Introduction: SMOT Magnetic Accelerator

Difficulty of realization 4/10

Step 1: How It Work

Picture of How It Work

In the theoretical SMOT design, a steel ball is pulled up a ramp by an array of permanent magnets. At the top of the ramp it falls, converting magnetic attraction into kinetic energy.

This is a revised version of the project SMOT (Simple Magnetic Overunity Toy)

Step 2: How It Make

Picture of How It Make

It's very easy to make, you need some magnets , some steel balls and a non magnetic ramp.

The only trick is to have the magnets properly with correct polarity as shown in the images above.

You can realize it with Geomag

If you like this experiment visit and subscribe to my youtube channel "Magnetic Games"


ExS (author)2016-02-22

You should try the same design but using a non-metallic ramp and magnet
supports. Metal of any type will have Eddy currents induced within
thereby wasting the stored energy for projectile acceleration.

Magnetic Games (author)ExS2016-02-23

The eddy current are formed between non-magnetic metal and a magnet, in this experiment the ball is not a magnet, it is a steel ball, then should not create eddy currents. Visit my youtube channel, there is some experiment on eddy currents

ExS (author)Magnetic Games2016-02-24

I understand your explanation but wonder if you are familiar with what happens during magnetic attraction between a magnet and an unmagnetized ferromagnetic material (the steel ball). Basically, there would be no attraction if the magnetic domains in the steel ball did not align with the magnetic field of the external magnets. In short, the unmagnetized steel ball becomes a magnet when it is in an external magnetic field. This same principle is how a current carrying coil of wire makes an electromagnet out of a non-magnetized ferrous core.

It the design you graciously shared there may be limited benefit in using my suggestions. However, should the projectile reach a high enough velocity, you will find that no matter what you do there will be a limit on that velocity due to the paramagnetic properties of the aluminum track and the EDDY currents generated by the moving magnetized steel ball. There are ways to break this speed limit while using an aluminum track but then you should find that the 'not a magnet' steel ball will refuse to stay in the track. This usually results in the dangerous safety hazard of shattered driver magnets. While coaching rail-gun experimenters I try to highlight the dangers involved. SMOTs are great experiments but there should be a requirement to always wear safety glasses. In the more advanced ones I always insist upon the use of full face shields along with safety glasses.
I do appreciate your SMOT post and the quality of it. Hopefully, this will kick-start others to try these things. There is far more to learn than most would think. I think my first was a little over 50 years ago and I still build them!

Magnetic Games (author)ExS2016-02-25

Thank you for this post. In fact, your analysis is correct, the ball magnetized can induce eddy currents in the aluminum track, I believe that the reduced speed makes this force almost negligible. I am very curious to see your SMOT experiments, you shared your work on the internet? with your knowledge I believe that you can make a very interesting instructable.

Lolorun (author)2016-02-19

I love playing with magnets thx for inspor

Magnetic Games (author)Lolorun2016-02-23

thank you for watching :-)

jeanniel1 (author)2016-02-10

I love magnets, and this is a really fun cool way to show how they can affect other metallic magnetic items! Good video - especially near the end when the magnet ball would jump to sides! Ha ha!

Magnetic Games (author)jeanniel12016-02-23

thank you very much :-)

Lolorun (author)2016-02-19

I love playing with magnets thx for inspor

danieldenny987 (author)2016-02-19


RussellS8 (author)2016-02-10

Playing with magnets is one thing, saying you're working on perpetual motion is another.

ByronB2 (author)RussellS82016-02-11

Both are pretty fun tho.

KhoiS (author)2016-02-09

Real experiment for kids: Make a simple 6502 based computer operated by a hand programmed EEPROM and 6522 VIA

rickharris (author)2016-02-06

Overunity? Perpetual motion Mmmm Not that I know of.

SMOT, this is the name of this type of experiments. Obviously there is no perpetual motion.

I do think you should make it clearer that this can't actually be 'overunity'... perhaps a third step of why it can't be? Left alone the deceleration at the end as it try's to exit the magnetic field cancels the energy released as it entered. The only way to make it leave is by pulling the magnets away manually, thereby adding the required energy for the ball to overcome the field. As it stands this instructable could easily mislead.

mnorth (author)jellmeister2016-02-09

It really doesn't matter. What's the worst that could happen if someone thought that this was actually overunity? Besides that, I doubt that anyone who knows what that means will be so easily misled.

jellmeister (author)mnorth2016-02-09

The worst that could happen is someone showing an interest in Science and Technology could instead be misled, waste a load of their time and be branded a fool for chasing the magic unicorn of perpetual motion. We should be trying to engage the interested in real science rather than misleading them with promises of nonsense

mnorth (author)jellmeister2016-02-09

First off, that is not going to happen. Anyone who is serious about science will quickly learn the rules rather than reading one thing online and being so wildly misled that it ruins their credibility. Second, we have made many discoveries because of people who challenged what was thought to be fact so even if they do try to create perpetual motion at least we might learn something from it. I swear that science people are more dogmatic than religious ones.

starphire (author)mnorth2016-02-09

Having grown up prior to the internet era, my natural inclination is to agree with you - only someone who was cutoff from the bulk of scientific knowledge could be fooled into thinking that a fringe idea that was enthusiastically believed by a minority but shunned as ridiculous by everyone else could be fooled into devoting their energy to the fringe idea.

Then I think about the recent proliferation of Youtube videos and websites devoted to convincing folks that the Earth really is flat and doesn't revolve around the sun. A person with the right combination of curiosity and limited critical thinking skills could be fooled into thinking that was just as likely as any other model of the Earth, especially if the people around them were Flat Earthers too. The ability to link to a very large set of sources and content on the internet supporting one particular theory, however wacky, also enables a knowledge seeker to get lost in a maze of pseudoscience. Possibly for quite a long time.

ElaineK1 (author)jellmeister2016-02-09

I was thinking if this was on an incline, then a hole at the end would allow it to fall from gravity on its own weight without moving magnets. I may be wrong, but intriguing.

jellmeister (author)ElaineK12016-02-09

It is an interesting thought experiment, one that can help further understanding of energy states in fields, but is not achieving the impossible.

If the magnetic field is strong enough to attract the ball into the field against gravity up a slope and the set up is carefully chosen such that it isn't too strong to stop it falling off a cliff at the end, the energy to escape the field as it falls off the cliff has to come from somewhere.

In this case it would be from starting higher or further away from the magnet (either a starting budget of gravitational potential or magnetic potential energy). Add another identical slope and it either will still be too close to the preceding magnetic field to climb the slope, or the slope will have to be positioned lower for the ball to make it to the top (or you could start it by rolling the ball (kinetic), rocket propelling the ball (chemical), etc.

The set up is designed to look as though movement occurs without potential energy being released, but this is an illusion, and the energy state at the end is lower than at the start. Hence not overunity, a phrase which directly means more energy out than in (efficiency > 1) which implies a system that creates new energy for free (i.e. impossible)

Jabberwacky (author)2016-02-09

i've made some experiments time ago with this device. And had made a conclusion:

Roller accumulates a potential energy during installation in the start position. Because of strong repulsing forces acting during the installation in the potential gap in the start position, your hand is loosing some energy. And the roller receives it. The main benefit of this construction - it can directs the force stright forward. In the all other cases it acts exactly like a spring.

michaela181 (author)2016-02-09

Its Fun very cool

richardfireone (author)2016-02-09

Amazing and powerful conceptual tool could be used in a variety of ingenious ways.

SteveMann (author)2016-02-09

Very nice and simple to teach the concept.

I like fun simple things that teach FUNdamental concepts.

arvevans (author)2016-02-09

9 Feb 2016: Maybe the next step beyond this is to use a microprocessor and electromagnets to walk the magnetic field from one end to the other. This then becomes a magnetic projectile launcher.

NoseyNick (author)2016-02-09

Hmmm, no... but re-arrange your magnets a bit, replace your "V" track with two "\ /" conductors, see ... and be very careful!

DreamDabbler (author)2016-02-07

There was a theoretical exception to the law of thermodynamics which prevents perpetual motion machines and such, known as Maxwell's Demon. Then a research paper showed that the "demon" or device for "cheating the system" so to speak, would itself require energy to function. Still, I like to play around with the idea that there might still be a trick we haven't figured out -- after all, Maxwell's demon was working with just one energy source or type, maybe there's more possibilities if you use two, and then maybe there's a way to build a device that automatically does what Maxwell's Demon would have had to use computational energy to accomplish.... Hey, it wouldn't be the first time somebody did something that "everyone" said was impossible... and if it's really impossible, it's still fun to try, and maybe along the way we'll discover something else...
What if you had a sudden drop at the end of the accelerator, so gravity would do the work of pulling it out of the field? Then a track could return it to the beginning ...

Or with the back-and-forth set-up, what if it were delicately balanced in the middle, so the weight of the accelerated steel ball tipped it, and there was a mechanism that shifted the position of the magnet bars depending on how it was tilted?

If it doesn't work, then you'll at least have a demonstration of how friction or whatever prevents it from working.

PS - the single-bearing set-up should work even if you put the same pole on both sides. It might be easier to play around with it this way, as the two bars won't snap together so easily -- they will tend to repel each other.

I have not tried, but I think you're right

thanks for the comment. You have described the classic operation of SMOT, however, gravity is not sufficient to remove the steel ball by the magnetic field, it is necessary to manually move a magnet when the ball approaches. There are many experiments of this type on youtube, and will probably be working on something in the future

Ehlers_TV (author)2016-02-06

Awesome !!!

Magnetic Games (author)Ehlers_TV2016-02-07

Thank you :)

mrgw98 (author)2016-02-06

Nice indestructible. I will so make this for a physics project. All credit will be given to you of course.

Magnetic Games (author)mrgw982016-02-06

I am happy that this experiment incentives experimentation in young people

mrgw98 (author)mrgw982016-02-06

Well their is no assignment yet, but I think my physics teacher might like this.

mrgw98 (author)mrgw982016-02-06

So I was going to make it just so bring in and show. I hate how you can not edit comments on here. Kept posting the comment by mistake and could not edit them through the mobile app.

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