"Thou speculators on permanent motion, how many useless drawings in this search have thou created! Go together with the gold seekers"
In Leonardo’s time, there was a very heated
debate about the possibility of the realization
of perpetual motion. This study shows the proof
of the impossibility of producing an apparatus
that will move without ever stopping.
The model is constituted of a rotating disk
upon both sides of which are mounted six halfwheels with steel spheres inside, able to fall in alternation through the force of gravity. When
the disk is made to rotate, the spheres tend
to fall by the force of gravity, but owing to the
friction and other forces to which it is submitted,
the disk quickly stops in a position of balance.
The model is based on the drawing:
- Codex Forster II f. 91 r. (1487-1490)
London, Victoria & Albert Museum