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Old 11th Oct 2017, 3:54 am   #21
joebog1
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Default Re: Nikola Tesla

Nikola Tesla is my hero!!
Yes we can't transmit electricity as he suggested, BUT after being ripped off multiple times, perhaps he learned to keep his stuff secret.
I guess julie_m has perfected the system,
OR perhaps invented a NEW transformer,
Perhaps a new Westinghouse brake?.
Maybe a new telephone?
How about the steam turbine??
A paltry polyphase AC system?

Because ALL of the above inventions were "introduced" when a certain Montenegrin peasant worked for the above "inventors".

YES, the CIA moved in and removed all his documentation. WHY ??.
Because we shall never know, it is perhaps polite remembrance, to leave him and his ideas in the realms of science fiction, and NOT ridicule something that we may perhaps re-discover.

Without prejudice, BUT with respect for somebody responsible for over half of what we take for granted.

Thanks mods for the reply,

Joe
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Old 11th Oct 2017, 7:24 am   #22
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Default Re: Nikola Tesla

Folklore has a powerful magnifying effect. The fact that some opera singers have been able to fracture some glasses has expanded to the point where many people believe any opera singer can shatter any glass object. Soldiers are only a threat to a bridge if it has an undamped resonance at their cadence.

There are large voltages, large currents and large instantaneous powers in, say, thunderstorms, but the average power density is still fairly low. There is more energy in the winds which drive the tribo-electric charging of clouds, and more energy still in the sunlight which powers it all.

There is no shortage of free energy, but it's in rather diffuse form, not in ready-concentrated easy to use industrial concentrations. So it is a poor match to our existing infrastructure which is based on few but immensely concentrated generators that can operate at any time.

Elon Musk's blue sky ventures seem to be artfully chosen and well directed. He's not doing fundamental science, he's not personally inventing new technologies, but he does seem to know what to do with it. He's quite different to Tesla, but he's another game-changer.

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Old 11th Oct 2017, 8:15 am   #23
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Default Re: Nikola Tesla

One thing about Tesla and the era he lived in with his early work, electricity and the harnessing of electrical energy to do work was relatively new.

Tesla himself also provided some spectacular demonstrations of high voltage discharges with him sitting by on a chair inside a large cage. Even movie makers of the time were captivated with what electricity might be able to do and the ideas were incorporated into many revisions of the story of Doctor Frankenstein and movies such as Metropolis. The idea being that lightening like electricity could re-animate the dead. (Ironically this partly came true with the defibrillator but of course the person is not actually dead yet).

Even some Quack doctors of the time got into various forms of electric therapy with glowing gas discharge tubes stroked over people's bodies.

At the time though, with demonstrations of gas discharge tubes lighting up, with no wires connected to them, it would not have been a hard sell at all to suggest transmission of energy in large quantities. But as pointed out, we now know it is impractical to power homes and has very limited utility for the suggested application.

I often wondered why Tesla himself, who was very good at maths and physics and an outstanding & creative AC electrical engineer would have even suggested such a notion. Also he remarked about Edison that an ounce of theory would have saved him a pound of hard work, a typical remark from somebody good at theory.

Later I did think of one reason why Tesla might have advocated the energy transmission idea. Around the time that Tesla's transmitting system for worldwide communications was being tested (and he did manage to detect a signal 30 miles away, his system now thought to be a very lossy radio transmitter with 99% ground currents) Marconi successfully pulled of the transatlantic radio transmission and Tesla's funding got cut.

So Tesla would have been in desperate need of funding and he may, in desperation, have put forward the wireless transmission of energy notion as a project to be funded with plans to use the money for more useful work. I find it very difficult to believe that someone of his technical acumen could have actually believed in it himself.

Last edited by Argus25; 11th Oct 2017 at 8:22 am.
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Old 11th Oct 2017, 10:24 am   #24
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Default Re: Nikola Tesla

I'm very lucky in having a vintage radio chum up here who has built a stupendous Tesla Coil. In fact I was over at his place just over a week ago, to once again see the discharge phenomenon. It's enhanced by the fact that the roof's rafters in his workshop have been "tannalized" - pressure treated with copper sulphate. As good, if not better, than anything I've seen on TV.

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Old 11th Oct 2017, 11:14 am   #25
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Originally Posted by dave walsh View Post
I'd always thought that Tesla's aim was to utilise the planet's natural resonant frequency which has much higher current prospects and even in my ignorance, seems to make sense. Anyone can light up a flourescent tube! Soldiers in step over a bridge can destroy it and this factor is a also basic aspect of AC electrical distribution [I think]. If you get down to 8 or 9 cycles the human body is at risk of being micro-waved to death!
This was my understanding too. Although the details are pretty vague, I think that with the Wardenclyffe project he was trying to transmit power through the upper atmosphere by establishing some sort of low frequency resonance.

The Wardenclyffe tower itself had foundations almost as deep as the tower was high. According to Tesla, this was to give it the necessary grip so that the ‘whole Earth could shake’.

It happens that biological systems are also very sensitive (or resonant) at these low frequencies. Early astronauts supposedly suffered whilst in orbit because the earth’s natural resonant frequency (about 7 or 8 Hz) was no longer present, and apparently this is necessary for the human body to operate. Later they added resonators to the spacecraft which solved the problem.

In power distribution there are standard ‘flicker curves’ used to establish acceptable limits of light flicker due to mains voltage disturbances. The curves were developed years ago based on (presumably quite uncomfortable) experiments exposing people to flicker at various frequencies. The frequency causing most discomfort is around 8.8 Hz, which approaches epilepsy.

I’ve heard it suggested that Tesla may have pulled the plug on the project himself because of the dangers of these types of frequencies, but I suppose we’ll never know for sure.
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Old 11th Oct 2017, 11:16 am   #26
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Having the CIA allegedly remove all your papers does not mean that you had a bright idea which must be kept secret. It simply means that someone in the CIA thought you might have had a bright idea which, if true, might be best kept from others. Security services have a long track record for granting bright ideas and daft ideas the same degree of credibility.

An earth resonance is the worst possible frequency to use for power transmission because you lose all control of where it goes. It has always been a mystery to me why someone as bright as Tesla ended up pursuing something as daft as long-distance wireless transmission of energy.
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Old 11th Oct 2017, 11:23 am   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Voxophone
Later they added resonators to the spacecraft which solved the problem.
Evidence? Lots of quack science websites say this, but where is the evidence?
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Old 11th Oct 2017, 11:23 am   #28
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Here's the patent application:

https://teslauniverse.com/nikola-tes...ctrical-energy

Interesting is:

"the apparatus which I have shown will obviously have many other valuable uses—as, for instance, when it is desired to transmit intelligible messages to great distances"

which some people have interpreted to mean he invented radio.
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Old 11th Oct 2017, 11:25 am   #29
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Originally Posted by G8HQP Dave View Post
Evidence? Lots of quack science websites say this, but where is the evidence?
No idea. Not my area of expertise. I did say 'supposedly'.
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Old 11th Oct 2017, 12:31 pm   #30
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Default Re: Nikola Tesla

Quote:
Originally Posted by joebog1 View Post
Nikola Tesla is my hero!!
I guess julie_m has perfected the system,
OR perhaps invented a NEW transformer,
Perhaps a new Westinghouse brake?.
Maybe a new telephone?
How about the steam turbine??
A paltry polyphase AC system?
Joe,

I think you would do well paying attention to the remarks of Julie_m

The reason is they are correct.

It is now known what happened with Tesla, and his experiments.

For example the system he set up for long range worldwide transmission turned out in fact (not known to him at the time) to be a radio transmitter.

Tesla's idea (or notion of how the system worked) was to have a large conductive rod driven into the ground and the other electrode (to complete the AC circuit) being a large dome shaped capacitive hat. That way he could drive AC currents into the giant ground stake.

Tesla was concentrating on detecting ground currents, in his mind at least.

Later on, when antenna analysis became more sophisticated (consult the ARRL handbook), it was realized that antennas, even ones that were efficient at radiating RF, had ground current losses.

When Tesla' system was analysed, it turned out that what he had made was simply a very lossy radio antenna, where most of the applied energy was ground currents.

The tragedy of this to some extent was that Tesla had independently invented the same transmission system as Marconi, but it appears that he did not know this at the time. Tesla simply thought of it as operating with a ground current mechanism, rather that what we know as radiated EM waves.

The whole thing about "Earth Resonances" for this application is about as nutty as Hollow Moon theory.

One thing that has seriously hampered the analysis of the notion of ground current communication, is that the Earth's crust conductivity is not very homogenous and that makes it , from the physical science modelling perspective, very difficult to analyze.

I don't think Mr Tesla would be very impressed with the plethora of latter day fans and conspiracy theorists who have taken his work and elevated it to a mythical status and read all sorts of unrealistic notions into it.

It wouldn't surprise me, if Tesla was still alive to interview today, he would make a remark similar to the brilliant and talented guitar player Eric Clapton. He was once told by an interviewer: "There are a lot of people out there who think you are a God" Eric replied: "well that's a nonsense isn't it? "

So if you are really a Tesla fan, focus on the science in his work.
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Old 11th Oct 2017, 12:35 pm   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave walsh View Post
If you get down to 8 or 9 cycles the human body is at risk of being micro-waved to death! I won't wander further into into music or Joshua and the Walls of Jericho

Dave W
Wouldn't 8-9 Hz be megawaves, not microwaves? For EM waves about 35 megametres is the wavelength for 8.5Hz.
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Old 11th Oct 2017, 2:22 pm   #32
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Default Re: Nikola Tesla

Quote:
Originally Posted by joebog1 View Post
I guess julie_m has perfected the system,
OR perhaps invented a NEW transformer,
Perhaps a new Westinghouse brake?.
Maybe a new telephone?
How about the steam turbine??
A paltry polyphase AC system?
Julie_m has been the source of a lot of good advice and well-reasoned discussion on this forum.

When I read the post on lighting fluorescent tubes etc being relatively easy compared to a practicable power transmission system, I considered that too to be helpful, constructive and impartial discussion. I did not get the impression of an attack on Tesla.

Tesla stood at a time when electrical engineering was getting going, and he was one of the prime movers, but it was also at a time before the infancy of RF engineering. The power of an innovator like Tesla lies in the ability to think of new, unconventional things. Some will be good, some will be wrong. His good stuff was so good, having a few weird ideas isn't just excusable, it's expected.


I haven't invented a new transformer.
I haven't Invented a new Westinghouse brake
or a new telephone.
or a steam turbine
But I have invented a paltry polyphase PLL system - and I have the patent.

No, more seriously, we all stand at a point in time where we can see what Tesla did and what he got right and what he got wrong. It's easy to do so. But doing it back at the actual time... now that is what would have been hard.

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Old 11th Oct 2017, 4:58 pm   #33
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It seems fairly clear that Tesla saw the possibilities of radio transmission - he referred to the prospect of communicating intelligible data by Hertzian waves more than once, initially at least in the context of airwaves. He was also well aware of the advantages of using high frequencies, and built sophisticated alternators to produce them.
In the light of this, he might indeed have been experimenting with radio under the guise of power transmission. On the other hand, if his ground wave theory wasn't all bluff to disguise what he was doing, it would surely have had some basis in research, even if flawed.
As regards the 'magician' myth, he was himself at least partly to blame. There's little doubt that he was an accomplished showman and self-promoter. On the other hand, he was at pains to facilitate replication of his own experiments, at times publishing comprehensive details of his apparatus to save others from wasting their time re-designing their own.
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Old 11th Oct 2017, 7:48 pm   #34
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You've got me there Herald [p 31 ] but I have always understood it's cycles and that's is why very low Bass frequencies can lead to a queasy/uneasy sensation [and I have been next to the Flamborough Head Lighthouse when it BOOMED out a sudden Fog Warning into the mist].

Bottom E on a Bass Guitar is 33 c/s or Hertz and some trams ran using a 16 cycle supply which [in damp conditions] often made people uneasy. I'd understood that Swedish scientists built a sonic transmitter that went down to the human cell frequency [in the seventies?] and there were fatalities but maybe I AM at the wrong end of the spectrum, although that might have involved a cooking process-just as deadly perhaps?>

Dave
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Old 11th Oct 2017, 9:27 pm   #35
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Originally Posted by joebog1 View Post
YES, the CIA moved in and removed all his documentation.
Umm, no they didn't. Nicola Tesla died, according to Wikipedia, on 7th January 1943. The CIA did not exist until over 4 years later.

In his post Dave Walsh says "The Secret Service move in and remove all the documentation from his hovel". He may be right as the US Secret Service certainly did exist then. Quite why it would have done so is a mystery though because its role was to suppress conterfeit currency and protect the President. I assume that Mr Tesla isn't accused of either offence.
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Old 11th Oct 2017, 9:48 pm   #36
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...some trams ran using a 16 cycle supply which [in damp conditions] often made people uneasy.
Electric trains, of which there are many, in Germany and Austria (possibly other countries as well) still run on a 15kV 16 2/3Hz supply, and draw enormous currents. If it was causing problems to humans, we'd probably have heard about them...

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Old 12th Oct 2017, 12:36 am   #37
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You may be right Chris-there is no "body" of evidence. I've just read anecdotal accounts of rainy nights in Leeds or Bradford about the blue flashes, ozone and noise associated with Tram movements... leading to a certain "tension" in the air but "No ships and nobody drownded" as it says in The Lion and Albert!

Back at 240v 50 c/s, and a number of years ago, a young boy died from a brain tumour in Radcliffe near Bury. His parents ran a pub and he slept with his head right next to the mains distribution board for the very large premises [on the other side of the stud wall]. There was an unresolved controversy about whether this was a causal factor and the answer, in the end, was no! On the other hand Sweden bans properties being built within a certain distance of the mains [overhead grid] and you won't see a house with a Pylon next door although you might in the UK. The name of the pub? "The Sparking Clogg." I don't have fixed outlook on this, Tesla or anything else and there are always explanations either way but surely, that's the point! Remember when they said that AI and Robots would never be a threat and we'd all be on a 15 hour week! Tesla would definetely have a view there. Strangely and coincidentally Billion Dollar Deals [again tonight BBC2] covers it.

Dave

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Old 12th Oct 2017, 5:56 am   #38
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The story of the removal of Nikola Tesla's paperwork only adds to the mystery.

In The Long Dark Tea-time of the Soul by Douglas Adams, there is an author who requests live chickens to be delivered to his hotel room -- and a member of his entourage whose job it is discreetly to get rid of the chickens. Meanwhile, his readers can only speculate wildly on what he does with them .....

An over-eager cleaner might have removed the paperwork. Less likely, though not inconceivable, is a break-in. (How would you fence Tesla's research notes?) The Government would never admit to involvement even if it were true, so of course the rumours are going to be denied. And for want of any concrete information, wild speculation begins .....
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Old 12th Oct 2017, 7:49 am   #39
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Wasn't there something 10-20 years ago where someone was going to write a biography of Tesla and had got hold of some archived documents, but amidst great expectations nothing came of it. There was speculation at the time. I remember an article in the IEE....

Tesla was an extreme innovator and an extreme showman, and so has been a magnet for conspiracy theories.

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Old 12th Oct 2017, 11:09 pm   #40
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Wasn't there something 10-20 years ago where someone was going to write a biography of Tesla and had got hold of some archived documents, but amidst great expectations nothing came of it. There was speculation at the time. I remember an article in the IEE....
That certainly happened re. Blumlein's biography, a lot of unique and informative documentation, photos etc. were apparently collared and sat on for a long time by a prospective biographer who became very protective and legally inclined towards anyone else who appeared to tread on his "patch". I recall that causing ill feeling at the time as various potentially very useful close contacts including his wife passed on during the resulting hiatus and impasse,

Colin
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