Its working principles were described a few years after the OPEC Crude Oil Embargo of 1973 as a solution to the global energy crisis, but does anyone know whatever happened to the Schadewald Gravity Engine?
By: Ringo Bones
The October 17, 1973 OPEC Crude Oil Embargo and its impact on the energy hungry West finally made everyone realize that we are not only addicted to crude oil – and still are until this very day – but are also very dependent on non-renewable energy sources. Given that the still ongoing global energy crisis and our desperate search for viable solutions had for sometime established some so-called “perpetual motion energy religious cult” for sometime now - as if devotees of the “Our Lady of Perpetual Motion” already has the free energy problem already worked out. Speaking of energy generating machines that relies on the principle of perpetual motion, does anyone still remember the Schadewald Gravity Engine of the late 1970s?
The late, great physicist Paul A. M. Dirac conjectured that the universal force of gravity slowly decreasing. If this is true, consider a wheel with one heavy weight at the top. As the weight rotates to the bottom, the wheel picks up kinetic energy, which transfers back to potential energy as the weight swings up the other side. Since gravity is decreasing, the value of g is less on the second part of the full revolution, it follows that there should be a net gain in kinetic energy, causing the wheel to speed up indefinitely with every revolution.
Science writer Robert Schadewald reported this breakthrough as his own in Science Digest back in April 1, 1978 – a time where the 1973 OPEC Crude Oil Embargo was still topically fresh in everyone’s minds. Schadewald even closed the article by quoting: “As of April 1, 1978, I yield my invention to the public domain, that it may solve the energy crisis and bring peace and prosperity to the world. I ask only my initials be inscribed on the wheel of every engine, so that my genius may get the sort of recognition it deserves. – Bob Schadewald.” Given that he surrendered his invention to the public domain, free energy devotees of the late 1970s became very euphoric after reading the article.
Despite such bold hints that the article was intended as an April Fools’ Joke, Schadewald was taken seriously, even by the scientific community at the time. Some people wrote him and asked for more information. Others sent drawings of their own machines that allegedly work on the same Dirac – based principle and one person even offered to buy the plans quite convinced in believing that the physics and mathematics behind the Schadewald Gravity Engine were valid. Given the hints of “credibility” of the physics and mathematics behind the device, whatever happened to the Schadewald Gravity Engine?