The new wizard of the west

By Aimee Whitcroft 06/05/2011 26

I have discovered, to my enormous sadness, that many people are unaware of the existence or work of Nikola Tesla, the ‘electric Jesus’ who pioneered the modern system of AC (alternating current) we now use*.

the man himself
the man himself

And, in an effort to help rectify this situation, I’d like to present the following article, taken from an 1899 edition of Pearson’s Magazine.  It was passed to me by a friend, who in turn got it from another friend’s collection of beautiful old bound collections of such things**.

.It starts:

An Interview with Tesla, the Modern Miracle-worker, who is Harnessing the Rays of the Sun ; has Discovered Ways of Transmitting Power without Wires and of Seeing by Telephone ; has Invented a Means of Employing Electricity as a Fertiliser ; and, Finally, is Able to Manufacture Artificial Daylight.

Enjoy :)

Pearsons magazine_Tesla_01
Pearsons magazine_Tesla_02Pearsons magazine_Tesla_03Pearsons magazine_Tesla_04Pearsons magazine_Tesla_05Pearsons magazine_Tesla_06Pearsons magazine_Tesla_07

(click on the pages to enlarge them)

I am a little saddened, however, by how little progress we’ve in made in the use of things such as solar power, given that he was thinking about this over a century ago…

* Amongst many, many other things.  The man was extraordinary

** Hooray for those who collect and pass down to their children/grandchildren such goodness.  Thank you…

26 Responses to “The new wizard of the west”

  • Nice mention of Tesla. Your last comment reminds me of a line from the movie The Prestige, said by the Tesla character: “You’ve heard of the saying – man’s reach exceeds his grasp. Its a lie. Man’s grasp exceeds his nerve.”

  • How can you say that people are unaware of Tesla ?
    Some other blogs were also saying the same things nowadays but this is not people aimed to do.
    Its what American Government did at the time Tesla died.

  • Sorry about these comments not showing up before! Something really funky is going on with notifications… But cheers for them :)

  • Nikola Tesla talked about a sea of radiant energy and infinite supply. Then I find confirmed by solid state physics “the Dirac sea”.
    The Dirac sea is a theoretical model of the vacuum as an infinite sea of particles with negative energy.Dirac also pointed out that a situation might exist in which all the negative-energy states are occupied except one. This “hole” in the sea of negative-energy electrons would respond to electric fields as though it were a positively-charged particle.
    The existence of the sea implies an infinite negative electric charge filling all of space. In order to make any sense out of this, one must assume that the “bare vacuum” must have an infinite positive charge density which is exactly cancelled by the Dirac sea.
    ” field formulation does not eliminate all the difficulties raised by the Dirac sea; in particular the problem of the vacuum possessing infinite energy??”
    Still, Dirac’s idea is completely correct in the context of solid state physics, where the valence band in a solid can be regarded as a “sea” of electrons. Holes in this sea indeed occur, and are extremely important for understanding the effects of semiconductors. Unlike in particle physics, there is an underlying positive charge — the charge of the ionic lattice — that cancels out the electric charge of the sea.
    Infinite energy ? Negative energy ? Radiant ?

  • Derek, Now you’re just quoting wikipedia. Without even the cursory implication that these are not your own words. You’ve been asked multiple times not to quote without attribution. Please at least add “From Wikipedia” next time.

    I admit that the “Modern Interpretation” Section is pretty dense and difficult to follow for the non-expert. But my reading of it is that it essentially says “Yes you could interpret the equations as implying an infinite energy but that’s just a philosophical choice and doesn’t necessarily reflect reality and that’s not how the vacuum behaves either. But the Diac seas is useful in solid state physics because you can have the substrate take care of providing the nett positive charge”

    You can learn about semi-conductor behaviour as described in high school physics too, I did – a long time ago.

    Aimee, your thought
    I am a little saddened, however, by how little progress we’ve in made in the use of things such as solar power, given that he was thinking about this over a century ago

    Yes, it is a bit disappointing but as you know sometimes ideas have to languish while other technology catches up. Think of Leonardo and his sketches of flying machines. The materials science just wasn’t up to the task of efficient flying machines until centuries later. In light of that I think we’re doing pretty well.

  • Yes Darcy I am quoting Wiki but it is not the words but the message. So what I got from your reply was infinite energy maybe a permissibility. So is the Dirac see real or is it a productive form of atomic theory ? The Valence band of electrons, being the outer shell of electrons surrounding an atom is described as a sea ? This relates back to Tesla with Radiant electricity being almost like water or a gas. Is the Valence band related to plasma physics as well ? Am sorry don’t know much about superconductors hence my questions ..

  • I think you are reducing the explanation a bit much. It’s not so much that the outer shell electrons are a sea per se, more that you can think of the aggregate electronic properties of the semiconductor that way. Electrons in the outer valences can move about in a limited way (thus creating moving charges, negative and “positive”) this can be represented as a sea. Perhaps a (very limited) analogy is a “sea” of grass, the blades move around and can have an aggregate motion, but that is just a surface feature and doesn’t represent the underlying substrate.

    Plasmas are charged gasses, so yes the valence bands are related.

    We don’t need to delve into superconductors as they operate via a different mechanism, I assume that was a slip.

  • There are many people who believe Tesla was smarter than Einstein, after all his magnifying transmitter was responsible for the radio, he invented remote control, brushless electric motors, lit the world with his 3 phase AC alternator. The spark plug comes from his Tesla coil. The bifilar coil which is a strong component for pulse motor research. His wireless transmission of electricity is still relatively unexplored, he discovered Radiant electricity, which is still un researched. His theories were behind the VLF ionosphere heaters , the most famous being HAARP and the Russian woodpecker (that are doing research in relative secrecy). An effecient bladeless turbine that is still relatively un researched. He researched electricity with millions of volts and of varying frequencies, from VLF (very low frequencies) to Ultra high frequencies and discovered various phenomenon including plasma discharges. He also discovered cosmic rays and gave an explanation into their origins, x rays, resonance machines.
    However when I went to research some of this stuff at the Auckland library there were only 2 books and one was lost. Thankfully Amazon offers some books for sale including his Colorado springs experiments.
    I believe Tesla was the kind of scientist who explored mother natures phenomenon and came up with practical inventions that makes our lives easier. His theories and work however are hard to find and seem to be lacking from our education system.

  • Tesla discovered a fundamental flaw in Hertz’s experiment: Hertz had failed to take into account he presence of air in his experiments. Hertz had mistakenly identified electrostatic inductions or electrified shockwaves as true electromagnetic waves. Tesla was saddened to bring this news to the distinguished academician, but felt scientific honesty was paramount if progress was to be achieved. Tesla visited Hertz in Germany and personally demonstrated the experimental error to him. Hertz agreed with Tesla and had planned to withdraw his claim, but reputations, political agendas, national pride, and above all, powerful financial interests, intervened in that decision and set the stage for a major rift in the ‘accepted’ theories that soon became transformed into the fundamental “laws” of the electric sciences that have held sway in industry and the halls of academia to the present day.

  • Maybe it is about radiant electricity, which Nikola Tesla championed and brought to the attention of the world. The history of electricity starting from the 3 phase generator is very interesting and we see the powerful financial interests directly involved. Including J P Morgan which through deception (his railway grab) and greed has become a leading financial institution in the world. The major players involved were Edison, Westinghouse, Morgan , General electric.
    It is easy to be a skeptic and dismiss things but until you do in depth study and try to determine what happened in history, you are none the wiser.
    Last century was Tesla’s century maybe not in recognition but in achievements. This century people are starting to wake up, information and experiments about this man are awash over the net.
    Tesla found the longitudinal electromagnetic wave, still considered by most to be Junk science. But I see just like the dark energetic fluid that filled the universe (Ether), that he use to talk about, the scalar wave has been renamed to Evanescent wave.

  • Yes Alison, and more copy/paste commenting too:

    It is fortunate that this mistake is so inconsequential that it has not greatly hindered scientific progress* and technologies that rely on electromagnetic waves operate just how we predict that they would based on this flawed science.

    * I expect this point to be vehemently disputed.

  • Ok here is a question why is the man who invented a light bulb more talked about than the man who lit the world ? Why is it Marconi is trumpeted as the man who invented radio when In 1943, the year of Tesla’s death, a landmark ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated the Marconi patent because the fundamental radio circuit had been anticipated by Tesla. So, the next time you pick up a wireless telephone, listen to your car radio or turn on a television set, give a quick thought to Nikola Tesla — the true father of radio.
    Cosmic ray explanations, do do da da the list goes on. Yet our education system fails to tell us this. Conspiracy ?
    An answer to these questions by the skeptical society would be appreciated. So that any notion of a conspiracy may be dismissed.

  • Why is it Marconi is trumpeted as the man who invented radio when In 1943, the year of Tesla’s death, a landmark ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated the Marconi patent because the fundamental radio circuit had been anticipated by Tesla.

    Possibly because Tesla ‘anticipated’ it but Marconi actually did the work & the practical demonstrations?

    Also, why is the man who invented a light bulb more talked about than the man who lit the world ?

    Because without the light bulb we’d still be sitting round with gas lamps & candles…

  • Well Tesla invented light bulbs that were a lot more energy efficient than the incandescent lamp (did you know about this ?). In fact it’s descendant is the eco bulb which is now replacing the incandescent bulb. So yeah i wouldn’t worry about the lanterns.

  • Derek, are you implying that the lightbulb was invented by “one man”? I guess you are thinking about Edison. There’s a reason we call him the “inventor” (i.e. always include the “speech marks”), which Wikipedia will help you to understand.

    Actually, I suggest (and so does Alison, above) that its the same reason Marconi is remembered as the “inventor” of radio (which essentially already existed when he was a child) — both of these people improved on, popularised and made available the relevant technologies. That’s not easy, and it has a huge impact on the end-users, rather than just the scientists.

    It’s not enough to just “be right”; you also have to “be heard”. That’s not a conspiracy, that’s human nature … try looking around a kids playground some time, you’ll see the same thing happening there in a slightly more raw form. Why would you need a statement from “the skeptical society” to say that, and why would you accept such a statement in the first place?

  • Why do I say the sceptical society well radiant energy apparently isn’t real, plasma electrolysis is crank and I am a troll apparently. So I am off to live under a bridge to hunt billy goats.

  • haha Whatever Ashton radiant energy was real, don’t come on a tesla talk and say its not. You should see how many people around the world can verify this !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Not however people that sit in classrooms and are shepherded from class to class. Look it up make a simplified school girl circuit and see oh hang on they don’t teach us this, hang on this is suppose to be crank science, but it works. But hey it is easier just to be a skeptic that way you can deny all you like and don’t have to do anything.
    Just accept all his gifts but deny his theory yeah right.

  • For those of you who don’t think they know it all, check this out.
    Incredible radiant energy footage. You can’t do this with AC.
    The energy of nature , radiant energy

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