THE PERPETUAL MOTION PROBLEM. To the Editor of the Scientific American: Regarding A Perpetual Motion Machine Problem," in your edition of the 17th ultimo, I would say the reason the machine will not operate is that, although the buoyancy of the vessels on the left side may be greater than that of those on the , Tight, there will always be more of the weights acting downward on the left side, no matter how many the total number of vessels may be on the machine, provided they are spaced evenly. This is due to the fact that the vessels become longer on the left side. Turning around the pulleys the Weights will be further from the center on the left than on the right side, which will overcome whatever greater buoyancy the vessels may have on that side. H. F. ChambERLAIN. Warwick, N. Y. To the Editor of the SCIENTIFIC American: Regarding the perpetual motion machine described and illustrated on page 214 of the September 17th number of your paper, lest the inventor be working under a misapprehension, I want to say that if he takes a vessel filled with air and submerges it in any liquid, there will be no lifting force exerted on the vessel by the air. The liquid presses on all sides, the top, and the bottom of the vessel. The pressure on the sides is equal, so there is no tendency to motion in a horizontal plane; but as the pressure increases with depth, the pressure on the bottom is greater than that on the top, and the difference between these two pressures is the value of the force tending to lift the vessel. If the inventor submerges a vessel with a liquid- tight, flexible cone for a bottom, the pressure on this bottom will extend it inward and upward. If he puts, a weight in the vessel great enough to extend the cone downward, it must be great enough to overcome the upward pressure of the liquid; consequently, neglecting the weight of the vessel and the infinitesimal weight of the contained air, the only force having any effect on the vessel will be the downward pressure of the liquid on top. The vessel should go down rather than up, as the inventor hoped. If he applies this theory to all the vessels on his machine, he will find it is very nicely balanced, and the surprise would come if it did work.ELMER D. tutm. Mattituck, N. Y. To the Editor of the Scientific american: I believe that I have found the fallacy in the perpetual motion machine described in last weeks issue of your paper.. It is as follows: Although the four canisters on the left side of the belt are more buoyant than those on the right, their energy is canceled by the backward pull of both top and bottom canisters, as they do not change from their relative positions until several degrees past the turning point. Should they change from the collapsed to the distended position on reaching the horizontal, perpetual motion would indeed be solved, but this seems to be the trick yet to be done.Winthrop H. Morton. Hartford, Conn. To the Editor of the Scientific American: The Horton chain of buckets would not turn because the excess air on the left-hand side would exactly balance the excess fall lift as each bucket left the top , and bottom. In other words, when the ball falls out at the bottom and in at the top, just that much work is lost by the drop from the top and added to the lift at the bottom as the machine turns from left to right.Joseph E. BissELL. Pittsburg, Pa. To the Editor of the Scientific AMERICAN: I note with interest the problem in perpetual motion presented on page 214 of the Scientific American, issue of September 17th,. and I desire to offer the following as the apparent reason why the device will not operate: From an inspection of the illustration, it would appear at the first blush that there would be a tendency to motion in the direction of the arrow, due to the difference in buoyancy between the vessels on the left-hand side and those on the right-hand side. There is, as a matter of fact, such a tendency, but this tendency is Overcome by a constant pressure, the source of which I will proceed to explain. Let us assume that one of the vessels is so placed on the periphery of the lower disk that its flexible cover is about to pass from its collapsed to its distended state, and at the same time let us suppose that one of the vessels is so positioned on the upper disk that it is about to pass from its distended to its collapsed state. Now the total pressure on the surface of the collapsed lower cover is equal to the head of water on the center of gravity of that surface times the area of that surface projected OIL a plane surface at right Scientific American angles to the axis of the first-mentioned surface times the weight of one cubic unit of water. The difference in the pressures on the surfaces of the covers of the upper and lower vessels will be equal to the weight of a column of water whose height is the difference in head on the centers of gravity of the two covers and whose cross section is equal to the projected area of one of the surfaces. This difference in pressures then would always resist the tendency of the cover of each vessel to pass from its collapsed to its distended state as it passed around the lower disk, and this pressure would counteract and overcome any tendency to motion due to the difference in buoyancy, even if the vessels were increased to an infinite number. Washington, D. C.J. H. WATERS. To the Editor of the Scientific AMERICAN: I submit the following explanation of the fallacy in the perpetual motion machine shown in your issue of September 17th, 1910. When the floaters move in the direction given by the arrow the ball will, if sufficiently heavy, hang down when going up and fall into the floattlr when going down, irrespective of the air pressure in the floaters or the hydraulic pressure upon their outside. Floater will have a larger displacement than the floater F2; the difference in displacement is represented by the weight g of a water cone, which can assume as resting on F2; g and F2 taken together will then have exactly the same shape as The excess weight g will tend to start a motion and will, if such takes place, perform the work g x h, when F2 sinks from its highest to its lowest position. When now the ball falls out, a quantity of water, the weight of which is again g, must be pushed out, and this requires work. At the same time the floater in the highest position will be filled in, and we could say that the quantity of water pushed out, which must escape somewhere, is raised through the height 11, and then filled in; but this process requires the work g X h. To express it more plainly: On each down-going floater is placed a load g, performing the work g X 11,; in order to keep the machine going we have to raise the loads again to the highest position, and thus exert the same amount of work g X II, which neutralizes the work g X II, going down. The actual neutralization takes place at top and bottom in the pushing out of the water from the floater at the bottom and in the flowing in the same amount of water at the top. New York, N. Y.SIMPLEX. The Current Supplement. The current Supplement, No. 1813, opens with a most interesting. article by the Paris correspondent of the SCIENTIFIC American on a new principle in the Leblanc Refrigerating Process. The new system is being used by the French navy in some of the new battleships in order to cool the ammunition in storage quarters.Aeroplane Accidents and Their Lesson is the title of an -article in which wholesome advice is given on the proper construction of flying machines, and some sound criticism directed against the modern monoplane.Lieut Johannes Engel writes on the Aerial Torpedo. The subject is particularly timely, because the Krupps are said to have acquired an option on the patents of the Swedish Colonel Unge for aerial torpedoes. The experiments which the flrm has carried on with these projectiles have reawakened interest in a weapon which possessed great military importance until tlie middle of the nineteenth century, namely, the rocket. The article considers the principle in detail.Mr. J. Stormonth writes instructively on Rope-Driving.The Physics of Diving is an interesting article on a queer profession.Mr. E.. D. Sewall writes on the Status of Process Inventions from the patent lawyers atandpolntMr. J. R. 255 Schauer contributes an instructive article on Some Beautiful Specimens of Marine Vegetation.The Metallic State is discussed by E. E. Fournier dAlbe. Recent Developments in Diesel Oil Engines are reviewed.The usual Engineering Notes, Electrical Notes, and Trade Notes and Formulre will be found in their customary places. Larsens Panage of the Whirlpool Rapids. Captain Klaus Larsen, with his boat, the Ferro, passed through the Whirlpool Rapids on September 18th. Larsen came out of the experience with an injured leg, and his boat much shaken, with eight inches of water in her hold. The boat entered the seething drift a little to the Canadian shore, with the velocity of an express train, rode up to the crest of the great wave opposite Whirlpool Outlook, shot into the air fully twenty feet, and came down with a smack that could be heard on the railroad bridge above the roar of the waters. The boat keeled over and Larsen was half covered in the spray. If it had not been for the 900 pounds of ballast which Larsen had wisely taken on board, the boat could not possibly have righted herself. As it was, she came up on an even keel very quickly, plunged into the next roller, keeled over, spun around and righted herself again. Three waves were then met stern first. The boat shot toward the Canadian shore and rammed her nose on the rock. There she hung, swaying and tumbling, with every likelihood of going to pieces. Larsen pulled her off by leaning well toward the stern and working the tiller to and fro. Sliding back into the water, the craft was caught in the current and carried over toward the Whirlpool with her engines still going. In that boiling maelstrom Larsen lost his bearings. He mistook the arm extending into the old St. Davids Ravine for the right course, and discovered only too late that he was running right Into the mouth of the maelstrom. Here his engine stopped, and Larsen found himself at the mercy not only of a mass of rushing, swirling water, but of debris and pounding logs. Fortunately, a cross current caught the boat and carried it free of the drift wood, swung her free of the pool and started her stern flrrt toward the lower stretch of the rapids. The remainder of the journey was safe enough. About a mile from Lewiston the boat drifted in toward the American shore and lodged on a shelf of rock. Here she was abandoned. Larsen swam ashore. Freed of his weight, the boat floated off the,rock and was picked up at Lewiston ten minutes after her abandonment. The Ferro is a boat 18 feet long, fitted with an 8 horse-power engine. Her beam is 5% feet. She is entirely decked over, with the exception of a small circular hole which serves as a cockpit. During his course down the rapids, Larsen tacked a canvas over the hole and fastened it around his waist so that no water could enter. Larsens Ferro is the second engine-propelled craft to navigate the Whirlpool Rapids successfully. The old Maid of the Mist. was sent through in 1864 to avoid conflscation. The International Convention for the purpose of regulating international aerial traffic has now proceeded so far in its work that at least fifteen of the quHstions which were assigned to it for consideration have been definitely answered. Most of the governments have agreed to distinguish two classes of airships, public and private, the first including airships in military or other governmental service. Private airships must first be inspected before they can receive a license. The convention has unanimously decided that the transportation of arms and explosives, photographic apparatus, and wireless telegraphic apparatus shall be forbidden, no doubt for military reasons. All airships must be able to signal audibly and visibly, in order to give warning of their approach. Germany has expressed a desire that definite landmarks should be provided for the aerial navigator. In landing, airship pilots are to avoid military fortifications and camps. The delegates will meet for their last conference in Paris. The port of Santa Marta is connected with Barran-.. uiila, on the river Magdalena, by means of the Santa Marta Railway to a point on the Ciinaga lagune, 23 miles from Santa Marta, and thence by river steamboat through inland waterways, a- distance of 61 miles, the water transit occupying about riine hours. According to a consular report, the excavation of a canal, which is being carried out by the Santa Marta Railway Company, and shortly to be opened to traffic,. will cut off seven miles of a difficult portion of the route and shorten the trip by nearly two hours. The appearance of Messrs. J. Armstrong Drexel and John B. Molssant at the International Aviation Tournament at Belmont Park, October 22nd to October 30th, is now certain. More than flfty per cent of the boxes have already been sold. The demand for parking space is just as great. 1910 scientific american, inc.
This article was originally published with the title "Correspondence" in SA Supplements 70, 1813supp, 255 (October 1910)