The Fantastic Inventions of Nikola Tesla (The Lost Science Series)
Or it may conclude the patent covers something altogether obvious. Worse, the patent might describe a device patented earlier, a fatal case of "anticipation. In all of these cases the patent will not be sustained. In granting a patent, the Patent Office makes no guarantees about its legal durability. The pivotal patent case concerning priority in radio Marconi Wireless Telegraph Co. Tesla, it must be understood, was not a party to this suit. Marconi v. Although Marconi Wireless had ceased to exist after , its patents and other property having been absorbed by RCA, it reserved the right to pursue this litigation.
The legal ghost that Marconi Wireless had become won a victory in the U. The government appealed to the Supreme Court. In the course of its eighty—page decision, the Court found it necessary to rule on many points of law, procedure, and fact, including the facts, or history, of radio development.
But this should not be confused with the four circuits of a later, more sophisticated Tesla patent No. And the antenna element under discussion-Lodge's patent, No. The Court went on to note that Stone's radio patent No. Stone, by the way, had always credited Tesla with the first basic, workable design, saying of his own patent it was "practically the same as that employed by Tesla" —but with the valuable refinements of a tuneable antenna and design adjustments to "swamp" parasitic oscillations in the transmitter. Even the patent history of Marconi No. With the facts thus marshalled, and observing that no amount of commercial success could save Marconi's patent, the Court held it invalid.
The decision was stunning, especially in view of the ease with which the Marconi patent had prevailed in earlier suits. In a case one federal judge found singular value in Marconi's use of a ground connection, and heaped praises on him as the indubitable inventor of radio. Nearly thirty years later, writing in dissent of Marconi v. Yet he could not identify wherein Marconi's patent differed from those that had come before. More than one judge has lamented the court's role as scientific referee, for it often has little in resources or temperament to give the job an assured performance.
Utterly specious notions persisted for years, in and out of court, over such things as a ground connection-chaff thrown into the proceedings by lawyers hoping to add technical mystery and confusion. There is a ground in all of Tesla's patent specifications, and in everyone else's equipment, too. Slowly, perhaps a little grudgingly, writers of scientific history have enlarged their paragraphs on the development of radio, giving Tesla the credit he is due. Surely, as the patents show, if that all—unifying "flash" came to any man, it was Nikola Tesla.
In well informed circles, it is occasionally mentioned that Nikola Tesla, even in retirement, built an automobile propelled by gravity stressing energy. At the age of 70, in a period of deep economic depression, Tesla had considerable financial means. While these means were not as ample as originally and contractually promised by Westinghouse, they made possible this extraordinarily interesting episode which is today fully documented. We say this also because, once again.
It took no less than years of today's fast-moving events to fully grasp the importance of the man. There is no explanation for this. One can merely humorously assume that Tesla came from some other world, to be born on Earth. His results in experimental physics, which appeared to be perfectly obvious, still cause indigestion in orthodox theoretical physics circles.
Petar was 43 years younger than his uncle. Up to that date, he had lived under stringent conditions in Yugoslavia, Tesla's country of birth. During the summer of , Tesla took his nephew to Buffalo to unveil and test a new automobile. Tesla had developed it with his own personal funds. It was a Pierce Arrow, one of the luxury cars of the period.
The engine had been removed, leaving the clutch, gearbox and transmission to the rear wheels undisturbed. The gasoline engine had been replaced with a round, completely enclosed electric motor of approximately 1 meter in length and 65 cm in diameter, with a cooling fan in front. Reputedly, it had no distributor.
Tesla was not willing to say who had manufactured the engine. It was possibly one of the divisions of Westinghouse. The "energy receiver" gravitational energy converter had been built by Nikola Tesla himself. The dimensions of the converter housing were approximately 60 X 25 X 15 cm. It was installed in front of the dashboard. Among other things, the converter contained 12 vacuum tubes, of which three were of the L-7 type. A heavy antenna, approximately 1.
This antenna apparently had the same function as that on the Moray converter see below. Furthermore, two thick rods protruded approximately 10 cm from the converter housing. Tesla pushed them in, saying "Now we have power. Tesla said it was fairly hot when operating, and therefore a cooling fan was required.
For the rest, he said there was enough power in the converter to illuminate an entire house, besides running the car engine. The car was tested for a week, reaching a top speed of 90 miles per hour effortlessly. Its performance data were at least comparable to those of an automobile using gasoline. At a stop sign, a passerby remarked that there were no exhaust gases coming from the exhaust pipe. Petar answered "We have no motor. The car was kept on a farm, perhaps 20 miles outside of Buffalo, not far from Niagara Falls.
A few months after this automobile test, and because of the economic crisis at the time, Pierce Arrow had to stop production. It is very likely that the interconnection between the electric motor and the transmission had been performed there. Pierce Arrow's tools were taken over by Studebaker, in South Bend. Not quite 30 years later, that company also vanished to form American Motors, jointly with Nash.
Later, some of its fans attempted to resuscitate the Pierce Arrow. Unfortunately, they were not successful. Thus, today that company's name is in a mausoleum, together with others. Nikola Tesla apparently knew that this construction contradicted the technical concepts of the time.
He thus avoided all discussions with engineers, theoretical scientists, or companies with very few exceptions. It is obvious that this Pierce Arrow was built only as a private hobby. An inventory of all available information — by aeronautical engineer Derek Ahlers — was completed on September 16, , in New York. The complete documentation of all the information gathered by Ahlers is in our archives, The experimental car built by Nikola Tesla in already foreshadowed the cars of the future.
Minimum operating costs and freedom from pollution are part of it also. The invention of super magnets, mentioned earlier. Tesla's Electric Car - another version. Henry Moray with his resonate coil device. This device could output 80, watts. This device was properly tested and documented.
After the Patent Office refused Henry Moray a patent on his device, he offered to give it to the goverment for free — They refused the offer. It appears from my studies on the subject, that Nikola Tesla had a chance to see Henry Moray's device after the Germanium detector was smashed by a malicious person.
The Whispering Wheel — An In-wheel Electric Engine The wheel is in fact the engine motor , no axles or any other friction—producing and therefore energy—wasting mechanical parts are needed. Chapter 4. The drama of Twentieth Century Science and its intriguing relationship with financiers and governments unfold together in the remarkable life of Nikola Tesla. His is a biography replete with all the elements of tragedy. Tesla, a great discoverer of unsurpassed force, became the focal point of old insidious forces intent on destroying the future for the selfish sake of the status quo.
Tesla remains a focal point of wonderment, of dream, and of worlds, which yet should be to those who are familiar with his biography. For them, Tesla stands astride the quaint past century and the gleaming future. He is a technological Colossus, pointing the way to a new dawn. The biography of Nikola Tesla should be the very first chapter in every child's science text. Yet, we find his name stricken from the record in every avenue of which he alone holds priority.
This conspicuous absence prompts wonderment. What the world does with discoverers determines the world course. In the life of Nikola Tesla we see the portrayal of our own future, the fate of the world. The achievements of this researcher were lofty. The world has not yet implemented his greatest works.
For a time, all the world's dramatis personae focused on Tesla. He remains the legend, the theme, the archetype of all Twentieth Century scientists. But who was Nikola Tesla, and where was he from? How did he reach such a mighty stature, and what did he actually invent? Tesla was born in , the son of an illustrious Serbian family. His father, an Orthodox priest, his uncles noteworthy military heroes of highest rank.
He was educated in Graz, and later moved to Budapest. Throughout his life he was blessed, or haunted, by vivid visions. In the terminology of Reichenbach he would be termed an extreme sensitive. It was through these remarkable visions that Nikola Tesla invented devices, which the Victorian world had never seen. Indeed, his visionary experiences produced the modern world, as we know it. He attended various Universities in Eastern Europe during his early adulthood.
Finding no solace in any of his classes, he sought refuge in a more romantic treatment of science and nature. None could be found. This quantitative regime was mounting force among academes, who were then attempting the total conversion of scientific method. Those who would not accept the new order were compelled to depart from academic pursuits. Tesla totally rejected these notions on the strongest of inner intuitions. Most of his instructors would have said that he was not University material. Tesla, sensitive to every such dogmatic wind, rejected their thesis and sought some better means for knowing nature.
If he was to excel in engineering, there could only be cooperation with natural force, never violence. His inner conflict expressed itself openly and candidly, bringing young Tesla into certain disrepute among rigid University authorities. Universities were more like military academies than places where original thinking was conducted in open forum. He had not been aware that Goethe, long before he chose poetry for the vehicle of his scientific themes, had written several magnificent tomes on the natural world.
Tesla found to his wonder that Goethe had experienced the very same emotions. When the new scientific dogma was just in its infancy, Goethe caught wind of it and reacted violently, even as one who stands watch in the night. Goethe was well aware of the new scientific trend and its implications. The reduction of nature to forces and mechanisms was utterly revolting to Goethe. Now, Tesla found a notable compatriot in his experience.
For in Tesla we see the quest for communion with nature, one based on the faith that mind, sensation, consciousness, and ordained structure form the world-foundations. The sense-validating Qualitative Theme again appears in Nikola Tesla. Armed with this foundation, he was able to filter and qualify every other new study with which he was presented.
In addition, he was irresistibly drawn into the study of electricity, the "new magick". He had taken a technical position in Budapest. Several new intuitions had seized him. Tesla was sure that he could devise an engine, which was turned, not by contact-currents, but by magnetic field actions alone. The answer, tantalizing and near, seemed elusive. His only dream was to have a laboratory facility of his own. The excessive labors and mental exertions nearly drove him to the brink of madness. He was, for as time, seized with strange maladies and sensitivities which physicians could not address.
Reichenbach accurately describes these symptoms, characteristic of extreme sensitives. The emergence of these rare sensitivities affects such persons for the remainder of their lives. Tesla found that his senses were amplified beyond reason. He was terribly frightened at first, nervous exhaustion permeating his frail being.
Eventually learning to manage these rare faculties, he again resumed his life. But the visions, which began in his youth, were now more vivid and solid than ever before. When they came, unbidden, he could literally touch and walk around them. Now also, he was equal to receiving them. He was waiting for the revelation by which his alternating current motor would appear. Tesla's life came into a new focus while walking in a park with some friends, the year It was late afternoon, and Tesla became entranced with the sight of a glorious sunset.
As he reached this last line of verse, Tesla was suddenly seized by an overwhelming vision. In it, he beheld a great vortex, whirling eternally in the sun and driving across the earth with its infinite power. Completely absorbed in this glory, he became catatonic and irresponsive His mind and body buzzing with the power of the vision, he suddenly blurted out, "see my motor here They shook him, believing he had lost his mind completely.
Rigid and resisting all of their efforts, he would not move until the vision subsided. Throughout the long hours of that night he shared with his friends the great sight he had beheld. They spoke of the sure implications portended for the world's future, and departed with very great expectations. Moving to Strassburg, he was employed as an engineer in a telephone subsidiary of the Continental Edison Company.
It was in a small machine shop that he constructed the world's first brush less motors. He called them "magnetic vortex motors". Their whirling magnetic fields baffled electrical engineers. Now, Tesla's professors were studying his work. Tesla's strange whirling devices worked on their very first trial. There were no connections between the rotors and stators, no sparking, lousy brushes.
The motion was smooth and efficient. The vision in material form. Tesla immigrated to America with a full portfolio of plans. America would be the place where his dreams would find fulfillment. In this respect, as well as others, he remained the wonder of all his technical assistants. He worked for Thomas Edison in New Jersey for a very short time period until securing a laboratory and financial supporters of his own. In his first independent venture he developed arc lamps and lighting systems.
When his financial supporters betrayed his trust, they left him bankrupt overnight. They drew him out of the ditch, but not before he demanded his own laboratory, a machine shop, and a sizable personal percentage "up front". The result was our present day electrical distribution system. Tesla did not invent alternating current. Tesla reinvented alternating current in the form of Polyphase Current. His Polyphase System was a novel means for blending three identical alternating currents together simultaneously, but "out of step".
The idea was similar to having three pistons on a crankshaft rather than one. Formally, no one could make an alternating current motor turn at all simply because no net motion could be derived from a current which just "shuttled" to and fro. Polyphase applied a continuous series of separate "pushes" to rotors. Polyphase made it also possible to send electrical power to very great distances with little loss.
Alternating electrical currents vibrated in the line. Current did not flow continuously from end to end, as in Edison's flawed system. Edison's direct current system could not supply electricity beyond a few city blocks before current virtually disappeared. In efforts to discover a more efficient kind of Polyphase, Tesla explored higher frequency alternating currents. Higher frequency Polyphase was found by Tesla to perform with far greater efficacy than the common sixty-cycle variety, which we still use. He fully intended on implementing these special generators in the system, which his patron and friend, George Westinghouse, had proliferated.
The business arrangement rendered Tesla fabulously wealthy at a young age. Tesla extended his generator frequencies in multiples of sixty until reaching some thirty thousand cycles per second.
Fantastic Inventions of Nikola Tesla (Lost Science Series)
They were copied and modified by several other subsequent inventors including Alexanderson. Remarkably driven at excessive speeds, they constituted Tesla's first belief that high frequency alternating current generators would supply the world's power. High frequency current phenomena were new and exceedingly curious. A line of experimental research was conducted in order to evaluate new safe and possibly more efficient ways for transmitting power along long elevated lines.
Tesla stated that the transmission of such safe currents across very long power line distances in the future would be a certainty, seeing their wonderful new qualities. Tesla found that high frequency currents were harmless when contacted by the human body. Discharges from these generators traversed the outer surface of materials, never penetrating matter with depth. He also observed their very curious and beautiful spark effects. They hissed and fizzled all over wire conductors, could stimulate luminescence in low pressure gas bulbs, seemed to traverse insulative barriers with ease, and made little pinwheels spin like delicate little fireworks displays.
Though curious, the effects were weak and furtive. Tesla learned that his intuitions and visions were infallible. As the safety of all personnel was his main concern, he was consumed with the idea of making his High Frequency Polyphase System completely safe for human operators and consumers alike. An extensive examination of each System component was undertaken with this aim in mind.
Tesla was thorough and relentless in his quest for safety and efficiency. But, his involvement with alternating currents would come to an abrupt and unexpected end.
During a series of experiments which followed these high frequency tests, an amazing seldom-mentioned accident occurred in which Tesla observed a phenomenon which forever altered his view of electricity and technology. Tesla was an avid and professional experimenter throughout his life. Whereas Edison would work and sleep for a few hours on the floor, Tesla would never sleep until he had achieved success in an experimental venture.
He was once observed to work through a seventy-two hour period without fatigue. His technicians were in awe of him. The Victorian Era was flooding over with new electrical discoveries by the day. Keeping up with the sheer volume of strange electrical discoveries and curiosities was a task, which Tesla thoroughly enjoyed His Polyphase System in perfect working order, the pleasurable occupation of studying new gazettes and scientific journals often fascinated his mind to the exclusion of all other responsibilities.
A millionaire and world-heralded genius before the age of thirty, Tesla sought the pure kind of research he had so long craved. Whenever he observed any intriguing electrical effect he immediately launched into experimental study with a hundred variations. Each study brought him such a wealth of new knowledge that, based on phenomena which he observed, he was immediately able to formulate new inventions and acquire new patents.
Tesla's New York laboratories had several sections. Tesla fabricated several of his large transformers and generators in the lower floors, where the machine shops of this building were housed. The upper floors contained his private research laboratories. He had attracted a loyal staff of technicians. Of all these, Kolman Czito was a trusted friend who would stand by Tesla for the remainder of his life.
While these had obvious practical applications in improvement and safety, Tesla was seized by certain peculiar aspects of the phenomenon. Switch terminals were often blasted to pieces when the speed of the switchman matched the current phase. Tesla assessed the situation very accurately. Suddenly applied currents will stress conductors both electrically and mechanically.
When the speed of the switch-action is brief enough, and the power reaches a sufficiently high crescendo, the effects are not unlike a miniature lightning stroke. Electricity initially heats the wire, bringing it to vapor point. The continual application of current then blasts the wire apart by electrostatic repulsion.
But was this mechanistic explanation responsible for every part of the phenomenon? The most refractory metals were said to be vaporized by such electrical blasts. Others had used this phenomenon to generate tiny granular diamonds. Yes, there were other aspects about this violent impulse phenomenon, which tantalized him. His idea was to blast sections of wire with lightning-like currents. Instantaneous applications of high current and high voltage could literally convert thin wires into vapor. Charged to high direct current potentials, his capacitors were allowed to discharge across a section of thin wire.
The application of a single switch contact would here produce a single, explosive electrical surge: a direct current impulse resembling lightning. At first Tesla hand-operated the system, manually snapping a heavy knife switch on and off. This became less favorable as the dynamo voltages were deliberately increased. He quickly closed the large knife switch held in his gloved hand.
The wire exploded. But as it did so, Tesla was stung by a pressure blast of needle-like penetrations. Closing the dynamo down, he rubbed his face, neck, arms, chest, and hands. The irritation was distinct. The blast was powerful. He must have been sprayed by hot metal droplets as small as smoke particles. Though he examined his person, he fortunately found no wounds. No evidence of the stinging blast, which he so powerful felt.
Placing a large glass plate between himself and the exploding wire, he performed the test again. The wire again turned to vapor But, what was this? Now he was not sure whether he was experiencing a pressure effect or an electrical one. Each "bang" produced the same unexpected shock response in Tesla, while exploding small wire sections into vapor. The instantaneous burst produced strange effects never observed with alternating currents. What surprised him was the fact that these needle-like shocks were able to reach him from a distance: he was standing almost ten feet from the discharge site!
These electrical irritations expanded out of the wire in all directions and filled the room in a mystifying manner. He had never before observed such an effect. He thought that the hot metal vapor might be acting as a "carrier" for the electrical charges. He utilized longer wires. When the discharge wire was resistive enough, no explosion could occur. Wire in place, the dynamo whirred at a slower speed. He threw the switch for a brief instant, and was again caught off guard by the stinging pressure wave!
The effect persisted despite the absence of an explosive conductor. Here was a genuine mystery. Hot vapor was not available to "carry" high voltage charges throughout the room. No charge carriers could be cited in this instance to explain the stinging nature of the pressure wave. So what was happening here? The pressure wave was sharp and strong, like a miniature thunderclap.
It felt strangely "electrical" when the dynamo voltage was sufficiently high. In fact, it was uncomfortably penetrating when the dynamo voltage was raised beyond certain thresholds. It became clear that these pressure waves might be electrified. Electrified sound waves. Such a phenomenon would not be unexpected when high voltages were used. Perhaps he was fortunate enough to observe the rare phenomenon for the first time. He asked questions. How and why did the charge jump out of the line in this strange manner?
Here was a phenomenon, which was not described in any of the texts with which he was familiar. And he knew every written thing on electricity. Thinking that he was the victim of some subtle, and possibly deadly short circuit, he rigorously examined the circuit design. Though he searched, he could find no electrical leakages. Deciding to better insulate the arrangement in order that all possible line leakages could be eradicated, he again attempted the experiment. The knife switch rapidly closed and opened, he again felt the unpleasant shock just as painfully as before.
Right through the glass shield! Now he was perplexed. Desiring total distance from the apparatus, he modified the system once more by making it "automatic". He could freely walk around the room during the test. He could hold the shield or simply walk without it. A small rotary spark switch was arranged in place of the hand-held knife switch. This time it was most intense. Tesla could not get away from the shocks, regardless of his distance from the apparatus across his considerably large gallery hall.
He scarcely could get near enough to deactivate the rotating switch. From what he was able to painfully observe, thin sparks of a bright blue-white color stood straight out of the line with each electrical contact. The shock effects were felt far beyond the visible spark terminations.
A paradox! No natural explanation could be found. No scientific explanation sufficed. There was simply not enough data on the phenomenon for an answer. And Tesla knew that this was no ordinary phenomenon. Somewhere in the heart of this activity was a deep natural secret. Secrets of this kind always opened humanity into new revolutions. Tesla considered this strange voltage multiplying effect from several viewpoints.
The problem centered around the fact that there was no magnetic induction taking place. Transformers raise or lower voltage when current is changing. Here were impulses. Change was happening during the impulse. But there was no transformer in the circuit. No wires were close enough for magnetic inductions to take place.
Without magnetic induction, there could theoretically be no transformation effect. No conversion from low to high voltage at all. Yet, each switch snap brought both the radiating blue-white sparks and their painful sting. Tesla noted that the strange sparks were more like electrostatic discharges. If the sparks had been direct current arcs reaching from the test line, he would surely have been killed with the very first close of the switch.
The physical pressure and stinging pain of these sparks across such distances could not be explained. This phenomenon had never been reported by those who should have seen and felt its activities. He further concluded that the effect was never seen before because no one had ever constructed such a powerful impulse generator. Tesla once envisioned a vortex of pure energy while looking into a sunset. The result of this great Providential vision was Polyphase current.
The Extraordinary Life of Nikola Tesla | Innovation | Smithsonian
A true revelation. But this, this was an original discovery found through an accident. It was an empirical discovery of enormous significance. Surprisingly, it was not. Tesla now questioned his own knowledge. He questioned the foundations on which he had placed so much confidence in the last several years. Perhaps he had not studied enough of the phenomena while doing so. Perhaps newer phenomena had not been discovered, and were therefore unavailable to Maxwell for consideration. There were innumerable electrical phenomena, which had been observed since the eighteenth century. Maxwell had difficulty selecting what he considered to be "the most fundamental" induction effects from the start.
The selection process was purely arbitrary. The quantitative wave of blindness was catching up with him. Tesla and others knew very well that there were strange and anomalous forms of electromagnetic induction, which were constantly, and accidentally being observed. These seemed to vary as the experimental apparatus varied. New electrical force discoveries were a regular feature of every Nature Magazine issue. Adamant in the confidence that all electrical phenomena had been both observed and mathematically described, academicians would be very slow to accept Tesla's claims.
But this academic sloth is not what bothered Tesla. He had already found adequate compensation for his superior knowledge in the world of industry. Tesla, now in possession of an effect, which was not predicted by Maxwell, began to question his own knowledge. Had he become a "mechanist", the very thing which he reviled when a student? Empirical fact contradicted what that upon he based his whole life's work. Goethe taught that nature leads humanity. The choice was clear: accept the empirical evidence and reject the conventional theory.
For a time he struggled with a way to "derive" the shock effect phenomenon by mathematically wrestling "validity" from Maxwell's equations A new electrical principle had been revealed. Tesla would take this, as he did the magnetic vortex, and from it weave a new world. What had historically taken place was indeed unfortunate. Had Maxwell lived after Tesla's accidental discovery, then the effect might have been included in the laws.
There was no other way to see his new discovery now. Empirical fact contradicted theoretical base. Tesla was compelled to follow. The result was an epiphany, which changed Tesla's inventive course. For the remainder of his life he would make scientific assertions, which few could believe, and fewer yet would reproduce. There yet exist several reproducible electrical phenomena, which cannot be predicted by Maxwell. They continually appear whenever adventuresome experimenters make accidental observations. In fact, here was an electrical "broadcast" effect whose implementation in a myriad of bizarre designs would set Tesla apart from all other inventors.
Despite this fact, few academicians grasped its significance as such. Academes argued that Tesla's effect could not exist. They insisted that Tesla revise his statements. How could he have done so, when the phenomenon was just discovered? Tesla now pondered the academic ramifications of this new effect. Would they now even dare to reject the possibility of such phenomena on the basis of an incomplete mathematical description? Seeing that the effect could grant humanity enormous possibilities when once tamed, Tesla wished to study and implement the radiant electrical action under much safer conditions.
The very first step, which he took before proceeding with this experimental line, was the construction of special grounded copper barriers: shields to block the electrical emanations from reaching him. They were large, body-sized mantles of relatively thick copper. He grounded these to insure his own complete safety. In electrical terms, they formed a "Faraday Cage" around him. This assembly would block out all static discharges from ever reaching Tesla during the tests. Now he could both observe and write what he saw with confidence.
Positioned behind his copper mantle, Tesla initiated the action. An impossibility. Yet this energetic effect was penetrating, electrically shocking, and pressured. He had no words to describe this aspect of the new phenomenon. The shocks really stung. Tesla was sure that this new discovery would produce a completely new breed of inventions, once tamed and regulated. Its effects differed completely from those observed in high frequency alternating current. In fact, this effect relied on the non-reversing nature of each applied burst for its appearance.
A quick contact charge by a powerful high voltage dynamo was performing a feat of which no alternating generator was capable. Most researchers and engineers are fixed in their view of Nikola Tesla and his discoveries. They seem curiously rigidified in the thought that his only realm of experimental developments laid in alternating current electricity. This is an erroneous conception which careful patent study reveals. The secret lay principally in the direct current application in a small time interval.
Tesla studied this time increment, believing that it might be possible to eliminate the pain field by shortening the length of time during which the switch contact is made. Each contact lasted an average of one ten-thousandth second.
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Exposing himself to such impulses of very low power, he discovered to his joy and amazement that the pain field was nearly absent. Increasing the power levels of this device produced no pain increase, but did produce an intriguing increased pressure field. Not able to properly comprehend their nature at first, Tesla also conservatively approached the pressure phenomenon as due to air pressure. He had first stated that the pressure field effect was due to sharp sound waves, which proceeded outward from the suddenly charged line.
In fact, he reported this in a little-known publication where he first announced the discovery. Calling the pressure effects "electrified sound waves", he described their penetrating nature in acoustic terms.
Debunking the Tesla Myth:
Further experimentation however, gradually brought the new awareness that both the observed pressure effect and electrical shock fields were not taking place in air at all. He demonstrated that these actions could take place in oil immersions. Strong pressure projections emerged from sharp wire ends in the oil, as if air were streaming out under high pressure.
Tesla first believed that this stream was wire-absorbed air driven off by electrical pressure. Continual operation of the phenomenon convinced him that the projected stream was not air at all. Furthermore, he was not at a loss to explain the effect, but was reluctant to mention his own theory of what had been generated by high voltage direct current impulses. Tesla made electrical measurements of this projective stream. One lead of a galvanometer was connected to a copper plate, the other grounded. When impulses were applied to wire line, the unattached and distant meter registered a continual direct current.
Current through space without wires! Tesla was amazed to find these rays absolutely longitudinal in their action through space, describing them in a patent as "light-like rays". These observations conformed with theoretical expectations described in by Kelvin.
In another article Tesla calls them "dark-rays", and "rays which are more light-like in character". The rays neither diminished with the inverse square of the distance nor the inverse of the distance from their source. Nikola Tesla now required greater power levels than those provided by his mechanical rotary switch system.
He had to envision and devise some new means by which ultra-rapid interruptions could be obtained. In his best and most efficient system, highly charged capacitors were allowed to impulsively discharge across special heavy-duty magnetic arcs. The magnetic arc gap was capable of handling the large currents required by Tesla. In achieving powerful, sudden impulses of one polarity, these were the most durable. Horn shaped electrodes were positioned with a powerful permanent magnetic field.
Placed at right angles to the arc itself, the currents, which suddenly formed in this magnetic space, were accelerated along the horns until they were extinguished. Rapidly extinguished!
Tesla configured the circuit parameters so as to prevent capacitor alternations from occurring through the arc space. Each arc discharge represented a pure unidirectional impulse of very great power. No "contaminating current reversals" were possible or permissible. The effect was never observed when alternating currents were engaged. High voltage was supplied by a large dynamo.
Tesla could speed or slow this dynamo with a hand operated rheostat. Power was applied in parallel across the capacitor. The magnetic arc was linked almost directly to one side of this capacitor, a long and thick copper strap connecting the magnetic arc and the far capacitor plate.
This simple asymmetric positioning of the magnetic arc discharger to one side of the dynamo supply produced pure unidirectional electropositive or electronegative impulses as desired. Capacitor values, arc distances, magnetic fields and dynamo voltages were all balanced and adjusted to yield a repetitive train of ultra-short singular impulses without "fly back" effects.
The system is not really well understood by engineers, the exceptional activities of the arc plasma introducing numerous additional features to the overall system. While the effects, which Tesla claimed, can be reproduced with electron tube impulse circuitry, these produce decidedly inferior effects. The overall power of the basic arc discharge is difficult to equal. The magnetic discharge device was a true stroke of genius. This rapid current rise and decline formed an impulse of extraordinary power. Tesla called this form of automatic arc switching a "disruptive discharge" circuit, distinguishing it from numerous other kinds of arc discharge systems.
It is very simply a means for interrupting a high voltage direct current without allowing any backward current alternations. When these conditions are satisfied, the Tesla Effect is then observed. The asymmetrical positioning of the capacitor and the magnetic arc determines the polarity of the impulse train. If the magnetic arc device is placed near the positive charging side, then the strap is charged negative and the resultant current discharge is decidedly negative.
Tesla approached the testing of his more powerful systems with certain fear. Each step of the testing process was necessarily a dangerous one. But he discovered that when the discharges exceeded ten thousand per second, the painful shock effect was absent. Nerves of the body were obviously incapable of registering the separate impulses. But this insensitivity could lead to a most seductive death. The deadly aspects of electricity might remain. Tesla was therefore all the more wary of the experiments.
He noticed that, though the pain field was gone, the familiar pressure effect remained. In its place came a defined and penetrating heat. Tesla was well aware that such heat could signal internal electrocution. Each increase brought increase in the internal heating effects. He remained poised at each power level, sensing and scoping his own physiology for danger signs. He continued raising the power level until the magnetic arc reached its full buzzing roar. Tesla found that this heat could be adjusted and, when not extreme, was completely enjoyable.
An electrical "sauna". He later reported these findings in medical journals, freely offering the discovery to the medical world for its therapeutic benefits. Once, having overindulged the electro-sauna therapy, he fell into a profoundly deep sleep from which he emerged a day later! During this time, Tesla found shorter impulse lengths where the heating effect disappeared altogether, rendering the radiance absolutely harmless. These impulse trains were so very high that the deepest nerves of one's body could not sense the permeating radiant energy field. Now he could pursue his vision of broadcast energy systems without fear of rendering to humanity a technological curse, rather than a true blessing.
Tesla operated the magnetic arc system at higher power levels, experimenting with various impulse lengths and repetition rates. He measured the mysterious electrical current, which apparently flowed through space from this system. These radiant fields operated at far greater power than before.
For one thing, Tesla noticed that metallic surfaces near the impulser became covered with white brush-like corona discharges. While the sparks played in trails across the metal surfaces, Tesla observed physical movement among the metal objects. Tensions and rocking motions. Both phenomena occurring simultaneously, he was utterly fascinated.
The sparks themselves seemed alive. What was this strange coalition, this synchronicity of phenomena? Brilliant white coronas came forth with a gaseous "hissing" sound from metal points and edges. Metal plates were soon poised all around the device for observation. Tesla recognized at once that these effects were not identical with those obtained earlier while using high frequency alternating currents. These new discharges were white, energetic, and strong. The electrical behavior of copper plates, rods, cylinders, and spheres near his primary impulser brought forth a great variety of white fluidic discharges.
Strong discharge brushes appeared from the ends of copper plates. Tesla tried copper discs. He observed the curious manner in which these white discharges seemed to "race" around the disc edge at times, blending and separating with all the other sparks. Each form, poised near his impulser, gave a characteristic corona distribution. This coronal correspondence with specific geometric form greatly impressed him. With certain metal forms the discharges were very fluidic in appearance. Smooth, fluidic sheaths covered copper cylinders of specific size.
This absolutely fascinated Tesla. There was an aerodynamic nature inherent in radiant electricity. Copper cylinders produced remarkable volumes of white discharges. The discharges from certain sized cylinders were actually larger than those being applied. This inferred that an energy transformation effect was taking place within the cylinder. This reminded him of his initial observation with the shock-excited wires. Why was this happening? The key to understanding this bizarre phenomenon might be found here, he thought. He observed the discharges from copper cylinders of various diameters.
Each became edged with white brush discharges when held near or actually placed within the conductive copper strap of the impulser. The discharge effect was most pronounced when cylinders were placed within the periphery of the copper strap. Tesla noticed that white corona sheaths were actually covering the outer cylinder wall at times. These would appear, build in strength, and disappear on sudden discharge with a surprising length.
Very small cylinders behaved like rods, where discharges only appeared at their edges. Tesla noticed that not every cylinder performed well near the impulser. There was an obvious connection between the supplied impulse train and the cylinder volume. But what was it?
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