Energy can not be created! (Someone cheating here?)

According to the law of conservation of energy, energy is never created nor destroyed. In other words all energy inserted into a system will be stored or converted into other forms of energy. If you watch this video this also seems to be the case. The potential energy of a tiny marble is released by dropping it and setting in operation of many subsequent actions inside an entire brewery. Or ……… is someone cheating here?

What we see is a “Rube Goldberg” machine. One small action (trigger) puts more subsequent actions into effect. Unfortunately, such a mechanism will rarely be frictionless. A part of all energy is converted into heat while encountering friction. Only a mechanism of enormous height difference will run without any additional  energy added from the outside.


To keep the device up and running, energy is added at several places. For instance by pre-stressed springs (spring energy) or objects placed up high intended to fall down (potential or gravitational energy). You will notice that this happens at multiple places in the machine to boost its energy level again. You often see where the ball was previously rolling at a low pace it is accelerated again after passing through such an energy storage point.

Even so, thumbs up for the clever and persistent people who have built this mechanism! Watching physics and science videos to enjoy for yourself or to show to your students. Fascinating – Inspiring – Understandable.




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