Introduction: Build a Psy-Wheel and Learn Telekinesis! (sort Of)

About: I like to do a little bit of everything, or at least try. I consider this a good thing, 'cus it gives me a lot of knowledge about a lot of different things; on the other hand, it can often leave me with a sens…

Did you know that we only use 10% of our brains? In this Instructable, I will teach you how to discover the untapped power of your subconscious mind, the other 90%, by building a simple device that can demonstrate it!

...Yup, that's what I would tell you, if I believed in Telekinesis - the power to move objects by a mental act of will. Or if I was a con artist.

All kidding aside, this Instructable will show you how to build a "psi wheel," which is basically a tiny, low-friction paper wheel. If someone places their hands around the psi wheel, it will move without any apparent cause. People who believe they have telekinetic powers will tell you that this is how they first developed their talents. But is there really anything special about this act? Is there any other-worldly power involved? Personally, I don't think so - but you don't have to take my word for it. Build the psi wheel, preform the experiments and see for yourself!

Note: I uploaded this because I thought it was an interesting thing to make and understand. While you can probably tell from the above snark/humor that I don't believe in telekinesis, I don't wish to offend anyone, and I recognize that there are other tricks that believers in telekinesis use to verify their powers; in fairness, my conclusions about this project has no bearing on them.

Also note: you'll often hear the above "ten percent of our brains" thing when someone is attempting to justify "psychic powers." For the sake of clarity I will say here that it's not true. While we don't use all of our brain at one time - we use different parts of it for different activities - by the end of the day, we have used each and every part more than once.

(I would like to thank Keith Mayes for putting the information about his psi wheel experiments on the Internet; they were the main source of information behind this Instructable. To visit his page on telekinesis, click here: )

Step 1: Materials

Here is what you will need to make the wheel:

Some aluminum foil or paper to make the wheel itself (foil, for the record, is somewhat easier to turn).
A sewing needle.
An eraser.
A pair of scissors.
A ruler.
A quartz crystal - strapping it to your forehead will amplify the quantum vibrations resonating within your aura (wink-wink-chuckle-chuckle).

Step 2: Prepare the Wheel's Base

For this, simply stick the sewing needle perpendicularly through the middle of the eraser.

Step 3: Prepare the Wheel Itself

Cut out a 2 inch square of either paper or tin foil and fold it (tin foil is somewhat easier to turn). Make folds from corner to corner and from middle to middle, as shown in the pictures. The folds shown in red are folded  with the crease down, while those in blue will be folded with the crease up. You should end up with a four-pointed star shape.

The last image shows instructions made by someone else just in case the picture wasn't entirely clear. 

Step 4: Finish the Wheel and Test Your Abilities!

Just put the paper star on top of the needle to finish the psi wheel.

Now, to utilize you "power" for the first time, wait for the wheel to lay still and place your hands around the it in a semicircular shape. If it doesn't begin to move, experiment with different hand positions. You will find that the position of your hands is very critical in making the wheel work. It also helps if you are in a cold room, for reasons I will explain later.

If you do it right, then with some practice you should be able to make the wheel accelerate, then slow down to a stop, and then accelerate again in the opposite direction. It may take some time before you get it right.

Congratulations, you have just rediscovered a long-lost power! You will soon be ready to do battle against Voldemort! 

Step 5: Scientifically Test a Pseudoscientific Claim

Before you enroll in a Defense Against the Dark Arts class, I feel that I need to warn you of something: there is a very strong possibility that the wheel's motion isn't actually due to psychic power. And, besides, you wouldn't be able to take on the Dark Lord with a paper wheel anyway.  ;)

Before we jump to unsubstantiated conclusions, let's think about what else could cause the motion. Is it possible that your hands are making the air around the wheel hot, and that causes the air to move to a cooler place, turning the wheel in the process? It seems reasonable. Consider the following:

*Believers in telekinesis say that a decent period of meditation is necessary to focus your energy before turning the wheel.  But you were capable of doing it without any meditation at all. This either means that you are the most powerful psychic on Earth , or that psychic power has nothing to do with it.
*Air naturally moves from a system of high pressure to a system of low pressure; it keeps moving until the pressure in the two systems is equal. Since hot air expands, this means that hot air is higher in pressure than cold air. If your hands are high enough above room temperature, maybe the pressure difference would be enough to move the psi-wheel as the hot air from your hands tries to reach equilibrium with the room.
*The fact that being in a colder room helps the effect implies a thermal component. (Being in a room with colder air means a larger difference between the hot air of your hands and room temperature; and a larger difference is what causes the motion.
*The fact that the position of your hands influences the speed and direction of the wheel would imply that the energy moving it isn't from your mind, but from your hands (though, I suppose it could be energy from your mind that moves through your hands)

Step 6: Scientifically Test a Pseudoscientific Claim (part 2)

To actually prove that telekinesis is not required to move the psi wheel, preform the following experiment: place six mugs in a semicircle around the wheel and fill them with boiling water from a tea kettle. The wheel should turn much faster than it did while using your hands!

Another good experiment to try is to use your hands with the wheel as before, but this time ask a friend to place his or her hands on top of yours in the same way. This will double the heat, making it move faster than you could make it on your own.

Step 7: Conclusion and Disclaimer

Today, we've shown that it doesn't take a Tibetan monk to move the psi wheel. We've shown that the same results that "experts" in telekinesis get, we could get without using any sort of mumbo-jumbo. But in the defense of the believers, that doesn't definitely prove that telekinesis doesn't exist. It does mean, however, that telekinesis has little to do with this particular activity. If we can explain the psi wheel without telekinesis, there is no good reason, other than blind faith, to believe that there is a psychic mechanism behind it.

Thank you for your lending me your time. Please comment...
...And may the Force be with you!