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Could this idea work as a magnetic engine so it would seem like perpetual motion?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/19/2012 Category: Science
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,037 times Debate No: 25705
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
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I know perpetual motion is almost definitely impossible so I dont need the laws of thermodynamics fired at me. I would just like someone who has some experience in the field to explain if this idea would work and if not why.

The idea is to have a metal ball fall from the top of a curved ramp, When it hits the bottom a succession of magnets each getting stronger than the last pull the ball around the ramp and a final magnet pulls the ball over the fall again, because the ball is to heavy for the magnet to hold indefinitely the ball then makes its fall again.

I would prefer an answer made as easy to understand as possible, not because im stupid but because I have a very short attention span. I do not wish to force you to dumb down your argument so if you need to be as complicated and scientific as you like.


I thank my opponent for this debate. I will attempt to debate why this will not work.
First i wanna say that i beleive perpetual motion cannot be obtained because that would involve the magents generating more energy than used. You stated ", because the ball is to heavy for the magnet to hold indefinitely the ball then makes its fall again."

if the ball is to heavy when it goes around and each magnet increases in power than if the last magnet is not strong enough and is the strongest magnent then what about the weaker magnets? How did the weaker magnets pull the ball. Sure each one is stronger but if the ball was to heavy in the first place how would the weaker magnets pull the ball along.

Can you please go into more detail maybe a picture? or How big the ball is and more in depth how it works. I need to know what the ramp looks like sorta in a way. Id appreciate it and then i could go into more depth :)
Debate Round No. 1


Firsly the ball travels up a ramp do the magnets can pull it but even the strongest cannot hold it from graverty above a fall.

I do not know how to show a picture but I drew one up and I will go into greater detail until I can do it.

A ramp curved into a semi circle moves to the top of a sheer drop, magnets increasing in strength take the ball from the previous seeker magnet, I also would add steps that stop the ball rolling back to take work away from the magnets so each magnet pulls the ball into a stopping point and then the next takes over.


Ok so i drew this out. This all depends on the magnets your using.

You have not really been clear on the magnet thing. I am going to put it into steps

1. Last magnet is strongest and can not hold the ball up due to gravity.
2. Last magnet is basically holding the ball upside down.
3. Other magnets are weaker

Now if that strongest magnet can not hold the ball upside down, then even if you drop the ball with momentum it will fall on its way up as the magnets that are weaker will definitely not be able hold it if the strongest magnet can not hold the ball up.

You could say "i am rolling the ball and the momentum will carry it or help carry it to the top". There are two things wrong with that.

1. If you are rolling it then their can not be that same perpetual motion because you would have to roll it each time.
2. Also if you roll it the ball will not have the same momentum if the magnet does somehow send it in a perpetual motion

Now if its a permanent magnet then eventually the ability to hold will wear off.
If its other magnets then it would be difficult for it to go all the way up.

The questions i have are:

How can the ball get up their if the last magnet is not strong enough?

How does the ball get the same momentum if its only a semi circle?

Are you rolling the ball?

If your using something to send the ball back up the magnets again how are you maintaining the same momentum?

If magnets are strong enough to lift the ball to a height, why would these magnets not keep the ball up? Even if the last magnet would be stronger than the strongest "lifting"magnet, then the ball would not be released from that magnet for sure.
Debate Round No. 2


Goldenpersuader forfeited this round.


Arguments extended
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by phantom 4 years ago
I thought of the same thing when I was like 11. I know it must be flawed somehow but I can't think of a clear reason at the moment.
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