One of the most common intelligence distracters available on the internet is the Free Energy video/article/design. There are literally hundreds of design available in all manner of media for some version of a perpetual motion machine. Some of the more clever purveyors of these miracle generators rely on hard to come by chemicals to unleash the might power generating abilities of their invention, making it impossible to test. And some slightly less clever but still just as tricky folks will use photo and video manipulation to convince the unsuspecting web travel. The laziest form of this dubious form of “entertainment” is the written design, it is however very insidious since the one thing all “free energy machines” have in common is that they always work better in theory before the hard math is done.
Most of these “devices” (I use quotes here because in a lot of cases the thing has never even been built) are simply some variation on the gravity generator. That is to say, they try to harness the “power of gravity” this seemingly all powerful and ubiquitous forces that chains us to our planet with such unrelenting zeal. The only problem is.. gravity isn’t that powerful. After all you beat gravity every time you stand up or jump in the air. Bird practically laugh at gravity, and we have our fair share of giggles whenever we get in a plane or fly a kite. In fact most forces in the universe are much more powerful than gravity; Electricity, Light, Magnetism (and yes I realize I am being a bit redundant, but I think that is is worth stating that the electromagnetic force beats gravity in two forms)Heat.
But! Even if it isn’t the strongest force out there, you might say, it is certainly one of the most abundant! This is true and by the one saving grace gravity generators might seem a worthwhile endeavor and in some respects it is. After all what is a water wheel if not simply a way of converting the force of the water falling down hill into usable energy. And its exactly this reasoning that makes these invention seem so credible. But the truth is that any device that supposedly uses gravity to move… anything really, must reconcile the fact that whatever is being pulled down on the one end must be pulled up on the other. Now in the case of the water wheel this fact is dealt with by the water cycle. all of those tons of water is lifted by up and deposited at the tops of mountains and hills by evaporation. But in the case of most of these scam generators simply try a counter weight and balance thing, but these tactics don’t actually result in a buildup of potential energy.
And, for the sake of argument, lets say you build a device that moves perpetually, or even near perpetually for that matter. a good example of this kind of device is something called Heron’s Fountain. This type of fountain is powered, once again, by gravity and anyone who has ever seen this little invention was naturally impressed. The basic idea behind this is that you are using the pressures that gravity creates when pulling down on water to create air pressure in a lower chamber that will in turn push the water up to the top of the system. Now in its written form and indeed even when looking at the fountain in person for a short time one can come under the mistaken conclusion that this system can continue generating a flow indefinitely. But if you take a few minutes to track the flow of water in this system you will realize that once the lower chamber is empty that’s the end of the show, since there is no new water coming into that lower chamber; air comes in and pushes the water out.
Most “perpetual” motion machines have a similar flaw, they rely on the impressive quality of something driving itself with no motor and glaze over the fact that the energy that does drive it was first built up by the user, when first setting it up.
The point is if a solution seems miraculous, take a moment, ask the right questions, and don’t take it at face value. And never spend any money on the thing before you know for a fact the it works. You wouldn’t buy a car before you knew it ran, so why would you spend you money on something like this without proof of functionality, and a shaking YouTube video is not proof. If you can’t get a look at the device itself in person than test the concept, read some peer reviewed articles on the subject. When in doubt ask the internet, search for the name of the contraption and the words “Scam” or “Hoax”, see what you get, and don’t stop at the first confirmation, get it verified by at least three different sources, and then maybe you have something worth investing in.
And that’s my take on free energy scams