Da Vinci's Perpetual Wheel

Initializing live version
Download to Desktop

Requires a Wolfram Notebook System

Interact on desktop, mobile and cloud with the free Wolfram Player or other Wolfram Language products.

Da Vinci designed many perpetual wheels similar to the one shown that would run completely on their own. Da Vinci later realized that a wheel of this nature is physically impossible because of the loss of energy due to friction. Either way, this Demonstration helps to put one of his hypothetical sketches into motion to display what it might look like if the perpetual wheel were possible.

Contributed by: Timothy James Norman (June 2015)
Special thanks to the University of Illinois NetMath Program and the Mathematics Department at William Fremd High School, and especially to Mr. Grattoni.
Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA



Snapshot 1: shows the Demonstration in the starting position before movement

Snapshot 2: shows the Demonstration about a third rotated with the color function changed

Snapshot 3: shows the Demonstration almost completely rotated with the "color" value shown in snapshot 2


[1] Leonardo da Vinci's Inventions. "Perpetual Motion Machines." (May 21, 2015) http://www.leonardodavincisinventions.com/mechanical-inventions/leonardo-perpetual-motion-machine

[2] Wikipedia. "Perpetual Motion." (May 21, 2015) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perpetual_motion

Feedback (field required)
Email (field required) Name
Occupation Organization
Note: Your message & contact information may be shared with the author of any specific Demonstration for which you give feedback.