June 10, 1902
The invention seems to
have been suggested by
my article which has
given great trouble to
you and infinitely more
to me. Look up page
200 of Century particularly
where I refer to novel facts.
The report is not likely
||to be true but it
is singular that I
have also found a solution
which I have been following
up since a long time
and which promises very
well. I was at the
point of revealing my
method in the article
but you pressed me to
find that I did not have
enough energy left to
do it. I am glad
The conditions at the
||Pic of Teneriffe are
ideal for the success
of such methods as
I contemplate to employ
for getting a steady
supply of small amounts
Sorry I was unable
Suffice it to state that the resultant of all these forces is always in the direction of reason, which therefore, determines, at any time, the direction of human movement. This is to say that every effort which is scientifically applied, rational, useful, or practical, must be in the direction in which the mass is moving. The practical, rational man, the observer, the man of business, he who reasons, calculates, or determines in advance, carefully applies his effort so that when coming into effect it will be in the direction of the movement, making it thus most efficient, and in this knowledge and ability lies the secret of his success.
Again: we need resonance.
Every new fact discovered, every new experience or new element added to our knowledge and entering into the domain of reason, affects the same and, therefore, changes the direction of movement, which, however, must always take place along the resultant of all those efforts which, at that time, we designate as reasonable, that is, self-preserving, useful, profitable, or practical. These efforts concern our daily life, our necessities and comforts, our work and business, and it is these which drive man onward.
But looking at all this busy world about us, on all this complex mass as it daily throbs and moves, what is it but an immense clock-work driven by a spring?
Talking about our planetary system: an immense clock-work driven by…. the Sun. He will explain this analogue in a minute, Just hang on…
In the morning, when we rise, we cannot fail to note that all the objects about us are manufactured by machinery: the water we use is lifted by steam-power; the trains bring our breakfast from distant localities; the elevators in our dwelling and our office building, the cars that carry us there, are all driven by power; in all our daily errands, and in our very life-pursuit, we depend upon it; all the objects we see tell us of it; and when we return to our machine-made dwelling at night, lest we should forget it, all the material comforts of our home, our cheering stove and lamp, remind us of how much we depend on power. And when there is an accidental stoppage of the machinery, when the city is snowbound, or the life sustaining movement otherwise temporarily arrested, we are affrightened to realize how impossible it would be for us to live the life we live without motive power. Motive power means work. To increase the force accelerating human movement means, therefore, to perform more work.
So we find that the three possible solutions of the great problem of increasing human energy are answered by the three words: food, peace, work. Many a year I have thought and pondered, lost myself in speculations and theories, considering man electricity as a mass moved by a force, viewing his inexplicable movement in the light of a mechanical one, and applying the simple principles of mechanics to the analysis of the same until I arrived at these solutions, only to realize that they were taught to me in my early childhood. These three words sound the key-notes of the Christian religion. Their scientific meaning and purpose now clear to me: food to increase the mass, peace to diminish the retarding force, and work to increase the force accelerating human movement. These are the only three solutions which are possible of that great problem, and all of them have one object, one end, namely, to increase human energy. When we recognize this, we cannot help wondering how profoundly wise and scientific and how immensely practical the Christian religion is, and in what a marked contrast it stands in this respect to other religions. It is unmistakably the result of practical experiment and scientific observation which have extended through the ages, while other religions seem to be the outcome of merely abstract reasoning. Work, untiring effort, useful and accumulative, with periods of rest and recuperation aiming at higher efficiency, is its chief and ever-recurring command. Thus we are inspired both by Christianity and Science to do our utmost toward increasing the performance of mankind. This most important of human problems I shall now specifically consider.
There is a deeper meaning in this last remark, but let me stay with the technical aspects…
THE SOURCE OF HUMAN ENERGY—THE THREE WAYS OF DRAWING ENERGY FROM THE SUN.
First let us ask: Whence comes all the motive power? What is the spring that drives all?
Remember? I told you, he will explain this for you.
We see the ocean rise and fall, the rivers flow, the wind, rain, hail, and snow beat on our windows, the trains and steamers come and go; we hear the rattling noise of carriages, the voices from the street; we feel, smell, and taste; and we think of all this. And all this movement, from the surging of the mighty ocean to that subtle movement concerned in our thought, has but one common cause. All this energy emanates from one single centre, one single source—the sun. The sun is the spring that drives all. The sun maintains all human life and supplies all human energy. Another answer we have now found to the above great question:To increase the force accelerating human electrical movement means to turn to the uses of man more of the sun’s energy. We honour and revere those great men of bygone times whose names are linked with immortal achievements, who have proved themselves benefactors of humanity—the religious reformer with his wise maxims of life, the philosopher with his deep truths, the mathematician with his formulæ, the physicist with his laws, the discoverer with his principles and secrets wrested from nature, the artist with his forms of the beautiful; but who honours him, the greatest of all,—who can tell the name of him,—who first turned to use the sun’s energy to save the effort of a weak fellow-creature? That was man’s first act of scientific philanthropy, and its consequences have been incalculable.
From the very beginning three ways of drawing energy from the sun were open to man. The savage, when he warmed his frozen limbs at a fire kindled in some way, availed himself of the energy of the sun stored in the burning material. When he carried a bundle of branches to his cave and burned them there, he made use of the sun’s stored energy transported from one to another locality. When he set sail to his canoe, he utilized the energy of the sun applied to the atmosphere or the ambient medium. There can be no doubt that the first is the oldest way. A fire, found accidentally, taught the savage to appreciate its beneficial heat. He then very likely conceived of the idea of carrying the glowing members to his abode. Finally he learned to use the force of a swift current of water or air. It is characteristic of modern development that progress has been effected in the same order. The utilization of the energy stored in wood or coal, or, generally speaking, fuel, led to the steam-engine. Next a great stride in advance was made in energy-transportation by the use of electricity, which permitted the transfer of energy from one locality to another without transporting the material. But as to the utilization of the energy of the ambient medium, no radical step forward has as yet been made known.
The ultimate results of development in these three directions are: first, the burning of coal by a cold process in a battery; second, the efficient utilization of the energy of the ambient medium; and, third the transmission without wires of electrical energy to any distance.
These last two were goals of the Wardenclyffe project.
In whatever way these results may be arrived at, their practical application will necessarily involve an extensive use of iron, and this invaluable metal will undoubtedly be an essential element in the further development along these three lines. If we succeed in burning coal by a cold process and thus obtain electrical energy in an efficient and inexpensive manner, we shall require in many practical uses of this energy electric motors—that is, iron. If we are successful in deriving energy from the ambient medium, we shall need, both in the obtainment and utilization of the energy, machinery—again, iron. If we realize the transmission of electrical energy without wires on an industrial scale, we shall be compelled to use extensively electric generators—once more, iron. Whatever we may do, iron will probably be the chief means of accomplishment in the near future, possibly more so than in the past. How long its reign will last is difficult to tell, for even now aluminium is looming up as a threatening competitor. But for the time being, next toproviding new resources of energy, it is of the greatest importance to making improvements in themanufacture and utilization of iron. Great advances are possible in these latter directions, which, if brought about, would enormously increase the useful performance of mankind.
Let me remind you of this:
This new and inexhaustible source of food (energy) -supply will be of incalculable benefit to mankind, for it will enormously contribute to the increase of the human mass, and thus add immensely tohuman energy. Soon, I hope, the world will see the beginning of an industry which, in time to come, will, I believe, be in importance next to that of iron.
These two pieces of text give you some important keys.
GREAT POSSIBILITIES OFFERED BY IRON FOR INCREASING HUMAN PERFORMANCE—ENORMOUS WASTE IN IRON MANUFACTURE.
Iron is by far the most important factor in modern progress. It contributes more than any other industrial product to the force accelerating human movement. So general is the use of this metal, and so intimately is it connected with all that concerns our life, that it has become as indispensable to us as the very air we breathe. Its name is synonymous with usefulness. But, however great the influence of iron may be on the present human development, it does not add to the force urging man onward nearly as much as it might.
Iron now takes the role of energy analogue.
First of all, its manufacture as now carried on is connected with an appalling waste of fuel—that is, waste of energy. Then, again, only a part of all the iron produced is applied for useful purposes. A good part of it goes to create frictional resistances, while still another large part is the means of developing negative forces greatly retarding human movement.
There is a great waste in the use of energy.
Thus the negative force of war is almost wholly represented in iron. It is impossible to estimate with any degree of accuracy the magnitude of this greatest of all retarding forces, but it is certainly very considerable. If the present positive impelling force due to all useful applications of iron be represented by ten, for instance, I should not think it exaggeration to estimate the negative force of war, with due consideration of all its retarding influences and results, at, say, six. On the basis of this estimate the effective impelling force of iron in the positive direction would be measured by the difference of these two numbers, which is four. But if, through the establishment of universal peace, the manufacture of war machinery should cease, and all struggle for supremacy between nations should be turned into healthful, ever active and productive commercial competition, then the positive impelling force due to iron would be measured by the sum of those two, numbers, which is sixteen—that is, this force would have four times its present value. This example is, of course, merely intended to give an idea of the immense increase in the useful performance of mankind which would result from a radical reform of the iron industries supplying the implements of warfare.
This is about the waste of energy in transformer cores.
A similar inestimable advantage in the saving of energy available to man would be secured by obviating thegreat waste of coal which is inseparably connected with the present methods of manufacturing iron. In some countries, such as Great Britain, the hurtful effects of this squandering of fuel are beginning to be felt. The price of coal is constantly rising, and the poor are made to suffer more and more. Though we are still far from the dreaded “exhaustion of the coal-fields,” philanthropy commands us to invent novel methods of manufacturing iron, which will not involve such barbarous waste of this valuable material from which we derive at present most of our energy. It is our duty to coming generations to leave this store of energy intact for them, or at least not to touch it until we shall have perfected processes for burning coal more efficiently. Those who are coming after us will need fuel more than we do. We should be able to manufacture theiron electricity we require by using the sun’s energy, without wasting any coal at all. As an effort to this end the idea of smelting iron ores by electric currents obtained from the energy of falling water has naturally suggested itself to many. I have myself spent much time in endeavouring to evolve such a practical process, which would enable iron to be manufactured at small cost. After a prolonged investigation of the subject, finding that it was unprofitable to use the currents generated directly for smelting the ore, I devised a method which is far more economical.
Notice that the word barbarous is always used in conjunction with waste.
ECONOMICAL PRODUCTION OF IRON BY A NEW PROCESS.
The industrial project, as I worked it out six years ago, contemplated the employment of the electric currents derived from the energy of a waterfall, not directly for smelting the ore, but for decomposingwater electric current for a preliminary step. To lessen the cost of the plant, I proposed to generate the currents in exceptionally cheap and simple dynamos, which I designed for this sole purpose.The hydrogen ether pressure liberated in the electrolytic decomposition was to be burned orrecombined with oxygen electrons, not with that from which it was separated, but with that of the atmosphere. Thus very nearly the total electrical energy used up in the decomposition of the water would be recovered in the form of heat resulting from the recombination of the hydrogen. This heat was to be applied to the smelting of ore. The oxygen electrons gained as a by-product of the decomposition of the water electric current I intended to use for certain other industrial purposes, which would probably yield good financial returns, inasmuch as this is the cheapest way of obtaining this gas in large quantities. In any event, it could be employed to burn all kinds of refuse, cheap hydrocarbon, or coal of the most inferior quality which could not be burned in air or be otherwise utilized to advantage, and thus again a considerable amount of heat voltage would be made available for the smelting of the ore. To increase the economy of the process I contemplated, furthermore, using an arrangement such that the hot metal and the products of combustion, coming out of the furnace, would give up their heat upon the cold ore going into the furnace, so that comparatively little of the heat energy would be lost in the smelting.
This is a regenerative loop, that Tesla talks about, such as Carl Linde used in cooling air. Tesla will get into more detail later. The details of Tesla’s explanation of the self-acting-engine are needed to find and understand the above code.
See the video’s on “workings” tab to find out how the above works out.
I calculated that probably forty thousand pounds of iron could be produced per horse-power per annum by this method. Liberal allowances were made for those losses which are unavoidable, the above quantity being about half of that theoretically obtainable. Relying on this estimate and on practical data with reference to a certain kind of sand ore source of electricity existing in abundance in the region of the Great Lakes, including cost of transportation and labour, I found that in some localities iron could be manufactured in this manner cheaper than by any of the adopted methods.
||For those who do not know; to the left we see the Great Lakes. The marker A is at Niagara Falls, where a previous project from Nikola Tesla is located. The “sand ore” mentioned in this article is hydro-electric power.
We know from the “rare notes” that the original plans for Wardenclyffe involved a tower at least three times bigger than what was actually build. The one that was build could distribute 10,000 HP, according to Tesla. It is possible that the original plans involved a 40,000 HP plant.
This result would be obtained all the more surely if the oxygen obtained from the water, instead of being used for smelting of ore, as assumed, should be more profitably employed. Any new demand for this gas would secure a higher revenue from the plant, thus cheapening the iron. This project was advanced merely in the interest of industry. Some day, I hope, a beautiful industrial butterfly will come out of the dusty and shrivelled chrysalis.
Tesla knows how Wardenclyffe would end, but in the distant future, he hopes “a beautiful industrial butterfly” will come out of it.
The production of iron electricity from sand ores hydro-electric power by a process of magnetic separation(alternator) is highly commendable in principle, since it involves no waste of coal; but the usefulness of this method is largely reduced by the necessity of melting the iron afterwards (transforming it for distribution). As to the crushing of iron ore, I would consider it rational only if done by water-power, or by energy otherwiseobtained without consumption of fuel. An electrolytic cold process, which would make it possible to extract iron cheaply, and also to mould it into the required forms without any fuel consumption, would, in my opinion, be a very great advance in iron manufacture. In common with some other metals, iron has so far resisted electrolytic treatment, but there can be no doubt that such a cold process will ultimately replace in metallurgy the present crude method of casting, and thus obviating the enormous waste of fuel necessitated by the repeated heating of metal in the foundries.
Tesla is aware of the fact that his method creates electricity at very high voltages, it would be more practical if we could modify this process in such a way that we generate electricity at a house-hold voltage.
Up to a few decades ago the usefulness of iron was based almost wholly on its remarkable mechanical properties, but since the advent of the commercial dynamo and electric motor its value to mankind has been greatly increased by its unique magnetic qualities. As regards the latter, iron has been greatly improved of late. The signal progress began about thirteen years ago, when I discovered that in using soft Bessemer steel instead of wrought iron, as then customary, in an alternating motor, the performance of the machine was doubled. I brought this fact to the attention of Mr. Albert Schmid, to whose untiring efforts and ability is largely due the supremacy of American electrical machinery, and who was then superintendent of an industrial corporation engaged in this field. Following my suggestion, he constructed transformers of steel, and they showed the same marked improvement. The investigation was then systematically continued under Mr. Schmid’s guidance, the impurities being gradually eliminated from the “steel” (which was only such in name, for in reality it was pure soft iron), and soon a product resulted which admitted of little further improvement.
THE COMING AGE OF ALUMINIUM—DOOM OF THE COPPER INDUSTRY—THE GREAT CIVILIZING POTENCY OF THE NEW METAL.
What do Iron, Copper and Aluminium stand for? We know from the previous section that Iron stands for electric currents, we will see that all metals do. They are currents with different characteristics.
With the advances made in iron of late years we have arrived virtually at the limits of improvement. We cannot hope to increase very materially its tensile strength, elasticity, hardness, or malleability, nor can we expect to make it much better as regards its magnetic qualities. More recently a notable gain was secured by the mixture of a small percentage of nickel with the iron, but there is not much room for further advance in this direction. New discoveries may be expected, but they cannot greatly add to the valuable properties of the metal, though they may considerably reduce the cost of manufacture. The immediate future of iron is assured by its cheapness and its unrivalled mechanical and magnetic qualities. These are such that no other product can compete with it now. But there can be no doubt that, at a time not very distant, iron, in many of its now uncontested domains, will have to pass the sceptre to another: the coming age will be the age of aluminium. It is only seventy years since this wonderful metal was discovered by Woehler, and the aluminium industry, scarcely forty years old, commands already the attention of the entire world. Such rapid growth has not been recorded in the history of civilization before. Not long ago aluminium was sold at the fanciful price of thirty or forty dollars per pound; today it can be had in any desired amount for as many cents. What is more, the time is not far off when this price, too, will be considered fanciful, for great improvements are possible in the methods of its manufacture. Most of the metal is now produced in the electric furnace by a process combining fusion and electrolysis, which offers a number of advantageous features, but involves naturally a great waste of the electrical energy of the current. My estimates show that the price of aluminium could be considerably reduced by adopting in its manufacture a method similar to that proposed by me for the production of iron. A pound of aluminium requires for fusion only about seventy per cent of the heat needed for melting a pound of iron, and inasmuch as its weight is only about one third of that of the latter, a volume of aluminium four times that of iron could be obtained from a given amount of heat-energy. But a cold electrolytic process of manufacture is the ideal solution, and on this I have placed my hope.
The absolutely unavoidable consequence of the advancement of the aluminium industry will be the annihilation of the copper industry. They cannot exist and prosper together, and the latter is doomed beyond any hope of recovery. Even now it is cheaper to convey an electric current through aluminium wires than through copper wires; aluminium castings cost less, and in many domestic and other uses copper has no chance of successfully competing. A further material reduction of the price of aluminium cannot but be fatal to copper. But the progress of the former will not go on unchecked, for, as it ever happens in such cases, the larger industry will absorb the smaller one: the giant copper interests will control the pygmy aluminium interests, and the slow-pacing copper will reduce the lively gait of aluminium. This will only delay, not avoid the impending catastrophe.
Aluminium, however, will not stop at downing copper. Before many years have passed it will be engaged in a fierce struggle with iron, and in the latter it will find an adversary not easy to conquer. The issue of the contest will largely depend on whether iron shall be indispensable in electric machinery. This the future alone can decide. The magnetism as exhibited in iron is an isolated phenomenon in nature. What it is that makes this metal behave so radically different from all other materials in this respect has not yet been ascertained, though many theories have been suggested. As regards magnetism, the molecules of the various bodies behave like hollow beams partly filled with a heavy fluid and balanced in the middle in the manner of a see-saw. Evidently some disturbing influence exists in nature which causes each molecule, like such a beam, to tilt either one or the other way. If the molecules are tilted one way, the body is magnetic; if they are tilted the other way, the body is non-magnetic; but both positions are stable, as they would be in the case of the hollow beam, owing to the rush of the fluid to the lower end. Now, the wonderful thing is that the molecules of all known bodies went one way, while those of iron went the other way. This metal, it would seem, has an origin entirely different from that of the rest of the globe. It is highly improbable that we shall discover some other and cheaper material which will equal or surpass iron in magnetic qualities.
Unless we should make a radical departure in the character of the electric currents employed, iron will be indispensable. Yet the advantages it offers are only apparent. So long as we use feeble magnetic forces it is by far superior to any other material; but if we find ways of producing great magnetic forces, than better results will be obtainable without it. In fact, I have already produced electric transformers in which no iron is employed, and which are capable of performing ten times as much work per pound of weight as those of iron. This result is attained by using electric currents of a very high rate of vibration, produced in novel ways, instead of the ordinary currents now employed in the industries. I have also succeeded in operating electric motors without iron by such rapidly vibrating currents, but the results, so far, have been inferior to those obtained with ordinary motors constructed of iron, although theoretically the former should be capable of performing incomparably more work per unit of weight than the latter. But the seemingly insuperable difficulties which are now in the way may be overcome in the end, and then iron will be done away with, and all electric machinery will be manufactured of aluminium, in all probability, at prices ridiculously low. This would be a severe, if not fatal, blow to iron. In many other branches of industry, as ship-building, or wherever lightness of structure is required, the progress of the new metal will be much quicker. For such uses it is eminently suitable, and is sure to supersede iron sooner or later. It is highly probable that in the course of time we shall be able to give it many of those qualities which make iron so valuable.
While it is impossible to tell when this industrial revolution will be consummated, there can be no doubt thatthe future belongs to aluminium high frequency currents, and that in times to come it will be the chief means of increasing human performance. It has in this respect capacities greater by far than those of any other metal current. I should estimate its civilizing potency at fully one hundred times that of iron.
This happens to be the magnification factor mentioned in the “rare notes”:
“Assuming magnifying factor in receiving circuit = 100 we may get with a tuned circuit er = 11 x I07volt, ir = π/40 amp and Wr= 11π x I07/40 = 86 x 105 watts. Perfectly wonderful!”
This estimate, though it may astonish, is not at all exaggerated. First of all, we must remember that there is thirty times as much aluminium as iron in bulk, available for the uses of man. This in itself offers great possibilities. Then, again, the new metal is much more easily workable, which adds to its value. In many of its properties it partakes of the character of a precious metal, which gives it additional worth. Its electric conductivity, which, for a given weight amount of energy, is greater than that of any other metalcurrent, would be alone sufficient to make it one of the most important factors in future human progress. Its extreme lightness makes it far more easy to transport the objects manufactured. By virtue of this property it will revolutionize naval construction, and in facilitating transport and travel it will add enormously to the useful performance of mankind. But its greatest civilizing property will be, I believe, in aërial travel, which is sure to be brought about by means of it.
Here Tesla reveals some of his wingless air-plane plans.
Telegraphic instruments will slowly enlighten the barbarian.
Spark-gap and resonant circuit – will lead to understanding electricity
Electric motors and lamps will do it more quickly,
Rotating magnetic fields and light…
but quicker than anything else the flying-machine will do it. By rendering travel ideally easy it will be the best means for unifying the heterogeneous elements of humanity. As the first step toward this realization we should produce a lighter storage-battery or get more energy from coal.
EFFORTS TOWARD OBTAINING MORE ENERGY FROM COAL—THE ELECTRIC TRANSMISSION—THE GAS-ENGINE—THE COLD-COAL BATTERY.
I remember that at one time I considered the production of electricity by burning coal in a battery as the greatest achievement toward the advancing civilization, and I am surprised to find how much the continuous study of these subjects has modified my views. It now seems to me that to burn coal, however efficiently, in a battery would be a mere makeshift, a phase in the evolution toward something much more perfect. After all, in generating electricity in this manner, we should be destroying material, and this would be a barbarous process. We ought to be able to obtain the energy we need without consumption of material.
1896-12-23: Mr. Tesla on Thermo Electricity
The transmission of power has interested me not only as a technical problem, but far more in its bearing upon the welfare of mankind. In this sense I have expressed myself in a lecture, delivered some time ago. Since electrical transmission of energy is a process much more economical than any other we know of, it necessarily must play an important part in the future, no matter how the primary energy is derived from the sun. Of all the ways the utilization of a waterfall seems to be the simplest and least wasteful. Even if we could, by combining carbon in a battery, convert the work of the chemical combination into electrical energy with very high economy, such mode of obtaining power would, in my opinion, be no more than a mere makeshift, bound to be replaced sooner or later by amore perfect method, which implies no consumption of any material whatever.
But I am far from underrating the value of such an efficient method of burning fuel. At the present time most motive power comes from coal, and, either directly or by its products, it adds vastly to human energy. Unfortunately, in all the process now adopted, the larger portion of the energy of the coal is uselessly dissipated. The best steam-engines utilize only a small part of the total energy. Even in gas-engines, in which, particularly of late, better results are obtainable, there is still a barbarous waste going on. In our electric-lighting systems we scarcely utilize one third of one per cent., and in lighting by gas a much smaller fraction, of the total energy of the coal. Considering the various uses of coal throughout the world, we certainly do not utilize more than two per cent of its energy theoretically available. The man who should stop this senseless waste would be a great benefactor of humanity, though the solution he would offer could not be a permanent one, since it would ultimately lead to the exhaustion of the store of material. Efforts toward obtaining more energy from coal are now being made chiefly in two directions—by generating electricity and by producing gas for motive-power purposes. In both of these lines notable success has already been achieved.
The advent of the alternating-current system of electric power-transmission marks an epoch in the economy of energy available to man from coal. Evidently all electrical energy obtained from a waterfall, saving so much fuel, is a net gain to mankind, which is all the more effective as it is secured with little expenditure of human effort, and as this most perfect of all known methods of deriving energy from the sun contributes in many ways to the advancement of civilization. But electricity enables us also to get from coal much more energy than was practicable in the old ways. Instead of transporting the coal to distant places of consumption, we burn it near the mine, develop electricity in the dynamos, and transmit the current to remote localities, thus effecting a considerable saving. Instead of driving the machinery in a factory in the old wasteful way of belts and shafting, we generate electricity by steam-power and operate electric motors. In this manner it is not uncommon to obtain two or three times as much effective motive power from the fuel, besides securing many other important advantages. It is in this field as much as in the transmission of energy to great distance that the alternating system, with its ideally simple machinery, is bringing about an industrial revolution. But in many lines this progress has not been yet fully felt. For example, steamers and trains are still being propelled by the direct application of steam-power to shafts or axles. A much greater percentage of the heat-energy of the fuel could be transformed into motive energy by using, in place of the adopted marine engines and locomotives, dynamos driven by specially designed high-pressure steam- or gas-engines and by utilizing the electricity generated for the propulsion. A gain of fifty to one hundred per cent in the effective energy derived from the coal could be secured in this manner. It is difficulty to understand why a fact so plain and obvious is not receiving more attention from engineers. In ocean steamers such an improvement would be particularly desirable, as it would do away with noise and increase materially the speed and the carrying capacity of the liners.
This is the same statement, more or less, as the one Tesla made on process of obtaining iron. First use the energy to generate electricity, then use the electricity. This only works if you have means for transmitting the electricity to the boat, train or plane. Then you do not need to carry fuel.
Still more energy is now being obtained from coal by the latest improved gas-engine, the economy of which is, on the average, probably twice that of the best steam-engine. The introduction of the gas-engine is very much facilitated by the importance of the gas industry. With the increasing use of the electric light more and more of the gas is utilized for heating and motive-power purposes. In many instances gas is manufactured close to the coal-mine and conveyed to distant places of consumption, a considerable saving both in cost of transportation and in utilization of the energy of the fuel being thus effected. In the present state of the mechanical and electrical arts the most rational way of deriving energy from coal is evidently to manufacture gas close to the coal store, and to utilize it, either on the spot or elsewhere, to generate electricity for industrial uses in dynamos driven by gas engines. The commercial success of such a plant is largely dependent upon the production of gas-engines of great nominal horse-power, which, judging from the keen activity in this field will soon be forthcoming. Instead of consuming coal directly, as usual, gas should be manufactured from it and burned to economize energy.
Here Tesla mentions 2 steps preceding the use of coal, first convert it to gas, then to electricity and then use it. This is surprising as it is commonly known that every conversion implies losses…. It could refer to transport of energy through the air…
But all such improvements cannot be more than passing phases in the evolution toward something far more perfect, for ultimately we must succeed in obtaining electricity from coal in a more direct way, involving no great loss of heat-energy. Whether coal can be oxidized by a cold process is still a question. Its combination with oxygen always involves heat, and whether the energy of the combination of the carbon with another element can be turned directly into electrical energy has not yet been determined. Under certain conditions nitric acid will burn the carbon, generating an electric current, but the solution does not remain cold. Other means of oxidizing coal have been proposed, but they have offered no promise of leading to an efficient process. My own lack of success has been complete, though perhaps not quite so complete as that of some who have “perfected” the cold-coal battery. This problem is essentially one for the chemist to solve. It is not for the physicist, who determines all his results in advance, so that, when the experiment is tried, it cannot fail. Chemistry, though a positive science, does not yet admit of a solution by such positive methods as those which are available in the treatment of many physical problems. The result, if possible, will be arrived at through patient trying rather than through deduction or calculation. The time will soon come, however, when the chemist will be able to follow a course clearly mapped out beforehand, and when the process of his arriving at a desired result will be purely constructive. The cold-coal battery would give a great impetus to electrical development; it would lead very shortly to a practical flying-machine, and would enormously enhance the introduction of the automobile. But these and many other problems will be better solved, and in a more scientific manner, by a light storage battery.
ENERGY FROM THE MEDIUM—THE WINDMILL AND THE SOLAR ENGINE,—MOTIVE POWER FROM TERRESTRIAL HEAT—ELECTRICITY FROM NATURAL SOURCES.
Besides fuel, there is abundant material from which we might eventually derive power. An immense amount of energy is locked up in limestone, for instance, and machines can be driven by liberating the carbonic acid through sulphuric acid or otherwise. I once constructed such an engine, and it operated satisfactorily.
But, whatever our resources of primary energy may be in the future, we must, to be rational, obtain it without consumption of any material. Long ago I came to this conclusion, and to arrive at this result only two ways, as before indicated, appeared possible—either to turn to use the energy of the sun stored in the ambient medium, or to transmit, through the medium, the sun’s energy to distant places from some locality where it was obtainable without consumption of material. At that time I at oncerejected the latter method as entirely impracticable, and turned to examine the possibilities of the former.
Compare this to the article of November 30th, 1898:
In assailing the problem I found two possible ways of solving it. Either power was to be developed on the spot by converting the energy of the sun’s radiations or the energy of vast reservoirs was to betransmitted economically to any distance. Though there were other possible sources of economical power, only the two solutions mentioned offer the ideal feature of power being obtained without any consumption of material. After long thought I finally arrived at two solutions, but on the first of these, namely, that referring to the development of power in any locality from the sun’s radiations, I can not dwell at present.
It is difficult to believe, but it is, nevertheless, a fact, that since time immemorial man has had at his disposal a fairly good machine which has enabled him to utilize the energy of the ambient medium. This machine is the windmill. Contrary to popular belief, the power obtainable from wind is very considerable. Many a deluded inventor has spent years of his life in endeavouring to “harness the tides,” and some have even proposed to compress air by tide- or wave-power for supplying energy, never understanding the signs of the old windmill on the hill, as it sorrowfully waved its arms about and bade them stop. The fact is that a wave- or tide-motor would have, as a rule, but a small chance of competing commercially with the windmill, which is by far the better machine, allowing a much greater amount of energy to be obtained in a simpler way. Wind-power has been, in old times, of inestimable value to man, if for nothing else but for enabling him, to cross the seas, and it is even now a very important factor in travel and transportation. But there are great limitations in this ideally simple method of utilizing the sun’s energy. The machines are large for a given output, and the power is intermittent, thus necessitating the storage of energy and increasing the cost of the plant.
A far better way, however, to obtain power would be to avail ourselves of the sun’s rays, which beat the earth incessantly and supply energy at a maximum rate of over four million horsepower per square mile.
Today the energy production of the Sun has been estimated at 3.846·1026W. A sphere with a radius of 1 AU has a surface of 2.81·1023 m2. This means that on Earth we receive the Suns energy at a rate of 1369 W/m2, being 4.752 million horsepower per square mile. Tesla’s estimate wasn’t half bad!
Although the average energy received per square mile in any locality during the year is only a small fraction of that amount, yet an inexhaustible source of power would be opened up by the discovery of some efficient method of utilizing the energy of the rays. The only rational way known to me at the time when I began the study of this subject was to employ some kind of heat- or thermodynamic-engine, driven by a volatile fluid evaporated in a boiler by the heat of the rays. But closer investigation of this method, and calculation, showed that, notwithstanding the apparently vast amount of energy received from the sun’s rays, only a small fraction of that energy could be actually utilized in this manner. Furthermore, the energy supplied through the sun’s radiations is periodical, and the same limitations as in the use of the windmill I found to exist here also. After a long study of this mode of obtaining motive power from the sun, taking into account the necessarily large bulk of the boiler, the low efficiency of the heat-engine, the additional cost of storing the energy and other drawbacks, I came to the conclusion that the “solar engine,” a few instances excepted, could not be industrially exploited with success.
Another way of getting motive power from the medium without consuming any material would be to utilize the heat contained in the earth, the water, or the air for driving an engine. It is a well-known fact that the interior portions of the globe are very hot, the temperature rising, as observations show, with the approach to the centre at the rate of approximately 1 degree C. for every hundred feet of depth. The difficulties of sinking shafts and placing boilers at depths of, say, twelve thousand feet, corresponding to an increase in temperature of about 120 degrees C., are not insuperable, and we could certainly avail ourselves in this way of the internal heat of the globe. In fact, it would not be necessary to go to any depth at all in order to derive energy from the stored terrestrial heat. The superficial layers of the earth and the air strata close to the same are at a temperature sufficiently high to evaporate some extremely volatile substances, which we might use in our boilers instead of water. There is no doubt that a vessel might be propelled on the ocean by an engine driven by such a volatile fluid, no other energy being used but the heat abstracted from the water. But the amount of power which could be obtained in this manner would be, without further provision, very small.
Electricity produced by natural causes is another source of energy which might be rendered available. Lightning discharges involve great amounts of electrical energy, which we could utilize by transforming and storing it. Some years ago I made known a method of electrical transformation which renders the first part of this task easy, but the storing of the energy of lightning discharges will be difficult to accomplish. It is well known, furthermore, that electric currents circulate constantly through the earth, and that there exists between the earth and any air stratum a difference of electrical pressure, which varies in proportion to the height.
In recent experiments I have discovered two novel facts of importance in this connection. One of thesefacts is that an electric current is generated in a wire extending from the ground to a great heightby the axial, and probably also by the translatory, movement of the earth. No appreciable current, however, will flow continuously in the wire unless the electricity is allowed to leak out into the air. Its escape is greatly facilitated by providing at the elevated end of the wire a conducting terminal of great surface, with many sharp edges or points. We are thus enabled to get a continuous supply of electrical energy by merely supporting a wire at a height, but, unfortunately, the amount of electricity which can be so obtained is small.
The second fact which I have ascertained is that the upper air strata are permanently charged with electricity opposite to that of the earth. So, at least, I have interpreted my observations, from which it appears that the earth, with its adjacent insulating and outer conducting envelope, constitutes a highly charged electrical condenser containing, in all probability, a great amount of electrical energy which might be turned to the uses of man, if it were possible to reach with a wire to great altitudes.
If we assume a height of 100 Km for the ionosphere we can calculate the capacitance, being 45.801 mF. Assuming an electrical field strength of 100 V/m, the electrical potential would be 10 MV. Thus a reasonable estimate of the energy contained here is 2.29·1012J. The world energy consumption in 2008 was 1.64·1013W, so this energy can supply todays worlds needs for about 0.14 s. But his plan did not involve “emptying the upper strata charge”. His plan was to gain access to the Suns energy.
It is possible, and even probable, that there will be, in time, other resources of energy opened up, of which we have no knowledge now. We may even find ways of applying forces such as magnetism or gravity for driving machinery without using any other means. Such realizations, though highly improbable, are not impossible. An example will best convey an idea of what we can hope to attain and what we can never attain. Imagine a disk of some homogeneous material turned perfectly true and arranged to turn in frictionless bearings on a horizontal shaft above the ground. This disk, being under the above conditions perfectly balanced, would rest in any position. Now, it is possible that we may learn how to make such a disk rotate continuously and perform work by the force of gravity without any further effort on our part; but it is perfectly impossible for the disk to turn and to do work without any force from the outside. If it could do so, it would be what is designated scientifically as a “perpetuum mobile,” a machine creating its own motive power. To make the disk rotate by the force of gravity we have only to invent a screen against this force. By such a screen we could prevent this force from acting on one half of the disk, and the rotation of the latter would follow. At least, we cannot deny such a possibility until we know exactly the nature of the force of gravity.Suppose that this force were due to a movement comparable to that of a stream of air passing from above toward the centre of the earth. The effect of such a stream upon both halves of the disk would be equal, and the latter would not rotate ordinarily; but if one half should be guarded by a plate arresting the movement, then it would turn.
A Few Notes by Nikola Tesla
(talking about his time in Colorado Springs)
Many persons in my own profession have wondered at them and have asked what I am trying to do. But the time is not far away now when the practical results of my labours will be placed before the world and their influence felt everywhere. One of the immediate consequences will be the transmission of messages without wires, over sea or land, to an immense distance. I have already demonstrated, by crucial tests, the practicability of signalling by my system from one to any other point of the globe, no matter how remote, and I shall soon convert the disbelievers.
“The Century” began to press me very hard for completing the article which I have promised to them, and the text of this article required all my energies. I knew that the article would pass into history as I brought, for the first time, results before the world which were far beyond anything that was attempted before, either by myself or others.
(talking about his time in Colorado Springs)
With these stupendous possibilities in sight, and the experimental evidence before me that their realization was henceforth merely a question of expert knowledge, patience and skill, I attacked vigorously the development of my magnifying transmitter, now, however, not so much with the original intention of producing one of great power, as with the object of learning how to construct the best one. This is, essentially, a circuit of very high self- induction and small resistance which in its arrangement, mode of excitation and action, may be said to be the diametrical opposite of a transmitting circuit typical of telegraphy by Hertzian or electromagnetic radiations. It is difficult to form an adequate idea of the marvellous power of this unique appliance, by the aid of which the globe will be transformed. The electromagnetic radiations being reduced to an insignificant quantity, and proper conditions of resonance maintained, the circuit acts like an immense pendulum, storing indefinitely the energy of the primary exciting impulses and impressions upon the earth of the primary exciting impulses and impressions upon the earth and its conducting atmosphere uniform harmonic oscillations of intensities which, as actual tests have shown, may be pushed so far as to surpass those attained in the natural displays of static electricity.
Progress though of necessity slow was steady and sure, for the objects aimed at were in a direction of my constant study and exercise. It is, therefore, not astonishing that before the end of 1899 I completed the task undertaken and reached the results which I have announced in my article in the Century Magazine of June, 1900, every word of which was carefully weighed.
I have obtained… spark discharges extending through more than one hundred feet and carrying currents of one thousand amperes, electromotive forces approximating twenty million volts, chemically active streamers covering areas of several thousand square feet, and electrical disturbances in the natural media surpassingthose caused by lightning, in intensity.
Whatever the future may bring, the universal application of these great principles is fully assured, though it may be long in coming. With the opening of the first power plant, incredulity will give way to wonderment, and this to ingratitude, as ever before.
This seemingly impossible feat can now be readily performed by any electrician familiar with the design and construction of my “high-potential magnifying transmitter,” the most marvellous electrical apparatus of which I have knowledge, enabling the production of
effects of unlimited intensities in the earth and its ambient atmosphere. It is, essentially, a freely vibrating secondary circuit of definite length, very high self-induction and small resistance, which has one of its terminals in intimate direct or inductive connection with the ground and the other with an elevated conductor, and upon which the electrical oscillations of a primary or exciting circuit are impressed under conditions of resonance. To give an idea of the capabilities of this wonderful appliance, I may state that I have obtained, by its means, spark discharges extending through more than one hundred feet and carrying currents of one thousand amperes, electromotive forces approximating twenty million volts, chemically active streamers covering areas of several thousand square feet, and electrical disturbances in the natural media surpassing those caused by lightning, in intensity.
It is not a dream, it is a simple feat of scientific electrical engineering, only expensive — blind, faint-hearted, doubting world! . . . Humanity is not yet sufficiently advanced to be willingly led by the discover’s keen searching sense. But who knows? Perhaps it is better in this present world of ours that a revolutionary idea or invention instead of being helped and patted, be hampered and ill-treated in its adolescence — by want of means, by selfish interest, pedantry, stupidity and ignorance; that it be attacked and stifled; that it pass through bitter trials and tribulations, through the heartless strife of commercial existence. So do we get our light. So all that was great in the past was ridiculed, condemned, combated, suppressed — only to emerge all the more powerfully, all the more triumphantly from the struggle.
The “Magnifying Transmitter” was the product of labours extending through years, having for their chief object the solution of problems which are infinitely more important to mankind than mere industrial development.
2. The ‘Magnifying Transmitter.’ This is Tesla’s best invention, a peculiar transformer specially adapted to excite the Earth, which is in the transmission of electrical energy what the telescope is in astronomical observation. By the use of this marvellous device he has already set up electrical movements of greater intensity than those of lightning and passed a current, sufficient to light more than two hundred incandescent lamps, around the Globe.
(Note: the Wardenclyffe project had failed more than a year earlier. On Juli 4th 1917 the tower was demolished.)
My belief is firm in a law of compensation. The true rewards are ever in proportion to the labour and sacrifices made. This is one of the reasons why I feel certain that of all my inventions, the Magnifying Transmitter will prove most important and valuable to future generations. I am prompted to this prediction not so much by thoughts of the commercial and industrial revolution which it will surely bring about, but of the humanitarian consequences of the many achievements it makes possible. Considerations of mere utility weigh little in the balance against the higher benefits of civilization. We are confronted with portentous problems which can not be solved just by providing for our material existence, however abundantly. On the contrary, progress in this direction is fraught with hazards and perils not less menacing than those born from want and suffering. If we were to release the
energy of atoms or discover some other way of developing cheap and unlimited power at any point of the globe this accomplishment, instead of being a blessing, might bring disaster to mankind in giving rise to dissension and anarchy which would ultimately result in the enthronement of the hated regime of force. The greatest good will comes from technical improvements tending to unification and harmony, and my wireless transmitter is pre-eminently such. By its means the human voice and likeness will be reproduced everywhere and factories driven thousands of miles from waterfalls furnishing the power; aerial machines will be propelled around the earth without a stop and the sun’s energy controlled to create lakes and rivers for motive purposes and transformation of arid deserts into fertile land. Its introduction for telegraphic, telephonic and similar uses will automatically cut out the statics and all other interferences which at present impose narrow limits to the application of the wireless.
It is remarkable that he does not describe his most important discovery in detail and yet he seems confident that this will turn out to be his most valuable contribution to humanity.
Many believe that his patent 1,119,732 describes a T.M.T.. Apart from superficial likeness there is absolutely no reason to assume that this is true.
In 1997 issue 26 of a magazine “Electric Spacecraft” publishes a number of documents that Leland Anderson copied from the Tesla museum in Belgrade. These are known on the internet as “rare notes” and they concern Wardenclyffe, and so they must concern a T.M.T..
The drawings in these notes show two essential differences with the before mentioned patent:
1 – there is an adjustable sphere onto which a Tesla coil discharges
2 – the top, or dome, is connected through an inductor to the ground
(from “rare notes”)
The Colorado Springs Notes show a number of similar set-ups.
From this we can establish with certainty that the patent does not concern a magnifying transmitter, and that an extra spark gap (C1-C2 in the “rare notes”) and a 4th inductor (indicated in yellow) are essential components.
It is difficult to accept that such an intelligent person worked with so much devotion on a machine that would make energy available to the whole world while, on the sending end, someone had to pay for it. You do not have to be a genius to understand that such an invention will never become operational. The fact that you can also use it to transmit messages does not change that.
Tesla’s most important financier, J.P. Morgan, who had just invested in the power plants at Niagara Falls and in the AC-distrubution network, would see this investment turn to dust the moment Wardenclyffe would become operational.
Let the future tell the truth and evaluate each one according to his work and accomplishments. The present is theirs; the future, for which I really worked, is mine.
Energy Calculations on Wardenclyffe
In this first power plant, which I have been designing for a long time, I propose to distribute ten thousand horse-power under a
tension of one hundred million volts, which I am now able to produce and handle with safety.
These have demonstrated that is practicable to distribute power from a central plant in unlimited amounts, with a loss not exceeding a small fraction of one per cent, in the transmission, even to the greatest distance, twelve thousand miles—to the opposite end of the globe.
As stated in a recent article (Electrical World and Engineer, March 5, 1904), I have been since some time at work on designs of a power plant which is to transmit ten thousand horse-power without wires.
And this machine I am building is but a plaything, an oscillator of a maximum activity of only ten million horse-power, just enough to throw this planet into feeble tremors,
To illustrate, a plant of 10,000 HP, such as I have been planning, …
Theoretically, it does not take much effort to maintain the earth in electrical vibration. I have, in fact, worked out a plant of 10,000 horse-power which would operate with no bigger loss than 1 percent of the whole power applied; that is, with the exception of the frictional energy that is consumed in the rotation of the engines and the heating of the conductors, I would not lose more than 1 percent. In other words, if I have a 10,000 horsepower plant, it would take only 100 horsepower to keep the earth vibrating so long as there is no energy taken out at any other place.
Since 1900 I have spent a great deal of my time in trying to develop a thoroughly practical apparatus for the purpose and have evolved numerous designs. In one of these I find that an activity of 10,000,000,000 hp in effective wave energy could be attained.
We see a number of different figures here: 10,000 HP (=7,46 megawatt) is to be made available all over the world. In the earth, a wave will be generated with a power of 10,000,000 HP, as a result of resonance. This matches the losses of a small fraction of 1%. If we assume this to be 0.1%, then, to maintain a 10,000,000 HP wave we will have to supply 10,000 HP. Or stated in another way: with a 10,000 HP power supply and 0.1% losses we can maintain a 10,000,000 HP wave.
In 1921 we read that he actually intended to build a 1000x more powerful machine.
These apparent contradictions can all be explained. But….
In the 1922 “Wardenclyffe foreclosure proceedings” we read that this system was running of a 200 KW generator. Various other sources confirm this. So Tesla intended to distribute 7,460 KW, using a 200 KW generator. That is 37 times more power out than in. How did he plan to do that?
Tesla, Ether, Einstein and modern science.
Tesla was absolutely convinced of the existence of ether until he died in 1943
What is this ether? Ether is the omnipresent source or building block of all matter. There is no place in the entire universe where there is no ether. According to Lord Kelvin ether is an incompressible substance and it looks as if Tesla supports this view. However in his later work Tesla describes electro-magnetic waves as “sound waves in the ether”. This implies that ether is a compressible medium.
The Veda’s tell of Akasha and Prana. These concepts are almost identical to ether and (the cause of) electricity.
Special Relativity requires that no (inertial) frame of reference differs from any other (inertial) frame of reference. The existence of ether implies that there may be 1 frame of reference in which the ether is at rest and thus differs from all other frames of reference. This is not necessarily true.
You can imagine an ether that rotates around every mass, the speed of rotation diminishing with distance, but never being 0. In this ether there is no inertial frame of reference in which the ether is at rest.
The Lorentz transformations are often used in proofs for the theory of relativity and against the existence of ether. But one has to realise that the original Lorentz transformations were based on the ether theory. Hence they can not be used as an argument against it.
Then there are a number of issues in relativity that seem contradictory. I am not an expert on this subject so if you meet someone who is perhaps he or she can explain:
The distance Earth-Sun takes light 8 minutes to travel. If gravity can not travel faster than light and given the fact that the Sun is constantly accelerated (it is in orbit around the centre of our galaxy), how can Earth stay with the Sun for billions of years?
If the speed of light is constant, how can a ray of light be bend by gravity?
If the speed of light is the same everywhere why does light not escape from a black hole and if we replace the black hole with a star it suddenly does.
But if you think relativity is weird, wait ’till you see quantum mechanics. Here a single particle can travel two routes at the same time, or travel from A to B without ever having been anywhere between A and B.
Ether theories do get strange sometimes mainly (I believe) because they are not worked out properly. But being strange does not seem to be an argument against relativity and quantum mechanics.
By the end of 1800 Michelson came up with an experiment to proof ether drift. As the Earth moves around the Sun at about 30 Km/s and the Sun moves at about 370 Km/s the Earth, so he thought, must have a high speed with respect to the ether. This should result in measurable effects. But… it did not.
The correct conclusion to be drawn is that the Earth does not move through the ether at a higher speed than 20 Km/s. Later experiments have reduced that maximum speed considerably.
The wrong conclusion would be “there is no ether”, as this experiment does not provide enough data to support this conclusion.
In his lecture on May 20th 1891, Nikola Tesla explains his view on electricity most clearly and compares atoms to solar systems. Mass creates a rotation in the ether which causes, in the case of our solar system, the planets to move. The planets are therefore at rest with respect to the ether.
Gravitation is indeed very similar to inertia; masses move to where there is the least movement; at the centre of the rotation. Just like pebbles in rotating water move towards the centre of rotation.
Also he states that a homogeneous ether seems to him the most probable.
Tesla seems to not really appreciate relativity:
It might be inferred that I am alluding to the curvature of space supposed to exist according to the teachings of relativity, but nothing could be further from my mind. I hold that space cannot be curved, for the simple reason that it can have no properties. It might as well be said that God has properties. He has not, but only attributes and these are of our own making. Of properties we can only speak when dealing with matter filling the space. To say that in the presence of large bodies space becomes curved, is equivalent to stating that something can act upon nothing. I, for one, refuse to subscribe to such a view.
Today’s scientists have substituted mathematics for experiments, and they wander off through equation after equation, and eventually build a structure which has no relation to reality.
Einsteins relativity work is a magnificent mathematical garb which fascinates, dazzles and makes people blind to the underlying errors. The theory is like a beggar clothed in purple whom ignorant people take for a king… its exponents are brilliant men but they are metaphysicists rather than scientists.
Differences between Tesla and modern science.
A few points that one should be aware of while studying Tesla’s work.
Tesla believes that:
– “matter can not act where it is not”. Example: a magnet can not attract iron without a medium of some sort being present to convey such action. A field is a mathematical explanation, not a physical.
– When something emits energy of whatever sort, it must also receive energy. For instance a radio active element emitting gamma rays must receive energy of some sort.
– The primary cause of electricity is in ether, not in electrons.
– There is only one sort of electricity, not two (plus and minus). You also do not need 2 types of air for high- and low-pressure area’s.
– Electrical tension looks more like temperature than like pressure. It is an average of the tension of every particle. When a liquid evaporates the faster molecules go first. In a discharge the higher tension particles (electrons) go first.
Tesla is considered the discoverer of the Schumann resonance. I do not see any supporting evidence for this claim. When talking about Earth resonance he says, for example:
Mr. Tesla adds that in his experiments in Colorado it was shown that a very powerful current developed by the transmitter traversed the entire globe and returned to its origin in an interval of 84 one- thousandths of a second, this journey of 24,000 miles being effected almost without loss of energy.
While I am not prepared to discuss the various aspects of this subject at length, I may say that a skilful experimenter who is in the position to expend considerable money and time will undoubtedly detect waves of about 25,470,000 m.
Both refer to a frequency of 11.78 Hz, and that is not a Schumann resonance frequency. This is resonancein the Earth itself by a signal travelling through the centre to the opposite side and back.
Introduction – Conclusions and Overview
Tesla believes that his magnifying transmitter will become his most valuable contribution to humanity, even after his Wardenclyffe project has failed. But at first glance he leaves us no complete description of what it is and what is does.
His patent 1,119,732 does not describe a magnifying transmitter. (read the intro-tab for proof)
He hints that his article “the Problem of Increasing Human Energy” contains more information than it shows at first glance.
Tesla’s articles clearly show that he intended to distribute 7.5 MW while using only 200 KW.
In science-tab I have summarised a few important differences between Tesla’s and our modern science views.
Before turning to the 1900 Century Magazine article and revealing the code, let me give you a summary of
Articles regarding the T.M.T. in perspective
The dates between brackets refer to articles written by Tesla and published on that date.
The possibility of generating energy from the ambient medium occurred to Tesla in the latter part of 1883(1891-05-20)(1892-02-03)(1983-02-24)(1897-01-27)(1900).
After the invention of the rotating magnetic field, the introduction of which took a lot of his time. (1898-11-30) (1900)
First experiments in this line started in 1891. (1900)
The self-acting machine consists of 5 parts. (1898-11-30)(1900)
The first part is the mechanical or electrical oscillator. (1900)
The second part is the compressor. (1900)
The third part makes the whole into a refrigerating machine. (1900)
The fourth and fifth part are not described anywhere, but as the first 3 parts create the ‘sink’ and transmit electrical energy, we can safely assume that the fourth part would collect the transmitted energy and the fifth part would feed it back into the first.
At this point we notice references to Dewar and Linde. (1900)
The main channel for distribution is through the Earth. (1893-02-24)(1900)
In order to facilitate industrial quantities a second channel through the air can be utilized, closing the circuit.(1893)(1898-11-30)(1900)
“This is a diagram representing the arrangement of apparatus as in a practical experiment which I performed before G.D. Seeley, Examiner in Chief, U.S. Patent Office, on the 23rd of January, 1898. This experiment illustrates a great departure I had made a little prior to that date.” (Nikola Tesla On His Work With Alternating Currents and Their Application to Wireless Telegraphy, Telephony, and Transmission of Power, p. 125)
However, 32 years later Tesla makes clear that he did not plan to use this channel. (1932) But this may be a later insight.
An overall description of the magnifying transmitter. (1893-02-24)(1905)
A sink to receive energy. (1900)
Conversion of energy received in the sink. (1898-11-17)(1900)
Interesting side notes:
Reference to the pancake-coil as a turbine (1900). This sheds light on how Tesla sees induction.
1/4 wavelength (1900). This can also be found in patent texts and the Colorado Springs Notes.
In 1902 Tesla writes in a “dear Luka letter” that he originally intended to reveal his method of obtaining energy in the 1900 article.
There are a number of ways Tesla uses to convey his message. The first will actually lead you to the next etc.
The first ‘code’ is as follows: he writes exactly what he means but puts it in a context which leads you to a different interpretation. Examples:
“The Problem of Increasing Human Energy”, describes exactly what he means: The problem of increasing the amount of energy that is available to us (humans). The addition of “With Special References to the Harnessing of the Sun’s Energy” gives us this key, because in the abstract version of “Human Energy” it is difficult to see how we are going to use this very real and actual “Sun’s Energy”.
Again, it is contended by some that the advent of the flying-machine must bring on universal peace. This, too, I believe to be an entirely erroneous view. The flying-machine is certainly coming, and very soon, but the conditions will remain the same as before. In fact, I see no reason why a ruling power, like Great Britain, might not govern the air as well as the sea. Without wishing to put myself on record as a prophet, I do not hesitate to say that the next years will see the establishment of an “air-power,” and its centre may be not far from New York. The black text is only there to make you think of something else while the red text is what he really wanted to say. Note the words “air-power”, not “air force”. This article is written in 1900, in 1901 Tesla started his Wardenclyffe project on Shoreham, Long Island, New York. And you will learn from this article that its purpose was to derive energy (power) from the ambient medium (air).
There are but few examples as clear as these two because the code has a second component: analogies.
He tells you about this on a number of places. Examples:
Conceive, for the sake of illustration, [a cylindrical] enclosure T, as illustrated in diagram b, such that energy could not be transferred across it except through a channel or path O, and that, by some means or other, in this enclosure a medium were maintained which would have little energy, and that on the outer side of the same there would be the ordinary ambient medium with much energy. Under these assumptions the energy would flow through the path O, as indicated by the arrow, and might then be converted on its passage into some other form of energy. The question was, Could such a condition be attained? Could we produce artificially such a “sink” for the energy of the ambient medium to flow in? Here Tesla shows you the use of an analogy.
Heat, like water, flows from high to low level, and, consequently, just as we can let the water of the lake run down to the sea, so we are able to let heat from the earth’s surface travel up into the cold region above. Heat, like water, can perform work in flowing down, and if we had any doubt as to whether we could derive energy from the medium by means of a thermopile, as before described, it would be dispelled by this analogue.Again Tesla tells you “I am using analogies”.
It is mechanically illustrated in diagram c, the upper part of which shows the electrical arrangement as I described it then, while the lower part illustrates its mechanical analogue. And again….
Then he takes you by the hand and says “see if you can understand this one”:
The work temporarily interrupted was taken up anew, and soon I had in a fair state of perfection the engine which I have named “the mechanical oscillator.”
I exhibited several types of this machine, named “mechanical and electrical oscillator,” before the Electrical Congress at the World’s Fair in Chicago during the summer of 1893, in a lecture which, on account of other pressing work, I was unable to prepare for publication.
I had arrived at the limit of rates obtainable in other ways when the happy idea presented itself to me to resort to the condenser. I arranged such an instrument so as to be charged and discharged alternately in rapid succession through a coil with a few turns of stout wire, forming the primary of a transformer or induction-coil. Each time the condenser was discharged the current would quiver in the primary wire and induce corresponding oscillations in the secondary. Thus a transformer or induction-coil on new principles was evolved, which I have called “the electrical oscillator,” partaking of those unique qualities which characterize the condenser, and enabling results to be attained impossible by other means. “So, do you get it now?”, Tesla says. So what is the freely vibrating piston: it is a coil. The rotating electrical current moves electrical energy upwards (as in patent 1,113,716; Fountain). In the February issue of the “Electrical Experimenter” in 1919 he even pictures Wardenclyffe as a hand pump, a piston.
In this manner many compounds of nitrogen forms of energy may be manufactured all over the world, at a small cost, and in any desired amount, and by means of these compounds this energy the soil Earth can be“fertilized” and its productiveness indefinitely increased. An abundance of cheap and healthful (= not dangerous or polluting) food energy, not artificial, but such as we are accustomed to, may thus be obtained. This new and inexhaustible source of food-supply energy will be of incalculable benefit to mankind, for it will enormously contribute to the increase of the human mass, and thus add immensely to human energy. Soon(1901), I hope, the world will see the beginning of an industry which, in time to come, will, I believe, be in importance next to that of iron. Get it? The mention of iron is also relevant because later he uses the production of iron as an analogy for the workings of the magnifying transmitter.
And in case you may have missed the true meaning of his words, he will say it again loud and clear:
It meant delay of other work to which I would have preferred to devote myself, but I gained the conviction that my energies could not be more usefully employed; for I recognized that an efficient apparatus for, the production of powerful electrical oscillations, as was needed for that specific purpose, was the key to the solution of other most important electrical and, in fact, human problems. HUMAN stands for ELECTRICAL. Remember the title of this article? Also something about a “problem” wasn’t it?
“The Problem of Increasing Electrical Energy”.
“Far fetched”, you say? Let’s go through the entire article, then we will talk again….
1919-00-00: My inventions:
At this time, as at many other times in the past, my thoughts turned towards my Mother’s teaching.The gift of mental power comes from God, Divine Being, and if we concentrate our minds on that truth, we become in tune with this great power. My Mother had taught me to seek all truth in the Bible; therefore I devoted the next few months to the study of this work.
At this time I made a further careful study of the Bible, and discovered the key in Revelation.
There is no key in the book of Revelations! Instead, it requires a key to decipher it. This key can be found in the book of Daniel, and some more bits and pieces can be found elsewhere in the Bible.
So what is Tesla talking about?
Tesla knew that he could not finish his project, because one essential part was lacking.
1900-06: The Problem of Increasing Human Energy
Such an automaton evidently had to have motive power (1), organs for locomotion (2), directive organs (3), and one or more sensitive organs (4) so adapted as to be excited by external stimuli.
and, above all, the mind (5) which would be wanting to make the model complete.
(Starting to look more and more like Frankenstein, doesn’t it?)
He also knew that some time in the future this part would be invented and so his Wardenclyffe project was not intended to ever become fully operational.
Much of this task on which I have laboured so long remains to be done. A number of mechanical details are still to be perfected and some difficulties of a different nature to be mastered, and I cannot hope to produce a self-acting machine deriving energy from the ambient medium for a long time yet, even if all my expectations should materialize…
So, we can
derive energy in this new manner soon, it is only in the distribution part that Tesla (and indeed, Morgan) still saw problems.
- I worked for a long time fully convinced that the practical realization of this method of obtaining energy from the sun would be of incalculable industrial value, but the continued study of the subject revealed the fact that while it will be commercially profitable if my expectations are well founded, it will not be so to an extraordinary degree.
And to make it complete:
But to enable a practical introduction of the system, a number of essential requirements are still to be fulfilled. It is not enough to develop appliances by means of which such a transmission can be effected. The machinery must be such as to allow the transformation and transmission, of electrical energy under highly economic and practical conditions. Furthermore,an inducement must be offered to those who are engaged in the industrial exploitation of natural sources of power, as waterfalls, by guaranteeing greater returns on the capital invested than they can secure by local development of the property.
Some day, I hope, a beautiful industrial butterfly will come out of the dusty and shrivelled chrysalis.
Its main purpose was to draw attention from future generations, so that once we do have this final essential part, we can pick up his work from where he left it.
The automatons so far constructed had “borrowed minds,” so to speak, as each merely formed part of the distant operator who conveyed to it his intelligent orders; but this art is only in the beginning. I purpose to show that, however impossible it may now seem, an automaton may be contrived which will have its “own mind,”
Tesla could derive energy from the ambient medium (“motive power”). He could also selectively send (“organs for locomotion”) it to specific (“directive organ”) receivers (“one or more sensitive organs”) all over the world. But he needed a controlling mechanism (“mind”) so to make it possible to send specific amounts of energy to specific receiving-stations who had paid for it.
In his own words:
1907-05-03: Tesla’s Tidal Wave to Make War impossible
The telautomatic art is the result of endeavours to produce an automaton capable of moving and acting as if possessed of intelligence and distinct individuality. Disconnected from its higher embodiment, an organism, such as a human being, is a heat – or thermodynamic engine – comprising:- (1) a complete plant for receiving, transforming, and supplying energy; (2) apparatus for locomotion and other mechanical performance; (3) directive organs; and (4) sensitive instruments responsive to external influences, all these parts constituting a whole of marvellous perfection.
The ambient medium is alive with movement and energy, in a state of unceasing agitation which is beyond comprehension.
Its storage battery and motor furnished the power; the propeller and rudder, respectively, served as locomotive and directive organs, and a very delicate electrical device, actuated by a circuit tuned to a distant transmitter, took the place of the ear.
The next step was to individualise the machine. The attunement of the controlling circuits gave-it a special feature, but this was not sufficiently distinctive. An individuality implies a number of characteristic traits which, though perhaps extant elsewhere, are unique in that particular combination. Here again the animated automaton, with its nerve-signal system, was coarsely imitated. The action of the delicate device – the ear – was made dependent on a number of sensitised receiving circuits, each recognisable by its own free vibrations, and all together by the character of their operative combination. Correspondingly the transmitter was designed to emit a wave-complex exactly matching the combination in the number and pitch of individual vibrations, their groupment and order of succession.
That much is done, but more is to come. A mechanism is being perfected which without operator in control, left to itself, will behave as if endowed with intelligence of its own. It will be responsive to the faintest external influences and from these, unaided, determine its subsequent actions as if possessed of selective qualities, logic, and reason. It will perform the duties of an intelligent slave. Many of us will live to see Bulwer’s dream (“the House and the Brain”?) realised.
But the project was not stopped out of his free will:
1908-09-15: Tesla on Aeroplanes
It will soon materialize, and when it does it will give an impetus to manufacture and commerce such as was never witnessed before, provided only that the Governments do not resort to the methods of the Spanish Inquisition, which have already proved so disastrous to the wireless art, the ideal means for making man absolute master of the air.
Tesla not only sought ways to transmit power to distant places but also a way to convey his knowledge to a distant future. See his communication with Mars (= the future):
1901-02-09: Talking with Planets
Why should a living being not be able to obtain all the energy it needs for the performance of its life functions from the environment, instead of through consumption of food, and transforming, by a complicated process, the energy of chemical combinations into life-sustaining energy?
But with the novel means, proposed by myself, I can readily demonstrate that, with an expenditure not exceeding two thousand horse-power, signals can be transmitted to a planet such as Mars with as much exactness and certitude as we now send messages by wire from New York to Philadelphia. These means are the result of long- continued experiment and gradual improvement.
Some ten years ago, I recognized the fact that to convey electric currents to a distance it was not at all necessary to employ a return wire, but that any amount of energy might be transmitted by using a single wire. I illustrated this principle by numerous experiments, which, at that time, excited considerable attention among scientific men.
I can never forget the first sensations I experienced when it dawned upon me that I had observed something possibly of incalculable consequences to mankind. I felt as though I were present at the birth of a new knowledge or the revelation of a great truth. Even now, at times, I can vividly recall the incident, and see my apparatus as though it were actually before me. My first observations positively terrified me, as there was present in them something mysterious, not to say supernatural, and I was alone in my laboratory at night; but at that time the idea of these disturbances being intelligently controlled signals did not yet present itself to me.
Although I could not decipher their meaning, it was impossible for me to think of them as having been entirely accidental. The feeling is constantly growing on me that I had been the first to hear the greeting of one planet to another. A purpose was behind these electrical signals; and it was with this conviction that I announced to the Red Cross Society, when it asked me to indicate one of the great possible achievements of the next hundred years, that it would probably be the confirmation and interpretation of this planetary challenge to us.
Since my return to New York more urgent work has consumed all my attention; but I have never ceased to think of those experiences and of the observations made in Colorado. I am constantly endeavouring to improve and perfect my apparatus, and just as soon as practicable I shall again take up the thread of my investigations at the point where I have been forced to lay it down for a time.
At the present stage of progress, there would be no insurmountable obstacle in constructing a machine capable of conveying a message to Mars, nor would there be any great difficulty in recording signals transmitted to us by the inhabitants of that planet, if they be skilled electricians. Communication once established, even in the simplest way, as by a mere interchange of numbers, the progress toward more intelligible communication would be rapid. Absolute certitude as to the receipt and interchange of messages would be reached as soon as we could respond with the number “four,” say, in reply to the signal “one, two, three.” (See his “Manifesto” of Jan 1904) The Martians, or the inhabitants of whatever planet had signalled to us, would understand at once that we had caught their message across the gulf of space and had sent back a response. To convey a knowledge of form by such means is, while very difficult, not impossible, and I have already found a way of doing it.
What a tremendous stir this would make in the world! How soon will it come? For that it will some time be accomplished must be clear to every thoughtful being.
Something, at least, science has gained. But I hope that it will also be demonstrated soonthat in my experiments in the West I was not merely beholding a vision, but had caught sight of a great and profound truth.
1909-05-23: How to Signal to Mars
In the solar system Venus, the Earth, and Mars represent respectively, youth, full growth, and old age. Venus, with its mountains rising dozens of miles into the atmosphere, is probably as yet unfitted for such existence as ours, but Mars must have passed through all terrestrial states and conditions.
But there is one method of putting ourselves in touch with other planets.
But, my method has other and still greater advantages. By its (my wireless transmitter) employment the electrician on Mars, instead of utilizing the energy received by a few thousand square feet of area, as in a parabolic reflector, is enabled to concentrate in his instrument the energy received by dozens of square miles, thus multiplying the effect many thousands of times. Nor is this all. By proper methods and devices he can magnify the received effect as many times again.
It is evident, then, that in my experiments in 1899 and 1900 I have already produced disturbances on Mars incomparably more powerful than could be attained by any light reflectors, however large.
Electrical science is now so far advanced that our ability of flashing a signal to a planet is experimentally demonstrated. The question is, when will humanity witness that great triumph.This is readily answered. The moment we obtain absolute evidences that an intelligent effort is being made in some other world to this effect, interplanetary transmission of intelligence can be considered an accomplished fact. A primitive understanding can be reached quickly without difficulty. A complete exchange of ideas is a greater problem, but susceptible of solution.
To this problem he found the answer in the book of Revelations. He uses an almost identical code to encode his knowledge, and gives keys to decipher it in his other articles. Most notably his article of November 30th, 1898, which could be considered his “book of Daniel”. His “book of Revelations” then is “the Problem of Increasing Human Energy” of June 1900.
What Tesla found in the book of Revelations is a way to convey his knowledge.
Oct. 15, 1901
Consideration relative to rate of energy delivery at any point of globe with Long Island apparatus. Assume that a grounded secondary is employed excited by a primary through which condenser discharges. let both the circuits be in perfect tune so that the secondary system vibrates the same rate whether the primary be closed or open. The form of wave is then as illustrated in diagram. At a primary begins to
excite, at b somewhere in the middle
of wave train primary is opened and
at c vibrations in secondary cease.
In this form of electrical movement
the current and e.m.f. are in phase,
hence the power is always given by the product of these quantities during each half wave, but it must be remembered that the energy is passing from static to kinetic form and consequently the actual power is only that supplied by primary. The secondary circuit increases the amplitude only. But in many cases what is desired is simply a maximum rate. So for instance in telegraphy when a device like a minute spark gap is employed in connection with a tuned circuit. Let us then see what can be expected as reasonable during one swing.
In previous examples, Emax = 9/8 x 106 volt. Current = average ; 2000 amp ω = 4π x 105 M = 2 x 105. Hence for largest swing rate of power will be
Now on equatorial belt we shall have:
Circumference of belt about 4 x I09 cm. Suppose a strip of ground 1000 cm wide λ/2 = 93/200 miles is utilized. The current through the strip will be
Energy in strip considering superficial propagation will be similarly
Assuming magnifying factor in receiving circuit = 100 we may get with a tuned circuit er = 11 x I07 volt, ir = π/40 amp and Wr= 11π x I07/40 = 86 x 105 watts. Perfectly wonderful!
||What exactly would Tesla mean by this?
“In this form of electrical movement the current and emf are in phase”
In the wave train as shown, you see an increase of voltage peaks. The current peaks increase in phase, but these peaks do not occur at the same moment:
“the energy is passing from static to kinetic form”
voltage changes to current and thus “the actual power is only that supplied by the primary. The secondary
circuit increases the amplitude only.”
But we simply want a maximum rate.
If the average current (Q = CV goes 4 times per wave through the coil, hence J = 4CVf), the maximum current is½π times the average.
Tesla multiplies the Jmax and Vmax knowing that this does not represent the “actual energy”. So what could this mean to him?
The answer is relatively easy: Current is charge-displacement, more current means more charge. Voltage stands for pressure or as explained in the main article speed, while charge is related to mass. The voltage is at its maximum when all of the displaced charge has been packed together. When we have a discharge at this moment, the value as calculated here becomes meaningful: the maximum rate of energy delivery.