I would like to know if a system like the one below will possibly work.

I understand that the laws of physics forbid the "creation" of energy but despite my efforts I haven't been able to figure out why this system will not work, although it has some small problems with exactness.

Please explain to me the various reasons a device like this wouldn't work.

The Device:

Three discs are rotating in zero gravity, outside of the Earth's magnetic field. Each disc has on its edge one magnet. Two discs have permanent magnets and the other possesses an electromagnet.

These three discs are rotating in a clockwise direction but are otherwise stationary. They are also placed around bars that tether permeable materials together which also rotate but in an anti-clockwise direction, as the discs rotate and "connect/attract" these materials.

Z = Disc with weakest permanent magnet, the first magnet to interact

Y = Disc with the stronger permanent magnet, the second magnet to interact

X = Disc with the strongest magnet also an electromagnet

enter image description here

One could "harvest" the energy between them but before their rotational paths (maintained perpetually as potential energy in zero-gravity) force them to part another stronger disc/magnet would drag the permeable material out of the weaker magnet's effective range.

enter image description here

Finally it would come time for the electromagnet to interact, dragging the permeable material from the now weaker magnet allowing it to maintain its rotations without slowing down. The energy between the permeable material and the magnet/electromagnet would be "harvested". Before their rotational paths would force them apart the electromagnet would turn off and the cycle would start over.

enter image description here

I should mention that all pieces are rotating at the same speed and can be made to have the same angular rotation if necessary. More discs can be used without causing problems. Each disc is at a different height to prevent any interruptions.

If each magnet is twice as powerful as the other then technically couldn't one potentially "harvest" 75% of the amount of energy expended by the electromagnet from the permanent magnets alone and in turn "harvest", for example, 50% of the energy from the electromagnet, essentially using permanent magnets to cover our losses and then some while the electromagnet would be used as a sort of control switch?

I'd appreciate any answers.

  • $\begingroup$ One of my friends tried making a similar machine(perpetual motion of second kind), but that failed after many experiment that we tried with different kind of manets. $\endgroup$
    – ABcDexter
    Commented Jul 24, 2016 at 17:38
  • $\begingroup$ OK it won't work, could we agree on that, as the start of your post says will it possibly work, followed by why won't it work?. Apart from the issue of powering the electromagnetic disc, how much energy will it take to get a system that provides a decent amount of power, into space? $\endgroup$
    – user108787
    Commented Jul 24, 2016 at 18:33
  • $\begingroup$ First off the discs aren't the magnets (In the picture they're the little gold lips on the discs) secondly it doesn't really matter if it's in space, if it creates real perpetual energy not potential energy it could depending on it's configuration/ size create huge amounts of energy, getting it into space is a one off cost but once running it could potentially keep running for centuries but it's probably impossible but I just want a definitive answer why it wont work $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 24, 2016 at 18:44
  • $\begingroup$ The answer is always the same: energy conservation. $\endgroup$
    – CuriousOne
    Commented Jul 24, 2016 at 20:11
  • $\begingroup$ Can you point out exactly where energy conservation is a problem, I'm sure you're right however I can see that if the the device works energy conservation can be overcome (That may sound ridiculous) can you point out specifically where energy conservation would be a problem, the discs potential energy should be conserved if I haven't forgotten to account for something ( which is likely I grant you) I've seen the devices typically posted and I can easily identify the energy conservation problems with them but I'm struggling with my design. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 24, 2016 at 22:01

1 Answer 1


You understand that mechanical devices such as levers, gears, springs and pulleys all conserve energy. Do you think that some elaborate combination of such devices can violate conservation of energy? The same applies if magnets are included - we know that interactions between magnets conserve energy, so any combination of mechanical devices and magnets also does.

  • $\begingroup$ I agree but the variables in this device are different then usual, for instance the discs aren't getting faster they're just maintaining their potential energy due to zero gravity, the permanent magnets essentially work like electromagnets if they're potential energy is maintained ( Not increased) I'd prefer if you'd refer to the device instead of generally denouncing perpetual motion $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 25, 2016 at 10:32

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