OT: A Different Anomaly — The Coulombe Device

This post is off-topic in terms of LENR/Cold Fusion, but not irrelevant when it comes to scientific anomalies. I have been assisting a group of friends in the creation of a web site about the work of French-Canadian inventor Maurice Coulombe, who died last year.

The site revolves around the study of a device invented by M. Coulombe that appears to show a mechanical anomaly which so far does not seem to have a satisfactory explanation. The video below demonstrates the anomaly in question which shows that two objects of the same mass when acted upon by an identical force behave differently under certain circumstances.

The research group mentioned on the site refers to itself as the ORT (Our Research Team) and is in possession of one of the devices built by Maurice Coulombe. Tests on it continue, and data from various experiments will be published as time goes on. Tests carried out so far on the device have been able to replicate the results demonstrated by M. Coulombe.

There are photos, videos, articles and other documents on the web site. The purpose of putting the site up is to try and generate interest and use the wisdom of the crowd to try and understand what is going on with this device. There may be a simple explanation which has eluded observers so far.

Comments are most welcome both here, or at www.coulombedevice.com

  • daniel maris

    Force acting = energy…is there anything to explain? I don’t really understand why it is supposed to be a remarkable device. Is this a claim of overall energy gain?

    • clovis


      • daniel maris

        OK,well the original article didn’t explain how and neither do you. 🙂

    • georgehants

      danial, do you not believe that any anomaly in science is interesting and should be treated very seriously until explained.

      • daniel maris

        Who says it is an anomaly? An anomaly is something like a measured excess beyond what you expect from the laws of phsyics. I don’t see where the excess is here because nothing has been explained or claimed.

        • georgehants

          daniel, I believe an anomaly in science is anything outside of the norm or expected.
          If it is not sciences job to investigate this then who’s job is it.
          You say —-
          “I don’t see where the excess is here because nothing has been explained or claimed.”
          That is the whole point people are trying to explain the anomaly, can you help by giving insight into the problem.

          • JB

            “daniel, I believe an anomaly in science is anything outside of the norm or expected.”

            Shouldn´t the first thing then be to clearify that it actually IS not what should be expected?

            In this case (and in so many similar “inventions”), there is a device, but not a proper scientific calculation on what you actually could expect. First then you can check and compare that the calculation actually describes your device in a scientific manner and show that the outcome differs.

            If you as an inventor doesn´t have the knowledge to do that calculation correct, how can you be sure that it is an anomaly? The calculation itself is as important as the device.

            Makes me think of an inventor in a TV-show that had invented a type of wind mill to put on the roof of a car so the generated energy could help to run the car and in that way save energy.

          • georgehants

            JB you said —
            “Shouldn´t the first thing then be to clearify that it actually IS not what should be expected?”
            Who do you suggest is paid to do just that if not scientists.
            The report has been made as with Cold Fusion, now it is up to science to do the research and confirm or deny the Effect.

          • JB

            In cases as with this machine, I am certain that a scientist could make the calculation for the inventor if he pays them. I thought that the inventor made a claim that his machine was an anomaly, or? If so, how can he claim that without showing exactly why?

            And there are a lot of scientist that already show how science work within the educational system. I think the machine above would make a perfect project within a course in Mechanics.

            When it comes to Cold Fusion, it is another story. For the machine above, everyone can se that the cradle moves. The question is if the movement is an anomaly. For Cold Fusion it is more a question of if there is any anomaly heat. “Do the cradle move”-so to speak. It is still an experimental question before it is a theoretical one.

  • It looks like upon contact the magnets slide a bit when arms rotating, giving some diagonal friction which means right trolley looses some momentum. Rejection is pure (without sliding) and hence impulse is equal on both sides.
    Furthermore one should check the rails alignment with the earth magnetic field which could also slightly interact with the magnets.

  • Karl

    Frank I’m glad you brought up the topic. As we approach the day when the hard core sceptics in the scientific community is getting more silent and pseudo sceptics perhaps with other agenda can’t silly the actors and the results obtained, the next step would be to find a proper scientific explanation around all these phenomenas. I think this site or a new site could continue to focus on a new an alternative theoretical explanation about Cold Fusion phenomena related matters.

    I recently came across and started to read various papers of the theoretical works by Stoyan Sarg Sargoytchev. He’s a former Soviet Bulgarian now Canadian citizen. I understand he currently works at York University, Toronto Canada. He has his own website where he promote to my mind a remarkable different theoretical as an alternative to QM. http://www.helical-structures.org

    In Stoyen Sargs theory is universe structured from super gravity of fundamental particles different to Newtonian gravity which it forms in a Cosmic Lattice filling up the physical vacuum, including space by an invisible structure where the lattice contain a huge about of energy that can be released (briefly I’ve have understand it a layman).

    He claims that the theory could solve many mysterious in the current QM theory. The QM theory which he means is a mathematical construction rather than physical, which it should be. I do not know how well known and spread this theory is but I find it extremely interesting.

    Those of us that followed the development of Cold Fusion do not only wait for the first products to hit the market, of even greater importance may be to find a plausible theoretical explanation of how the various reactions of how to release energy, transmute matters etc. to enabling us to go further. Will this ever be possible if we hold on to the current QM model? Will there be a need for a completely new model such as Stoyen Sargs or variations of it?

    Stoyan Sargs theory also gives a plausible explanation of how cold fusion reactions can occur by the Italian researchers Rossi et al. He gives an explanation of how the Coulomb barrier can be reduced, including many other features. He suggests that Cr could be an alternative to Nickel in the Piantelli, Rossi, Focardi type of reactions, as the fundamental particles have similar binding structures according his theory. http://vixra.org/pdf/1112.0043v2.pdf.

    Other features that could be envisioned based on his theory are control of Newtonian gravity and possible propulsion features obtainable in space. Without that I know he have mentioned it specifically the kind of kinetic energy by creating high voltage sparks in noble gas to release energy in Papp type of prototypes could perhaps be a similar effect.

    The works resulting in CF/LENR type of products should naturally challenge innovators, researchers and universities to go for a full explanation of this kind of Cold Fusion effects. The question is if the current theoretical QM model helps to solve all the new questions arising from these new realities? Perhaps that offers Stoyan Sargs type of physical logical explanations a plausible solution to Cold Fusion and many other mysteries in QM. Embracing this kind of totally different theory would serve as an escape that save faces for many deniers of Cold Fusion the scientific community.

  • Jason

    It seems to me that work is being done by the device with the swinging arms and no work is being done by the fixed device. They have the same mass but the work/energy is different and might account for the action. The device with the swinging arms has added momentum in the direction of the swing which is the direction of the work force. Try building am experiment where both devices are the same, maybe each has one swinging arm.

    • fritz194


      • clovis

        The two carts are identical, the swinging one has little or no friction,or sticksion, both are powered with the exact same amount of power, they move in opposite directions, but one moves a great distance farther than the other,

        • fritz194

          The two carts are different.
          In the first experiment the pulse interacts between both carts which may have the same mass.
          In the second experiment the pulse interacts between the left cart and the levers of the right cart – thats a complete different setup.

  • fritz194

    If every mechanical problem could be pinned down that way – there would be no need for finite element analysis / calculation.
    This setup cannot be seen as a 2mass action/reaction system.
    In the situation with levers moving – the weight “seen” from the active jig is only a fraction as with arms fixed. So the initial acceleration on both sides is only a fraction of the force in the first experiment. The transfered energy in the now moving and accelerated levers adds up to the acceleration of the passive side when the levers reach their end position. This force is applied against the already moving inertia of the passive side – which is now decoupled from the active side. So the displacement is different on each side. To sum it up, the initial force pulse is translated in a symmetric but fractional distraction to both sides and an additional acceleration of a mass on the right side relative to the right side (which lowers the weight seen from the left side).
    This acceleration adds up to the rights if the lever reaches the end position.
    Thats very similar if sitting on a swing. By moving the center of your mass you can accelerate.

  • Sanjeev

    To me, it looks like a fancy way of transforming the electromagnetic energy into motion. That’s all.

    If you measure the input energy to the electromagnets, it will be exactly equal to the work done in both cases (fixed arms and rotating arms).

    I didn’t read that site yet, but if there is a violation of CoE, then it can be considered anomalous.

    • clovis

      Also, not

  • vbasic

    What an ironical name (Columbe Device) in light of the e-cat and other LENR devices. At first, from the title, I thought that’s what it was. But upon reading the post, I was going to stop reading seeing it was mechanical. What was the goal of Mr. Columbe: to understand the phenomenon or create a device creating useful work? It reminds me of many mechanical//magnetic feedback/gravity motors found at PESN. However, it is worthwhile to at least explore. One of the limiting factors of most machines, such as the internal combustion engine is waste heat, due to friction, etc. What would be the efficiency if frictionless pistons were invented? When gasoline was cheap and plentiful, it wasn’t important, but any new methods to improve work are good, especially if LENR devices are slow to commercialize,

    • clovis

      hi, vbasic.
      I will say that newtons law , for every action there is a equal and opposite reaction, both carts are powered equal the electronics are there just as a way to power the carts, and be able to measure that power, but as you can see they do not adhere the the law.

  • AB

    I’m no expert but to me it looks like the magnets mounted on the arms can simply gain more momentum due to less friction.

    When the arm mounted magnets reach their maximum extension they transmit the momentum to the cart all at once which once again due to friction will cause more movement compared the ame force applied over a short period of time.

    • clovis


    • A

      That is exactly what it looks like; the momentum of the moving arms is driving the cart forward.

  • clovis

    Hello, everyone.
    i have considered this device, and came up wanting, this is a hard one, after you know all the facts.

  • captain

    Athanor replication at Örebro University in Sweden
    see video at Passerini’s blogspot 22passi

    • GreenWin

      Hi captain,

      an odd thing about that replication – it takes place three days in the future on Dec 12, 2012. While that is not unusual for say, Dr. Who, it does stretch credulity on this plane. See for yourself:


      • Peter_Roe

        GW – can you remember what was the name of the twin-shaft ‘overunity’ device with magnetic coupling and an unbalanced-weight flywheel that you once linked to on ECN? I have an idea that this might have some ground in common with the Coulombe device, and I’d like to take another look, but I can’t (re)find it with Google.

        • GreenWin

          Terawatt Research, has some of the same mechanics perhaps. Such a strange outfit. With so many former guv’mnt heavyweights – something is very odd.

          • Peter_Roe

            Thanks! Yes its an oddball company. With both UL and TUV verification and a serious-looking board it’s kind of hard to lump them in with the youtube magnetic motor crowd. I’d love to peek behind the security on the restricted pages, but this looks like another one to file until some announcement is made.

            I’m pretty sure that the interaction between the unbalanced weight and the magnetic cogging is probably analogous to what is happening in the Coulombe set-up, but there is not enough public info on the Terawatt site to draw any conclusions. Bookmarked – for possible future reference.


      • captain

        Hi GW, I’ve replied to your post, just wait for kind admin’s permission to see it.
        Sorry for having put George name instead of yours 🙁

        • GreenWin

          Hmmm, I prolly misunderstood the date screen…

  • Paolo

    Nobody is able to go on a swing alone here….

    • fritz194


  • qc_jym

    Good day gentlemen, I’m JYM from ORT.org, the actual user of the Coulombe device. Here are a bit of info on the device. I would first like you to have a look at the Coulombe website as the device in my possession right now is the swinging device not shown here.

    M. Coulombe has 2 US and 2 Canadian patent for this particular effect. M. Coulombe only claim here is that the 3rd law of Newton is incomplete, here’s why:

    On the swinging gear, the two cart are pushed apart by a electrical pulse fron capactor discharge to the coils. If the second cart (with magnet) is locked, both cart fly apart at the same distance. If you release the magnet mecanism, you will get more move on the magnet side than on the coil side by as much as 120% depending on the added mass used. Since the pulse between the cart and the mass are always the same, the move should be the same, according to Newton. Since it is not the case, something is missing in the law and that is what the inventor claims

    I’m still testing different configuration of the device, test results will be publish on the website.

    JYM for ORT.org

    • fritz194

      “Since the pulse between the cart and the mass are always the same, the move should be the same, according to Newton. Since it is not the case, something is missing in the law and that is what the inventor claims”

      But the pulse between cart and mass is different in both cases.

      Even if you switch the same electrical voltage “pulse” – this doesnt mean that the electrical energy consumed is the same. It has a load compound and a different shape.

      • Job001

        Actually, the pulses are always different due to the hysteresis loop of the electromagnet cores and the variations in the bounce and resistance of the electrical contacts. Additionally, induced air currents vary time to time and the resistance to movement from the bearings and rail are minutely different each time. The noise of the electromagnets also varies with the bounce showing another variation ignored by most observers. Look and Listen carefully, Do the science!

        In truth, nothing massive ever works the same each time, we just neglect to detect the small effects and call it deterministic when reality is more difficult than our simple models.

        Science is great. Never forget it’s all about observing local data correlations and developing theory, never proof, just statistical acceptance, and sometime a great deal of patience as bias gets revealed and removed as new theory replaces old.

  • georgehants

    A seemingly small anomaly known as The Ultraviolet Catastrophe led to most of 20th century science, the nuclear bomb etc etc.
    From little acorns great oaks grow (sometimes)

  • Chris

    LOL even without a detailed analysis, there is such an obvious difference between the two things that it’s no surprise if the effect occurs, whether by hook or by crook.

    That said, once I reviewed stretches to get a good look and so on, when I started to think it the right way I realized that it needn’t even be due to imperfections. It even struck me likely the it would occur in a vacuum too, unlike one comment here suggested. I even doubt the air friction is enough to make that much difference with such small flap area.

    To put it simply, a 3rd principle violation is not the least bit necessary in order to have the changing position, time after time. Same mass, but different dynamics. Each time the pair of carriages comes to rest and, save for imperfections, the total momentum would be 0 throughout. This does not imply the final position being equal to the initial one and one can devise various other examples. When I was studying general physics I concocted up some, reasoning on the very principles of dynamics. The way in which a falling cat instinctively gets itself upright is analogous, albeit with angular instead of linear momentum.

  • Mark

    I don’t like OTP off topic posts contaminating
    discussions of pure LENR scientific principles
    and the utilization thereof because they are
    so very important in and of themselves. First
    things first, you know. But…

    After having said that I think the fundamental
    principles involved in your demonstration device
    are discussed here in the following web link:



    • georgehants

      As many things turn out in science to be connected to each other how would you know, when the fundamentals are unknown which subjects are “off topic.”
      Would you say for example that chemistry has nothing to do with QM.

    • Torbjörn

      That man in the video is lying when he says that there is no recoil when the “car” launches.

  • georgehants

    From Vortex with thanks.
    I do not like to give the link as it contains a link to censored Wiki-rubbish, well just this once.
    RE: [Vo]:New publication at EGO OUT
    Jones Beene Sun, 09 Dec 2012 08:27:04 -0800
    There is a provocative analogy of LENR to fission (in the context of the
    Oklo natural fission site):
    http://www.mail-archive.com/[email protected]/msg73755.html

    • GreenWin

      Interesting. The author, Jones Beene, often comments of LENR. He argues for the existence of fractional H (H/f) which become virtual neutrons. These neutrons then are absorbed causing some or all of the transmutation observed in LENR. Note that fractional H is a prediction of Dr. Randell Mills for more than a decade now.

  • K

    There is no anomaly.

    • georgehants

      K, wonderful, would you now please give us the explanation for the effect.
      Thank you.

      • Chris

        In order to work it out in detail, I would need to get a few details which isn’t easy from just the video. However, in a post that is still awaiting moderation, I addressed the matter via analogy with a case for angular momentum: the method falling cats use to right themselves.

        In the case of linear momentum it is trickier because the compound system needs to play really dirty tricks with the centre of mass. In short though, momentum remains zero in total, you can notice that each time the pair comes to a standstill. There might also be some effect of the flaps in the air but I’m not sure this is necessary and I don’t think it could be great enough.

      • Paolo

        The trick is the different angle between the first pulse (which is approximately 45° with the axe of the experiment) and the bounce of the two masses free to rotate (which is almost parallel). Make some calculation and you see…

        • Chris

          Uhm, I expect that in the end it would only be a matter of longitudinal components and not transvere ones, so I don’t see how your hint might be helpful.

          • Paolo

            Yes, it is. Let me explain. In the first place the magnets reject each other with an angle of 45°. Because of the freedom rotation of the 2 masses the momentum (which is globally 0) is split in 3 vectors. One to the left pull the left cart. One to the upper-right start the rotation of the upper magnet. And the last to the lower-right on the other free-magnet. So..what happen now….the magnets turn and bounce….Their speed is almost unchanged before the bounce. (No, there is no violation of the momemntum conservation because of a little displacemnt of the right cart to the left…you can see it if you put the mouse pointer near a wheel of the cart). After the bounce, the free-magnets momentum is almost completely inverted…(parallel to the experiment’axe) so the right cart is strongely pull to the right. if you make calculation you’ll see the global momentum is always 0.

          • Paolo

            Think a the same experiment with a greater angle of the magnets…let’s 90° an let’s put a little distance between the 2 carts. What will happen?
            1 – The left cart do not move.
            2 – the free-magnets rotate and the right cart start to move leftward. (remeber the global momentum must be 0)
            3 – the free-magnets hit the cart and the cart stop. (momentum still 0)

            4 – the free magnets bounce and the cart begin to move right. (momentum still 0)

          • Chris

            I had actually thought of this but I still don’t get how it explains the overall c. m. ending up more to the right each time. This is why, in other comments, I mentioned a paradoxical aspect and said that the setup needs to play very dirty tricks with the c. m.; I still haven’t figured it in detail but no doubt it isn’t a momentum violation and probably doesn’t rely on imperfections. I just don’t think it’s as simple as you are saying.

            In the right angle case, you may as well not have the leftmost cart and the single one’s own power source moving the arms. What makes you expect that its c. m. winds up more to the right each time? I think the trick is more complicated, with the both carts and the little cord that seems to yank them back toward each other. I’ll need to think about it more.

          • Paolo

            The reality is always more complex than models. You should account for friction and aerodinamyc forces. But the page linked in the article is about an unexplained breaking of the Newton third law. That’s just not the case.

      • Paolo

        if the angle of the first pulse was 90° the cart on the left should not move at all….

      • Petrol

        My guess is friction and or eddy currents induced in the aluminum rail by the stack of magnets on the swinging arm.

        • Chris

          I’ve been thinking of eddy currents too but, like the effect of air, I’m not sure they would suffice. It would not explain why they are at a quite perfect standstill after each step, so I propend for the total momentum actually being zero throughout, despite a paradoxical aspect.

          • Putative deviations from long-established physical laws are generally tiny effects sought in the most extreme of corner cases. The notion that there is some gross anomaly here, easily visible to the naked eye, strains credulity beyond the breaking point.

            If somebody wanted to take the time, they could no doubt replicate these results in a dynamic simulation, using nothing but good old Newton’s laws, maybe with a dash of Maxwell’s equations thrown in.

            Makes you wonder what set M. Coulombe on this path, and how he managed to delude himself for what was apparently a long time.

  • Sandy

    There is a difference in the amount of force that it takes to pull two magnets straight away from each other and the amount of force required to separate those same to magnets by sliding them past and away from each other in opposite directions. That difference in force may be operating in Mr. Coulombe’s device.

  • Babble

    Its not an anomaly. The electro magnets of the left vehicle are pulsed and repel magnets attached to the arms on the right side vehicle. The force is vectored at about 45 deg, the angle the magnets sit at. When the arms are fixed, some of that force (about half) is transfered in line with the tracks so each “vehicle moves apart the same distance. When the arms are allowed to flex, the force moves the arms at the 45 deg angle and they fly back until they hit the stops. The angular momentum in the right vehicle is now parallel with the track and it moves backwards.

    So in the left vehicle about half of the force cancels out because of the angle of the electo magnets. In the right vehicle (when the arms move)the majority of the force is transfered into angular momentum, which then transfers the kinetic energy parallel to the axis of the track when the arms hit the stops. This moves the right side vehicle more since no force is canceled.

    For more info on angular momentum http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angular_momentum

    • Martin

      This sounds to me like a very logical and actually easy to understand explanation.

  • Sanjeev

    Cold fusion was the subject of a presentation at the All-Energy Conference held in Melbourne in October, but with a twist.

    Ian Bryce, chief investigator for Australian Skeptics, was invited to present on his research into the Italian Andrea Rossi’s development …


    • Sanjeev

      The investigation report is linked there, but unfortunately its only 1 page. If someone’s got the full pdf, please post.

      • Redford

        There are seven pages. It’s the full thing.

      • Redford

        Reading. 85% chit chat, 125% omission (no mention of Levi spending 17 hours with eCat and publishing results, and 15% pseudo scientific explanations that barely scratch the surface and seems pretty awkward (step effect can’t happen in a reaction for him, apparently).

        EDIT : oh wait
        “We would expect Rossi to resist
        attempts to have the power plug
        Thing is, one famous test included nearly 2 hours of self sustained reaction… unplugged. This can’t be ignored by the writer. He has an agenda – spotted !

    • Sanjeev

      I guess thats an old news. Sorry for repost.

  • georgehants

    From New Energy and Fuel
    News and Views for Making and Saving Money in New Energy and Fuel
    The Inconceivable Embarrassment From Cold Fusion
    December 10, 2012
    U.S. institutional politics, government agencies, and academic science have been caught in denial so strident they’re now shouting “no” while stark raving naked. The nakedness is because of Low Energy Nuclear Reactions or LENR, or an evolution of the famed cold fusion.
    The intellectual embarrassment is tattooed to the naysayers forever and disqualifies many people.

    • GreenWin

      Ricky would say, “LUCY! You got a lot a ‘splainin to do!”

      “At the human level the price of condemnation is beginning to show. For those who followed the press, media and academic lead to condemn Pons and Fleischmann, while some knew full well that a few very careful experimenters were able to replicate the work, the guilt is the harm done to science progress, intellectual expansion and economic growth.”

      Get out your brooms… ‘Cause it’s a mess! (from “The Campaign”)

  • Charlie Peck

    There’s no abnormally and it’s obvious. All these are just momentum. Let me point out a simple observation for those who doesn’t understand physics well enough to comprehend this. Just look at the arm swing. The displacement of the right vehicle doesn’t take place until the arms open up to the maximum width. When that happens, the arms swings are restricted and momentum from the arms are transferred to the vehicle causing the displacement. If the arms are free to rotate 360 degree, the momentum will be exhausted and displacement won’t take place. Now go look at the video again and it’ll be obvious to you.

    • Charlie Peck

      For those who still do not understand it:

      Displacement of energy is not equal when arms are movable than when arms are stationary. Energy is displaced more efficiently to the swinging arms because they swing more along the vector of the propelling force.

      Or more simply:

      1. Asymmetrical tuning to make it equal when arms are stationary.
      2. Asymmetrical tuning was upset by making the arms movable, hence unequal displacement between the two vehicles.