Artificial lightening and Radio experiments

Nikola Tesla invented the Radio

This text ist computer-translated by the help of Altavista-babelfish. Please look into the German version for correct understanding.

On 7 January 1943 a man in New York, whose meaning for the development of modern electro-technology until today is not yet fully entered, died: Nikola Tesla. He was born on 10 July 1856 in Croatia, came 1884 to New York, where he co-operated short time with Thomas Alva Edison, before he dedicated himself to independent research, and was 1915 candidate on the Nobelpreis, which was not awarded to him for dubious reasons nevertheless. While one is occupied in the USA for some years increasingly with Teslas work and his person, and in the course one is challenged to write again the history of important discoveries of electro-technology still pends an appropriate appreciation of the person and the performance Nikola Teslas in the German linguistic area. Unfortunately there is Nikola Teslas, who is sufficient for the respectable requirements of scientific interest to today no representation of the work and the person newer in the German linguistic area.

' if one wanted to outline the life Nikola Teslas, that strange experiment, which he made from it, with a word, then would sensationally probably be ' ' a mild printout. Just as little one becomes fair with the word ' amazingly ' his discoveries, which up-shot. It is the confusing, gleaming history of a superhuman, who created a new world. ' Likes if the exaggerated admiration, which from these words of his most well-known bio graph, John O'Neill, speaks, much too highly to access, - which with us at knowledge over this man admits is, is nevertheless in no relation to his meaning: In popular dictionary articles the discovery of the Tesla currents and the Tesla transformer are mentioned. In general physics books the name Tesla appears only as unit for one after him designated electromagnetic effect. That is everything. His introduction of a.c. mains in the USA (together with industrial magnates the George Westinghouse), which a low-loss transfer of energy over long distances only enabled and Edisons direct current network replaced, is hardly well-known. Just as little his earnings/services to the development of useful alternating-current motors, the discovery of the electrical rotary field and the first wirelessly controlled remote guidance boat in the year 1898, in order to call some the most important achievements of this man.

Attention received recently the ' lost inventions ' to Teslas in esoteric sets: It concerns allegedly high-energy death jets, with which a military shield be structured can, which guards the country against each aggressor (as it were a forerunner of the SDI), and around the construction of an automobile at the beginning of the thirties, which is to have won its energy from the force of gravity field, - the solution of our energy problem, if somewhat to should be there. But more than vague suggestions are not delivered to us, and it remains asking whether these legends do not decrease/go back to a latent size illusion of this man, who means as first, to become 150 years old and artificial lightnings of several meters of length to produce, and who from himself meant, and therefore in its middle live years after omitted to hold his research results and construction plans in writing with the reason, in addition he had later still sufficient time.

We are limited to what is present us until today in writing and is verifiable, and wanted to regard in particular Teslas contribution here for the implementation of the wireless transmission of news and the radio technology, which until today yet to its full extent one did not detect. We rely thereby on the fewer well-known representation of the Tesla work of his compatriot Slavko Boksan from the year 1932, which can show the most technical details and vouchers contrary to all later Biographies.

Already 1893, thus three years before the Italian Marconi, which is considered as a pioneer of the radio technology until today, with his attempts to the wireless telegraphy began, reported Nikola Tesla before the Franklin institute in Philadelphia of the importance of its experiments with the different high frequency oscillators, which he had developed: ' in accordance with the resonance effects and the problem of the transfer of energy by means of only one conductor, that was beforehand regarded, I would like to say still some words about an article, which employs my thinking steadily and which concerns the general welfare. I mean the transfer of understandable characters or perhaps even from strength on any distance without use of wires. I come daily more to the conviction of the feasibility of the thing, and although I very probably know that the large majority of the scholars the opinion is not that such results can be implemented practically and in the next time. '

By a fire on 13 March 1895 his laboratory was completely destroyed, which back-threw his research around at least one year. Later he reported one week in the magazine ' The Elektrical Review ' of the status of its research: ' I was busy with my work in four main areas with investigations. One was the oscillator, which I do not only regard for a practical machine, but also as suggestion for new ideas. Second were improved methods of the electrical lighting. The third area was the wireless transmission of news on each distance and fourth was i.e. the problem most important for each thinking electrician, the study of the nature of the electricity. At each of these areas will I mean investigations to continue. ' That occurred then also. Already at the end of of 1896 knew Tesla with a small master station in New York and 30 kilometers removed for slave station good remote transmission results with a long-wave resonant frequency of two megahertz to obtain. Ranges, about which one could only dream in Europe.

On 10 May 1897 it succeeded to the Italian Guglielmo Marconi to transmit Morse codes five kilometers the far over Bristol channel. And in October 1897 Marconi obtained a range of 15 kilometers. Ferdinand Braun in Germany announced his patent over the ' telegraphy without sequential line ', which was then also given to him on 14 October 1898 in July 1898: It described a closed resonant circuit with a Teslatransformator, which had better radiation characteristics as Marconis system with Hertz oscillators. Marconis of radio attempts possessed the disadvantage that they operated with ultra short wave frequencies in the one and two-meter area, whose range under favorable conditions amounts to only the view horizon distance. Tesla operated against it from the beginning within the long-wave area, which permits ranges due to reflection at higher air layers in the terrestrial atmosphere many thousand kilometers. But the meaning of these better propagation characteristics of the long -, central and short waves in relation to the very high frequencies unfortunately detected different first and made themselves.

Instead of advancing the possibilities of the wireless transmission of news, on which most high frequency technicians had begun to operate at his time, Tesla planned the problem of the wireless transfer of energy, a technical dead end, as he should still prove later. For these attempts he built a radio transmitter with resonant circuits for several kilowatts of transmitting power. Heart of the sender was the so-called Tesla coil, a ironless high frequency transformer, with which one could produce arbitrarily high electrical voltages. A new research field opened thereby.

The study of the nature of high electrical voltages became Teslas new main point of work. After he had already succeeded 1891 to demonstrate an unloading spark of 13 centimeters of length it increased the dimensions and the capacities, in order to increase its high frequency transformer to still higher efficiency. For his condensers he used oil instead of glass as insulator, with which he obtained substantially better isolation results. He invented the breaking spark gap (German: Serienfunkenstrecke), executed spark arresting in the air flow and with magnetic field strength, solved problems of the tuning from primary circiut and secundary circuit, in order to obtain a good resonance of the two resonant circuits, and could so increase the efficiency of the transmission resonant circuits on 85 per cent.

With his high frequency attempts he encountered an interesting phenomenon, which admits skin effect ' under the designation ' in physics is: indeed the circumstance that electrical voltages move with high frequencies only on the body surface and do not penetrate no more into the inside of a body. They behave practically with high frequencies like static electricity, which can be calculated with the help of the Maxwell equations also mathematically. That leads to the strange effect that one can derive, without taking thereby damage voltages from several hundredthousand volts to one million V over the human body, with amperages, which amount more of the otherwise deadly dose.

This effect came Tesla in quite different connection as help: Edison had structured the first local current supply on 110 V of direct current base in New York. The current supply had however due to the high Ohm's resistance of the overhead power lines only a very much limited range of few miles. Beyond that the losses and the voltage drop in public electricity mains became too highly. Alternating current could be high-transformed however by appropriate transformers on several thousand V, with which also on far transmission circuits of one hundred or thousand kilometers only a small loss occurred. These high voltages could be stepped down then at the target again on 110 or 220 V current for consumers. George Westinghouse had acquired and structured the appropriate patents Teslas for the alternating current system an alternative current supply country-wide and made thereby Edisons direct current system competition.

Edison, anxious, to save his direct current system let dogs and cats kill publicly by alternating current, in order to demonstrate the danger of alternating current (in relation to direct current). In response Tesla showed the complete harmless of alternating current, by letting 200,000 V (high frequency) derive alternating current and more over its body to the earth and the most amazing optical phenomena producing, without he took thereby the smallest damage. At such a demonstration before the Franklin institute in Philadelphia in the year 1893 he explained: ' around a vibration of the same intensity, but would be necessary four times so fast to receive over 3,000,000 V, and which would be sufficient in order mean for more than, bodies in flames to wrap. But this flame would not burn me; completely in the opposite, the probability is large that I was not in the slightest hurt. And only a hundredth part of this energy, if it were elsewhere hang-steered, would nevertheless be strong enough, to kill around humans. ' But in the reason such demonstrations were not necessary, because Teslas alternating current system became generally accepted alone due to its technical and physical advantages and to today the relevant public current supply system remained.

Back to the wireless telegraphy: On 2 September 1897, thus ten months, before Ferdinand Baun submitted his patent over ' telegraphy without sequential line ', Tesla announced two patents for wireless transfer of energy, in which all important function sets are described for wireless transmission of news already. The patent number 649,621 describes ' the combination on the one hand the transmission instruments, which a transformer, whose secundary coil is connected with the earth and a high-led conductor, and which cover means, in order to push electrical oscillation open of the primary coil of the transformer, and on the other hand the receipt instruments, which likewise cover a transformer, whose primary set is connected with a high-led conductor similarly with the earth and, while the receipt equipment is connected with the secundary coil, whereby the capacities and Inductances of the two transformers must have such values, in order to protect the synchronism with the pushed open oscillations, like that here is indicated. ' And in the patent what holds number 645,576: ' during the description given here mainly a method and a system of the wireless transfer of energy for industrial purposes treated, will find the principles and apparatuses shown also many other valuable applications argued here, e.g. if it is desired, understandable characters transfer to large distances to or higher air layers to light up '. Thus also the technical basic conditions are described, which are the basis for each broadcast and television transmission. In the same year he succeeded to it to produce with his high-frequency transmitter with a voltage of four million V artificial lightning of approximately five m. Thus the boundary of the technically feasible one was achieved in his New York laboratories.

1899 established Tesla in Colorado Springs on the Colorado plateau, to a high plateau with an expansion of about thousand kilometers, a master station, a magnifying transmitter with a 70 meters high antenna, which was appropriate of 200 kilowatts for an output. A slave station was in a distance of over thousand kilometers, and it succeeded to Tesla to execute with a fraction of the performance, wireless telegraphic and telephone transfers on this distance the available, while Marconi had to be satisfied still with ranges of 50 to 70 kilometers. For the wireless power transmission he produced high voltages of twelve to 20 million V, which unloaded themselves in up to 30 meters long lightnings: the highest ever voltages produced by human hand, with which he hoped to be able to send electricity around the whole earth.

A strange thing at the edge: During his experiments on the Colorado plateau received Tesla with a sensitive recipient rhythmic radio signals, whose source to him assumed in space. His statement radio contact with extraterrestial intelligences to have manufactured encountered refusal. Other researchers attributed these signals to electrical disturbances in the atmosphere. However it must be held that such rhythmic signals became to receive end of the twenties also in Europe, as delayed echoes of radiated impulses of a high-power transmitter in the Netherlands, which gave cause to think again about the existence of a radio source at perigee:

"Another of Tesla's claimed discoveries at Colorado Springs came late one night as he was working at his powerful and sensitive radio receiver. Only elderly Mr. Dozier, the carpenter, remained on duty. Suddenly the inventor became aware of strange rhythmic sounds on the receiver. He could think of no possible explanation for such a regular pattern, unless it were an effort being made to communicate with Earth by living creatures on another planet. Venus or Mars he supposed to be the more likely sources. No one at that time had ever heard of such phenomena as regular sounds from space." (Margaret Cheney, Tesla: Man Out of Time, P. 150)
"... If a first contact with us manufactured commodity, knew according to Bracewell the following steps are made in this way: In order to indicate to the probe that we received it [ the signal repeated by it ], we like to send it back again. They would know then that they are with us in contact. To some routine precautions against mistakes and check of our sensitivity and frequency width they would begin to transmit then their message with occasional interruptions, in order to be safe that it did not sink under the earth horizon. Would it be surprising, if the beginning of the message ist a transmittal of the television picture of a constellation? These details and the necessity to teach the probe our language (by transmitting a picture wordbook?), are fascinating, however no difficulties prepare, as soon as the contact with the probe is once manufactured. This is that main problem. Before the discovery of the probe commodity for us the repetition of our radio signals extremely puzzlingly, since there would be no scientific explanaition for this strange echo.
Evenly this occurred however itself in the year 1927, when a radio operator in Oslo received the signals of the Dutch Short-wave-station PCJJ in Eindhoven, which three seconds of late signals followed, which proved with security as their repetition. One examined this strange circumstances, and on 11 October 1928 the experimental repetition of the strange phenomenon succeeded: PCJJ sent particularly strong signals, and again not only they, but also their echo were received. The attempt was monitored by Dr. van der Pol of the Philips broadcasting company in Eindhoven and of officials of the Norwegian telegraph administration in Oslo. The physicist Carl Stormer, which led the attempt, reported on it in a letter to the magazine Nature. Similar echoes were caught in the following years also by other stations. " (Paul Watzlawick, as is really the reality, P. 194)

Tesla discovered with his attempts that electromagnetic waves not only in the so-called in or two meter area, which central and high-frequency, which can be produced for today's FM and VHF area, but also in the long -, played up to then no role. He detected first the enormous range effect of these wave bands, which were used into the fifties of our century exclusively for the public broadcast, and also to today still another important role in long-distance radio played. Despite these considerable successes, which documented well, Tesla is today not yet generally recognized as inventors of the basic principles of modern radio technology until. This merit is charged still Marconi, who had succeeded in the year 1901 to send the Morse letter ' S ' over the Atlantic and to bridge a distance of 3,470 kilometers wirelessly. This break-through had become only possible, because Marconi had given its earlier technique up with the Hertz waves of small range after becoming known successes Teslas on the Colorado plateau and instead of its Tesla resonant circuits for the long-wave area and Tesla coils began.

With the bypass of the Atlantiks the possibility of wireless transmission of news for all world had become visible reality. Marconi used all possibilities of structuring over its world monopol for the wireless telegraphy and harvested broad public acknowledgment. 1909 the Nobelpreis in physics for the development of the wireless telegraphy were awarded to him and Ferdinand Braun. But that both thereby did nothing further he had noticed successfully to apply than Teslas technique in the professional world hardly someone, with the exception of few authors, who tried in vain to make attentive on it. For Tesla it was, after Marconis successes were publicly celebrated, impossible, to put his proportion out of the development of the wireless communications technology being entitled. Certainly it must be also pointed out that Tesla advanced the development of the wireless transmission of news halfheartedly. In the foreground of his wireless interest were situated the transfer of energy and strength , and that was also also reproached to him by his critics right, when he pounded on his earnings telegraphy wireless in things.

Only six months after his death, in June 1943, the Supreme Court, the highest US court yard in things Marconi society against the United States, entitled him as the true father of the radio. A judgement, which took to much time. .

Tesla had put his own targets too highly: he wanted to make the night to the day, by wanting to bring the atmosphere with high frequency stream to lighting up. He wanted to transfer unlimited energy to each place of the earth. He wanted to produce death beams, whose application would terminate each war immediately. And he overlooked the being obvious and really feasible one with all these utopian projects. That brought hin in calamity. Other ones had a better feeling for it and harvested the success, which was entitled to him actually. It is now time to deal with ourself in more detail with the man who put the foundation-stone for our modern electro-technology and communications technology with his basic research to the high frequency and ac technique.

©Eckhard Etzold, 1997


Slavko Boksan: Nikola Tesla and his work (and the development of electro-technology, the high frequency and high voltage technique and the radio engineering). Leipzig - Vienna - New York 1932

Margaret Cheney: Tesla: One Out OF time, New York 1981

John J. O'Neill: Prodigal Genius. The Life OF Nikola Tesla. Inventor Extraordinary. Hollywood, Calif. 1978 (German: Nikola Tesla. The opponent Edisons. Vienna - Innsbruck 1951)

Franz Ferzak: Nikola Tesla. Discoverer of the rotary field and the high frequency stream, inventors of the radio, the Perpetuum mobile and the death beams. Neuenhinzenhausen 1989

Nikola Tesla. The genius of our future. Publisher: VAP publishing house, Wiesbaden 1991


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