Why does this perpetual motion machine not work?
Edit: thanks for all your answers, though here are some remarks:
– I know this machine will not work, I just want to know why exactly
– I know there’s a lot of friction involved, but it’s not the reason why this won’t work in theory. I want to know what counteracts the seemingly “generated” energy that comes from the buoyancy of the balls.
[Answer](https://reddit.com/r/explainlikeimfive/comments/ku4hzo/_/gipxdid/?context=1) by /u/RhynoD:
Buoyancy works because there is more water pressure under the thing than above the thing. When the ball is underwater the water is pushing in from all directions. Gravity is pulling down on the water all around the ball, which puts pressure on the ball. Since water is more dense, there’s more force pulling the water down so it wants to fill the space the ball is occupying, which forces the ball up.
When the ball is below the water but not under water, the water is still squeezing down on all parts of the ball touching the water. Except the ball isn’t entirely underwater. There’s no water pushing on the bottom of the ball, just air. And since air is a lot less dense than the water, gravity isn’t pulling it as hard and it won’t push as hard – which is exactly why liquid water doesn’t float on air, and why stuff full of air does float on water.
That means as long as the ball is more than halfway out of the water on the bottom, the full weight of the water is pushing only on the top of the ball, pushing it down. Essentially, the ball is still “floating”, it’s just floating upside down. Which, by the way, is totally a thing that happens.
The amount of force generated by buoyancy depends on how much water is over the object (it does not matter how much water there is around it, only how deep it is). By definition, the ball coming in from the bottom is deeper than it will ever be once it’s fully immersed – therefore, it must take more force to put it into the water than you can possibly get out of it. And that doesn’t include the force required to also lift and move through the seal.