Reflection on the impossibility of perpetual motion
In folio 1062r of the Codex Atlanticus, Leonardo examines four different types of perpetual wheel, which help us reconstruct how his ideas on this type of device evolved. This is an analytical treatment that is then reworked in a more systematic way, specifying the operating principles of the various wheels in folios 90r to 92v of the Codex Forster II in which he is finally convinced of the impossibility of perpetual motion with this type of devices. In fact, in folio 92v of the Codex Forster II, after having illustrated the operation of this and other mechanically overbalanced wheels, he concludes that
«Whatever weight will be attached to the wheel, which will be the cause of the wheel motion, undoubtedly the centre of this weight will stop under the centre of its pole; and no instrument manufactured with human genius [...] can remedy this effect. Speculators of continuous motion, how many unnecessary designs you have created in this quest! Get your partners with gold prospectors»..