going to stop a magnet pulling on several tons of metal then this is the force that it (the shield) is being attracted to the magnet with - it must be to do it's job. Any less interference with the magnetic field means that some of that field is leaking through or around the shield and will still be pulling the moving part toward the magnet.
Once shielding is complete ie. no attraction between the magnet and the moving iron, then all this force must be re-directed by the shield. Therefore the shield is being attracted to the magnet by that several ton force.
Stick a candle under it and raise the shield temperature to the point where it is no longer attracted and the magnet will just pull on the moving iron again - this won't do it either.

Apparently it is theoretically possible to create a system that will run and generate it's own power, but as soon as you try to extract any energy from it it will slow down and stop.

Keep burning those fossil fuels  :7)

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Author Comment

by:Voice
ID: 9818308
How about this one; instead of a sliding shield, a shutter-type shield

@=counter-weight; pulls it's side of the shield down to counter the magnet's attraction to the closer side of the shield (the top)

State 1:

The magnet is down; the shutter is open


           @        @         @         @
           *          *          *          *
           *          *          *          *
           *          *          *          *
           *          *          *          *

State 2:

The magnet is almost at the top; the shutter starts to close

           @        @         @         @
             *          *          *          *
               *          *          *          *
                 *          *          *          *
                   *          *          *          *

State 3:

The magnet is at its highest point; the shutter closes completely to form a magnetic shield

@*****@*****@*****@*****

State 4:

The shield stays closed untill the magnet is at the bottom.

Does this fix our shield-energy-cost problem, if that problem exists?
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Expert Comment

by:ahoydave
ID: 9818408
No. The shutters will themselves be magnets simply because they are in a magnetic field and it will therefor take energy to open and/or close them the quench the external field. At best, you are creating a magnetic coupling for a mechanical system where some of the energy to manipulate a magnetic field is extracted by the object you are moving.
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Author Comment

by:Voice
ID: 9818421
robind

reguarding the candle statement (since I don't know enough to touch the mass/pull statement, but can someone help me out with that?)

For the candle thing, mass indeed matters; if what you say is true (but I can't figure out how de-magnitizing the shield will make it transparent) then less mass=less mass to heat; several tons of falling metal will generate more than enough heat to de-magnitize the shield (if I want to wait long enough for the shield to change temperatures)
water cooling?
use the hot water to generate more electricity?
magnetic shield material that magnatizes and de-magnitizes on a very small temperature variation?
maybe a low specific temperature for that shield?

to summerize so far, we have three shielding ideas; heat, shutter, and slide
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Author Comment

by:Voice
ID: 9818464
ahoydave, I didn't get that; If the shutters are counterweighted then the pull on the close side is negated.
 How are the shutters requiring energy to close?
How are they made magnets just by being in a field?
If they are magnets, how does that prove the energy required to close them outweighs the energy gain?
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Author Comment

by:Voice
ID: 9818524
And I still can't see how both inserting and removing the shield presents a major cost of energy:


MMMMMMMMMM
                   <----**************** magnetic pull toward the magnet

MMMMMMMMMM
          <----*************** now only the left side of the magnet is significantly pulling; the right side is just pulling up

MMMMMMMMMM
*************now the shield is just being pulled up

During the 'in' stroke, the magnet is helping, not hindering; furthermore, with the exception of radiation and heat created by this action, the pull out equals the pull in.

am I wrong? how?
is the radiation and heat generated in itself enough to counter the inward pull of the magnet to a significant degree? I know it isn't countered completely, or it would be impossible to pick up any piece of metal with any magnet
0
 
LVL 17
ID: 9818547
I'm still sceptical but I like the shutter.

How about combining shutter and slide:


 _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
 _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _  = open


 _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _  = closed

OK I can't draw in ascii, but the general idea is that the lower slats have moved over to cover the gaps in the upper slats and there isn't a great big gap between the upper and lower as illustrated, just enough for movement.

Only half the flux gets through the holes, but magnets are relatively cheap - you won't wear it out.

Ain't going to work though... (but if it does can I share the profits?)

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Expert Comment

by:ahoydave
ID: 9818701
If you take a group of paper clips and move a magnet near them, then they will attract each other thus acting as magnets themselves. This is because they reshape the magnetic field. This is exactly how your shutters will act. Once closed, it will take considerable energy to open them again. As for the filed, it will not flow between them but through them! Your external object will be attracted to the shutter doors making them hard to close when the object is near but they will easy to close and hard to open when the object is far. No matter how you configur your machine, the object you are trying to move and the "shields" you are using to manipulate the field with will interact with the field. It would be no different than manipulating a magnetic field with electrical currents to move an object as in an elecric motor.
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LVL 17
ID: 9819023
>de-magnitizing the shield will make it transparent

Because a shield works by re-directing the magnetic flux. Pulling the lines of force towards an easier to follow path through itself rather than through air or a vacuum.
This can only happen if the shield material is able to become magnetised - a piece of glass or plastic would have no effect.
Above a certain temperature (so I am led to believe from the link I posted earlier) most materials lose their ability to become magnetised. They would therefore not affect the lines of force which would then pass straight through - a 'transparent' shield, basically no shield at all.
 
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Author Comment

by:Voice
ID: 9821452
robind,

I may as well use half the magnet to lessen the cost of moving the shield, as only covering half the magnet.

So the heated shield idea is still possible.

ahoydave,

I now understand and agree that turning the shutters will shape the field.
With the shield closed, the shield will attract the metal, but not nearly as strongly as the magnet would (am I wrong? why?)

But how will the distance of the object influence the difficulty of opening or closing the shutters?

I'm asking for proof that that reshaping the field for all designs considered here will necessarily take more energy than can be gained from the falling metal.

all, you:ve all devoted much time and effort so far. I declare an increase in points for that reason, and to interest more experts.

all, in the end, what I'm looking for is clear mechanical or mathmatical proof that this won't work. Mechanical if possible please.. complex equasions make my head hurt and I'm likely to make you give me an education in calculous or something before I accept mathmatical proof..
0
 
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Expert Comment

by:ahoydave
ID: 9821927
You are dealing with very complex math in 3 dimensional space. (possibly many more dimensions) The object being close becomes a conductor for the lines of flux and, with shutters open, effectively extends the field and concentrates it in the space between. The shutters act as conductors for that field aligned N to S making the attraction quite strong. Closing them is more difficult. When the object is far away, the field stays close to the shutters, with flux lines turning around near the end of them. If the shutters are closed, the lines of flux concentrate in the shutters again N to S making them hard to open. Since the math is dependant on the exact geometries and magnetic characteristics of the pieces, a proof could only cover that one design. Change the design and another proof would be needed. Since there are an infinite number of  designs, there is no absolute proof possible. That is the nature of proving a negative. It was Einstein's autistic obsession with the magnetic attractions effecting the compass he was given as a boy that led him the the special theory of relativity and the general theory of relativity but he never solved the whole issue. Nor has anyone else. So how much math would satisfy you? The best I can hope for is a visualization of how the flux lines are affected by the objects in them.
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Author Comment

by:Voice
ID: 9822556
I understand and agree that the lines of attraction would be reshaped. Are you saying that the amount of energy required to move the shutters in the shutter design is so close to the amount of energy available from our shutter design's engine that it's impossible to prove it unworkable?

 in other words, is it unprovable whether the energy loss from making a magnetic shield(heated shield design), placing a magnetic shield (sliding shield design and shutter design) must be higher than any energy available from the magnet?

I understand that getting exact numbers for all possible designs is impossible, but why not use some kind of greater-than, lesser-than equasion or mechanical proof (I mean describing the forces, not building it) to prove whether the _concept_ is impossible?

If you believe it impossible to prove or disprove, I shall still ask for other opinions.. a different approach may yield the answer.

Remember, it was once mathmaticaly proven that a rocket cannot escape earth's gravity well..
0
 

Author Comment

by:Voice
ID: 9822597
all, please avoid using generalities like "perpetual motion is impossible" "newton's law must stand", ect to avoid the issue.. I know most of you haven't, I'm just griping..
0
 
LVL 17
ID: 9823800
Increase the power and free the engine from the need for gravity!

Fix two magnets aligned with opposing poles pointing toward each other.
Insert a piece of soft iron between them.
As the iron moves towards magnet N, it becomes magnetised with it’s south pole nearest the N magnet and it’s north pole nearest the S magnet.
As the iron moves towards the first magnet it operates a delayed-action see-saw arrangement that will slide a shield between the iron and the closest magnet. The shield material is of low permeability so there is a slight delay before the shield becomes fully effective. The draw between the iron (still a magnet) and the other magnet becomes strong enough to move the iron back past the balance point and it now travels toward the other magnet, the same operation happens in reverse.
It should rattle pretty fast.

You know what will really happen though, don’t you.

0
 
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Expert Comment

by:BigRat
ID: 9824632
"Remember, it was once mathmaticaly proven that a rocket cannot escape earth's gravity well.. "

According to the (still valid) Newtonian Gravitation Theory, the gravitational attraction between two bodies is proportional to their masses and inversly proportional to the square of the distance between them.

So, irrespective of where the rocket may be in the universe, there will always be a gravitational attraction due to the Earth on it, no matter how small.  The rocket cannot "escape" the Earth's gravity.

So your statement is a statement of fact and not one of admonition.
0
 
LVL 17
ID: 9825269
Improving and disproving my bi-magnetic engine.

Keep the two magnets fixed as previously stated.
The moving iron is now pivoted at one end (pivot below the magnets).
There are two shields constructed in the form of cups, fastened to the ends of the crossbar of a T shaped section of non-magnetic material. The lower end of the upright of the T is pivoted on the same axle as the moving iron and the cups arranged so that when the T is swung over one side to the extent of it’s travel, the shield cup on that side covers the magnet, but does not contact with it in any way (need to leave an air gap to prevent closure of a magnetic circuit). There is a slack connection between the moving iron upright and that of the shield T ( a pin on the iron upright fitting into a much wider slot in the shield upright) such that the shield is only moved once the iron has gained sufficient momentum to pull the shield over from one magnet to the other.

Start with the iron in the middle of it’s travel.
One magnet will gain an advantage and draw the iron toward it. The iron will become more strongly magnetised as it approaches the magnet. At a point, say, about halfway toward the magnet, the pin will contact with the end of the slot and the shield will be pulled over. The shield becomes more magnetised as it approaches the magnet. The iron gets to it’s rest point first and is now strongly magnetised and attracted to the magnet. The shield covers the magnet a short time later. Covering the magnet it almost completely short-circuits the magnet and being still magnetised remains attracted to it. As most of the flux is now travelling through the shield, the iron is free to be attracted by the other magnet. It will begin to swing over toward it. When the pin connects with the other side of the slot, the iron (being pulled by the second magnet) attempts to lift the shield from the first magnet. However the strength of attraction between the shield and the covered magnet is still much more than the attraction between the iron and the second magnet – the iron is not as close to the magnet as the shield is to the one it is covering. The apparatus will stop.
Possibly it could be designed with exact masses and shapes to allow the magnet to make a few, weakening swings, but it will reach an equilibrium and stop.
I believe that this principle will apply to any shape, design or operation of a shield that is pulled into position by an iron that is pulled by the magnet it is shielding.
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Expert Comment

by:ahoydave
ID: 9827358
The point is that I  connot prove a negative. I can be reasonably assure of something based on prior knowledge and in this case, it is very clear that it will not work. The argument becomes one of religion. You either believe or do not believe in something but there is no absolute certainty. Since the fields are describable in 3 dimensional space and the time dimension is involved, it is a four dimensional model. If that were not bad enough, there are an infinite number of configurations (models). The proof that absolutely all of them will not work is therefor infinite. So when do you want the answer? This is as close as I can get to a "proof" in terms of pure logic. I am satisfied with the physical laws and theories as I know them so I believe it will not work to the point that I will not ask for a piece of the royalty.
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Expert Comment

by:BigRat
ID: 9832160
"I can be reasonably assure of something based on prior knowledge and in this case, it is very clear that it will not work. The argument becomes one of religion. "

I admit there is a lot of hype and spec in many arguments, and there is also the problem of whether the invalid arguments are innocent or just made to be annoying. There is also the problem of the questioner insisting on arguing on his wonky facts.

In this case it is irrelevant of whether the downward and upward movements generate enough energy to sustain the action, because the horizontal movement - the acceleration of the mass on insertion and the acceleration of the mass on withdrawal - is work done which does NOT generate or consume potential energy. Furthermore no metal is perfect so there will be work done and heat generated in aligning up the magnetic crystals in the material.

As to the original question "Is this free energy or what?" the answer is "what".
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LVL 17
ID: 9832271
>work done which does NOT generate or consume potential energy

I know I'm on potentially dodgy ground here because it may sound like I'm disagreeing with BigRat (is that cowering enough?).

An actual case occurred some years ago. A collegue had brought a large permanent magnet (from a loud-speaker I think) to work and placed it on top of a filing cabinet. It was just about impossible to lift it straight off the cabinet, but sliding it sideways offered much less resistance. UNTIL it reached the edge of the cabinet and was just about to come free. My explanation is that sliding the magnet sideways near the middle of the large area of metal did not change the shape of the magnetic field by any appreciable amount and I was only fighting friction. When the magnet reached the edge of the cabinet, I was trying to break the magnetic circuit (seriously alter the lines of force) as the magnet was now moving away from the lump of metal that it was stuck to. Opening shutters, lifting cup-shaped bits or just sliding shields in and out will be breaking the magnetic circuit (There must be one for the shield to be able to divert the flux away from the moving iron).
Moving the shield where there is no external effect may be easy, but as soon as the shield is being moved away from the magnet, there will be as much resistance as the work that the shield is doing.

Fully in agreement with BigRat in that the answer is "what".
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Author Comment

by:Voice
ID: 9834878
I agree that there is resistance to moving the shield; furthermore I agree that any energy gained may have been already spent to line up the crystals on the magnet. But this is not a religious arguement.

again I will say the question of whether the machine will work can be proved or disproved, not merely answered.

Using a powerful earth-magnet in this design;
1: will the magnet truely never 'wear out'
2: will the piece of metal keep moving up and down as long as parts are replaced as needed?
3: besides just the energy used to move the metal up and down, can some sort of piston attachment generate electricity from the moving metal as long as it's moving up and down.

With the metal hitting the frame, the magnet's up-and-down energy will simply be absorbed by the frame, or even a spring to help the magnet on it's way back up; the engine need not supply the energy to stop the magnet, just start it again; yes I know if it were to work it would violate your precious law.

RobinD, your machine is flawed in the same way mine would be if I attached a pulley arangement to do the shield-moving; eventually equilibrium will be reached. With my machine there remains a possibility of the machine always working as long  as the falling metal can generate enough electricity to move the shield in and out.

Proof for just one reasonable design (no deliberate changing of it to make it harder to work) in both categories- heated shield and sliding shield, will suffice.
Assume the most powerful type of magnet that could reasonably be gotten in necessary quantities without making it ourselves; the metal that is most attracted to a magnet (or are they all the same?) For the sliding shield, assume a reasonably efficient motor is doing the shield-sliding work. For the heated-shield design, assume the most probable heat-dispersal time for just a hunk of metal with energy being pushed through it to make it hot; keep the metal between just hot enough to be magneticly transparent and just cold enough to become a shield. Assume the shield is insulated with a magneticly transparent insulation to keep it at just the right temperature range without losing too much energy. Use the best metal you can think of in a few minutes for both shields.

don't get me wrong; I will accept either answer, yay or nay, you just have to prove it.
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Author Comment

by:Voice
ID: 9834891
RobinD, I will accept your last as an answer if you can prove that moving a shield in a magnetic field takes as much or more work as any work the magnetic field could do beyond the shield.
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LVL 17
ID: 9836355
>Prove…
 I thought I’d gone as far as I could with that so there may be some repeats in here

Ain’t proof, just an inspired guess with a few assumptions:
1. For a shield to work it must be able to be magnetised.
2. For a shield to be effective, it must be able to divert all the magnetic lines of force away from whatever it is shielding.
3. Magnetic substances become magnets themselves when approaching a magnet, with opposing poles facing the magnet, hence the attraction.
4. Substances become more strongly magnetised (up to a limit depending on the substance) the closer they are to a magnet.

Try a lifting magnetic engine:
Upstroke:
The moving iron is lifted toward the magnet, it becomes more and more magnetised as it moves upwards.
At a certain distance from the magnet, some mechanism driven by the lifted iron, slides a shield in between the iron and the magnet.
This shield material will become magnetised under the influence of both the permanent magnet and the magnetised iron. When the shield is fully inserted, it must, by the design of it’s shape, divert the permanent magnet’s flux away from the iron, probably by having part of the shield nearer to the ‘spare’ pole of the permanent magnet.
This arrangement is necessary as a similar effect is occurring between the iron (still magnetised) and the shield.
Therefore the attraction between the shield and the permanent magnet becomes stronger than the attraction between the permanent magnet and the iron.

Downstroke:
With most of the flux path now travelling through the shield and back to the permanent magnet, the iron becomes less magnetised, and as it is no longer strongly attracted to the magnet it will begin to drop (under gravity). It will fall until the linkage that removes the shield from the magnet tries to operate.
The forces now operating are:
Gravity on the falling iron, just so much as was overcome by the permanent magnet's attraction on the upstroke.
A magnetic loop between the shield and the permanent magnet, holding the shield in place.
But, I have already shown that the shield attraction to the magnet must be stronger than the magnets attraction to the iron (that’s how the shield released the iron), so the mechanism will stop.

Heating the shield at this point will demagnetise the shield, it will cease to have any affect and so the iron (only half way down it’s travel) will be drawn back up again.
The addition of heat in a correctly controlled way could cause the engine to operate, but then it’s no longer free energy – you are putting some into the system.

Shame, it would be more fun to prove that it works…
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by:ahoydave
ID: 9842655
With the numbers, you are using your intuition (read belief) that on balance, it is a net energy loss. To produce numbers for all the configurations, which is necessary to prove such an engine will not work, you will need all the possible configurations. Since that is infinite, no such proof is possible. That is the basic principal that you cannot prove a negative. However, you can have a reasonable assurance that it won't work from trusted prior knowledge. You may not like the idea that such beliefs border on "religion". Extensive efforts to prove a negative must have some motive in belief. It would be satisfying to prove a positive. It only take one model that works.
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by:ahoydave
ID: 9842662
Excuse me, cold fingers, read "without the numbers"
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LVL 17
ID: 9849115
bit of a highlight on a couple of elements of my previous:

The iron is drawn upwards against gravity by the magnet.
Therefore the magnet - iron attraction must start with enough to overcome gravity and then the attraction will increase as the iron rises.
If released from the magnetic pull, it is only gravity that can pull the iron back to it's rest position.
At the top of the stroke the shield therefore must divert (and be attracted to the magnet by) a force greater than required to begin to lift the iron against gravity. A free-falling iron is only being pulled down by gravity and this is not enough to overcome the shield - magnet attraction.
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by:BigRat
ID: 9849880
There's no need to cower in front of the Rat. The point I was trying to make was that there is no potential energy generated which can be reused as kinetic energy with regards to the magnet and that the act of magnetism actually causes work done in crystal alignment which results in friction and which generates heat.

Ferromagnetic materials are actually crystal materials where the magnetic orientation of the atoms in a crystal are all the same, the orientation of the crystals however is random. Such materials can be made into permannent magnets by aligning all (actually most but not all) of the crystals in one direction. Heating and cooling in the presence of a magnetic field, hitting with a hammer, are two ways of achieving this.

My point is that when a ferromagnetic material comes into a magnetic field the crystals will align themselves and in doing so rub against each other generating heat.  When the field disappears some, but not all, of the crystals will return to their original position rubbing against each other and generating more heat. Very slowly the unmagnetized material will become magnetized and the effort need to separate the two will increase.
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Expert Comment

by:alans41
ID: 9855587
Sorry to be a grouch but there's no such thing as a free lunch!
All this qualitative theorising is very well and good but there's nothing to beat a bit of experimentation.
It won't work, and the only way to prove me wrong is to prove me wrong with a repeatable experiment!
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LVL 17
ID: 9856949
BigRat,
>rub against each other generating heat

makes sense that it would but...

I'd never thought of that, heat on magnetising and more heat as the field collapses.
Where does this energy come from? Is it from the effort of moving the lump of iron in and out of the field?
So if I 'pick up' a piece of metal with my magnet, some of my effort goes into carrying the magnet and as it comes nearer the metal some extra effort is required as I will be generating a bit of warmth in the metal?
That doesn't sound quite right, it gets easier as I move the magnet nearer. Yes it's difficult to move it away, but if I continually stick bits of iron to a magnet it sounds like I could actually gain some free heat from it. I would be replacing the energy if I tried to pull the metal back off, but there does seem to be a gain initially. (If the metal cools as I pull it away, I've got even more energy to use)

Does my compass needle get warm as it points? - it could power it's own backlight
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by:BigRat
ID: 9857226
"Where does this energy come from?"

From the force which creates the field or from the force which moves the material into the field. The amount of work done is small compared to the forces required for movement, but my point is that this "work" is not converted into potential energy and consequently is a lossage.

"It won't work, and the only way to prove me wrong is to prove me wrong with a repeatable experiment!"

This is what I was afraid of. It happens too often in E-E.

First we cannot build and test your machine for you, that's just plain impracticable.

Secondly, since you seem to have no grasp of thermodynamics, magnetics nor material science, just where does one start?

Perpetual motion machines, or anything which is designated to cycle, clunk, whirr, rattle or whistle ad infinitum without any energy input, breaks the second law of thermodynamics which says you cannot have a change of state without a corresponding increase in entropy (except quantumly).  Even Stephen Hawkings had to accept that in relation to black holes.
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LVL 17
ID: 9868393
BigRat,
I accept what you're saying, that no useable potential energy is derived from temporarily magnetising a lump of metal - otherwise we would all be driving around in vehicles powered by my miraculous 'magnetic wheel' by now and I'd be richer than Bill Gates.

Still intruigued by the thought of all those little atoms grinding against each other :7)



>>"It won't work, and the only way to prove....
I think the point of the question was to find out if something would work, anyone can build a machine that doesn't.
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Expert Comment

by:alans41
ID: 9871843
>>"I think the point of the question was to find out if something would work, anyone can build a machine that doesn't."

If a proposal contradicts a fundamental law of physics ( the total energy of a closed system remains constant) then there's no point on further speculation why it won't work.
The laws of physics prevent it.

The true experimenter sets out to challenge these laws by building machines or observations that test the laws.
If they succeed, then the law has has to be modified - see Einstein's measurements of the orbit of Mercury to disprove Newton (in extreme cases) and support Relativity.

In the meantime any discussion about why a particular proposal won't work is unfruitful - you just can't prove a negative!

Prove that it does and you're on a winner(and a Nobel Prize!), but don't exert energy on the negative argument.
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by:aburr
ID: 10944439
The question has been answered in several ways
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LVL 17
ID: 10947035
>RobinD, I will accept your last as an answer if you can prove...

I did offer a proof in the following post - not confirmed by the asker though.


Suppose there's no chance of the other 125 I was promised ? :7)

>robind

>125 points for disproving the wheel idea, and kudos for thinking of it before me.
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