# Perpetual motion idea

Summary:
Is perpetual motion possible with a ball rolling down a spiral track or tube, gaining speed, and then ascending back up to the start of the spiral track. If so, does static electric energy develop if certain materials are used, and can this energy be harnessed?
Hi all,

Minimal math/physics background here, so bare with me. Imagine a smooth track or tube that tightly spirals downwards into smaller and smaller circles. Now imagine if a ball rolls down that spiral, gaining speed. At the bottom/end of the spiral the track/tube goes underneath the spiral and bends upwards ending back at the top. The ball then, with the momentum from the descent, would then be able to go up the ramp, reach the top and reenter the downward spiral, and continue this cycle perpetually. Is this possible? Correct?

I am interested, because if so we should be able to fill this structure with dozens/hundreds of balls, so there is just enough space between them so as to not impede their movement. Then, with all this perpetual motion, if using the right materials, a sort of static electricity (or other energy) could build and maybe be harnessed?

Possible? Or am I completely ignorant on some obvious principles of physics here.

thanks!
Joe

This wouldn't be possible with friction on the ramp surface, that's all I'm certain about.

Maybe this could be modeled with a frictionless surface however.

berkeman
Mentor
Summary:: Is perpetual motion possible with a ball rolling down a spiral track or tube, gaining speed, and then ascending back up to the start of the spiral track. If so, does static electric energy develop if certain materials are used, and can this energy be harnessed?

Hi all,

Minimal math/physics background here, so bare with me. Imagine a smooth track or tube that tightly spirals downwards into smaller and smaller circles. Now imagine if a ball rolls down that spiral, gaining speed. At the bottom/end of the spiral the track/tube goes underneath the spiral and bends upwards ending back at the top. The ball then, with the momentum from the descent, would then be able to go up the ramp, reach the top and reenter the downward spiral, and continue this cycle perpetually. Is this possible? Correct?

I am interested, because if so we should be able to fill this structure with dozens/hundreds of balls, so there is just enough space between them so as to not impede their movement. Then, with all this perpetual motion, if using the right materials, a sort of static electricity (or other energy) could build and maybe be harnessed?

Possible? Or am I completely ignorant on some obvious principles of physics here.

thanks!
Joe
Welcome to the PF, Joe.

We don't allow discussions about PMMs here. That is one of the Forbidden Topics listed in the PF Rules (see INFO at the top of the page). Follow the links in the quoted part of the rules below to read more about why PMMs are not possible. Thanks.

Pseudoscience, such as (but not limited to):
Perpetual motion and "free energy" discussions
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perpetual_motion
http://www.skepdic.com/freeenergy.html
http://www.skepdic.com/perpetual.html