Friday, July 10, 2009

Oscillation option...

Tesla 100 Dinar noteAC or DC. One hundred Serbian Dinars, that is probably more than the equivalent of what the man who's picture appears on the note had to his name: the man was celibate, fastidious, meticulous and who loved a pigeon ...and who's inventions would have made him the world's richest man by far - in fact one contract alone would have been enough to make him the world's first billionaire had it not been contrary to "his future vision of free power" - yet he died destitute and with significant debts: Nikola Tesla. Later in the same year of his death the US Supreme Court upheld Tesla's patent number i.e. reversing their previous reversal and recognizing him as the inventor of radio. [Wiki] Today is the 153rd anniversary of his birth, an odd number to be sure but one he would appreciate (divisible by 3, just one part of what is now assumed to be obsessive-compulsive disorder).

When his name is mentioned most think of radio wars (fighting with Marconi over the patent for the invention of radio) or the earlier Current Wars where he played a major part in the uptake of AC instead of DC (and getting revenge on Edison who had apparently "diddled him" whilst Tesla was in his employ) but there a multitude of lesser known works, stuff of science fiction: his papers were declared to be of national importance, all his effects were seized on the advice of presidential advisers and none other than J. Edgar Hoover who declared the case most secret because of the nature of Tesla's inventions and patents. Directed-energy weapon/peace ray/ death ray, call it what you will. He tried to prevent WWII and saw the "preventative possibilities in his new invention which embodied "death ray" characteristics". A system he said he had tried to sell...

...to Great Britain for $30,000,000 on the basis of his presentation that the device would provide complete protection for the British Isles against any enemy approaching by sea or air, and would provide an offensive weapon to which there was no defense."

Wow. Much talk of lightening balls and particle ray beam etc. Ideas that didn't necessarily go away with various reports of foo fighters during that war, or through the 80's but continue to this day. I digress, suffice to say he was most definitly one of the world's greatest inventors and a pioneer in his (electrical) field.

The oscillation option? As mentioned above Tesla is clearly thought of as an electrical genius but he was also responsible for a number of mechanical and other devices. One such was the Tesla Oscillator - his "Earthquake Machine". Apparently he once joked that he could split the Earth with one of these devices, and no-one ever knew if he was joking...!![credit to EclipseG - your page wouldn't load]

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3 comments:

Les Paul Junior said...

Within the post-1974 boundary of Sunderland there is a former pit village called Philadelphia. There you will find Electric Crescent, Voltage Terrace and Tesla Street. These steets are well over 100 years old so someone must've been, how can I say, well up on current affairs!

Span Ows said...

hahaha...nice one but actually it's brilliant (no pun intended!) that they had - and have - those names!) 1909 was when Marconi got his Nobel and so the previous years were when him and Tesla were "at each others throats" (in a scientific bod kind of way).

It may be that those Philadelphia streets were among the first in the region to have electric light (maybe powered from the pits) When you consider that the first public electricity supply in the world wasn't provided until late 1881 (Godalming, Surrey), less than 128 years ago.

Les Paul Junior said...

Durham County Council have an excellent public online GIS facilty and from this I found that those streets were built in the period 1899 to 1926. So you could well be right about the electricity supply.