Wardenclyffe Tower

Wardenclyffe Tower

Wardenclyffe Tower (1901 – 1917) also known as the Tesla Tower, was an early wireless telecommunications aerial tower designed by Nikola Tesla and intended for commercial trans-Atlantic wireless telephony, broadcasting, and to demonstrate the transmission of power without interconnecting wires. [Anderson, Leland I., "Nikola Tesla On His Work with Alternating Currents and Their Application to wireless Telegraphy, Telephony, and Transmission of Power", Twenty First Century Books, 2002, pp. 106, 153, 170.; Councel, "This Wardenclyffe station was that -- experimental?" Tesla, "No, it was a commercial undertaking. . . ."] [ [http://www.tfcbooks.com/tesla/1908-00-00.htm "The Future of the Wireless Art] ," Wireless Telegraphy & Telephony, Van Nostrand, 1908] The core facility was never fully operational and was not completed due to economic problems. [Cheney, Margaret(1999), Tesla Master of Lightning, New York: Barnes & Noble Books, ISBN 0-7607-1005-8, pp. 107.; “Unable to overcome his financial burdens, he was forced to close the laboratory in 1905.”]

The tower was named after James S. Warden, a western lawyer and banker who had purchased land in Shoreham, Long Island, about sixty miles from Manhattan. Here he built a resort community known as Wardenclyffe-On-Sound. Warden believed that with the implementation of Tesla's "world system", a "Radio City" would arise in the area, and he offered Tesla 200 acres (81 hectares) of land close to a railway line on which to build his wireless telecommunications tower and laboratory facility.



Nikola Tesla began planning the Wardenclyffe Tower facility ca. 1898, and in 1901, construction began on the land near Long Island Sound. Architect Stanford White designed the Wardenclyffe facility main building. The tower was designed by W.D. Crow, an associate of White. Funding for Tesla's project was provided by influential industrialists and other venture capitalists. The project was initially backed by the wealthy J. P. Morgan (he had a substantial investment in the facility, initially investing $150,000).

In June 1902, Tesla moved his laboratory operations from his Houston Street laboratory to Wardenclyffe. However, in 1903, when the tower structure was near completion, it was still not yet functional due to last-minute design changes. Tesla intended for the tower to demonstrate how the ionosphere could be used to provide free electricity to everyone without the need for power lines. Morgan, who could not foresee any financial gain from providing free electricity to everyone, balked. Construction costs eventually exceeded the money provided by Morgan, and additional financiers were reluctant to come forward. [When Morgan wanted to know "Where can I put the meter?", Tesla had no answer. Tesla's vision of free power did not agree with Morgan's worldview; nor would it pay for the maintenance of the transmission system.] By July 1904, Morgan (and the other investors) finally decided they would not provide any additional financing. Morgan also encouraged other investors to avoid the project. In May 1905, Tesla's patents on alternating current motors and other methods of power transmission expired, halting royalty payments and causing a severe reduction of funding to the Wardenclyffe Tower. In an attempt to find alternative funding, Tesla advertised the services of the Wardenclyffe facility, but he met with little success. By this time, Tesla had also designed the Tesla turbine at Wardenclyffe and produced Tesla coils for sale to various businesses.

By 1905, since Tesla could not find any more backers, most of the site's activity had to be shut down. Employees were laid off in 1906, but parts of the building remained in use until 1907. In 1908, the property was foreclosed for the first time. Tesla procured a new mortgage from the proprietor of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, George C. Boldt. The facility was partially abandoned around 1911, the tower structure eventually becoming deteriorated. Between 1912 and 1915, Tesla's finances unraveled, and when the funders wanted to know how they were going to recapture their investments, Tesla was unable to give satisfactory answers. Newspaper headlines of the time labeled it "Tesla's million-dollar folly"." The facility's main building was breached and vandalized around this time. Collapse of the Wardenclyffe project may have contributed to the mental breakdown Tesla experienced during this period. Coupled to the personal tragedy of Wardenclyffe was the 1895 fire at 35 South 5th Avenue in the building which housed Tesla's laboratory. In this fire, he lost much of his equipment, notes and documents. This produced a state of severe depression for Tesla.

Post-Tesla Era

In 1915, legal ownership of the Wardenclyffe property was transferred to George Boldt for a $20,000 debt. In September 1917 during World War I, the tower was blown up with dynamite on orders of the United States Government which feared German spies were using it and that it could be used as a landmark for German submarines.See [http://earlyradiohistory.us/1917tes.htm http://earlyradiohistory.us/1917tes.htm] (citing page 293 of the September, 1917 issue of "The Electrical Experimenter"): "SUSPECTING that German spies were using the big wireless tower erected at Shoreham, L. I., about twenty years ago by Nikola Tesla, the Federal Government ordered the tower destroyed and it was recently demolished with dynamite."] Tesla was not in New York during the tower's destruction.

George Boldt wished to make the property available for sale. On April 20, 1922 Tesla lost an appeal of judgment versus his backers in the second foreclosure. This effectively locked Tesla out of any future development of the facility. In 1925, the property ownership was transferred to Walter L. Johnson of Brooklyn. On March 6, 1939, Plantacres, Inc. purchased the facility's land and subsequently leased it to Peerless Photo Products, Inc. (which was subsequently bought out by AGFA Corporation, the current owner). The main building remains standing to this day.

Commemoration efforts

On February 14, 1967, the nonprofit public benefit corporation Brookhaven Town Historical Trust was established. It selected the Wardenclyffe facility to be designated as a historic site and as the first site to be preserved by the Trust on March 3, 1967. In the month of July in 1976, a plaque from Tesla's birth country, Yugoslavia, was installed by the Brookhaven Town Historic trust near the entrance of the building. [This plaque is located near the entrance to the "building", not the entrance to the "site", and as such is not accessible by the public in any way.] It reads:


Attempts to landmark the structure have been thwarted by the lack of cooperation by its owners (landmarking requires owner cooperation). [ [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9D0CE2D7113EF933A25752C1A9649C8B63&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=all Tesla, a Little-Recognized Genius, Left Mark in Shoreham - New York Times - November 10, 2002] ]

In 1976, an application was filed to nominate the main building for listing listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It failed to get approval. In 1994, the campaign for placement of the Wardenclyffe facility on the National Register of Historic Places of New York was renewed. In October 1994 a second Application for formal nomination was filed. The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation conducted inspections and determined the facility meets New York State criteria for historic designation.

The present owner of the existing Wardenclyffe facility is AGFA-Gevaert. The site is undergoing a final cleanup of waste produced during its Photo Products era. The clean up is being conducted under the scrutiny of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and is being paid for by AGFA. The tower base is one of the areas where the clean up is under way.

Facility grounds

Wardenclyffe is located near the Shoreham Post Office and Shoreham Fire House on Route 25A in Shoreham, Long Island, New York. Wardenclyffe was divided into two main sections. The tower, which was located in the back, and the main building compose the entire facility grounds.

The tower was 187 feet (57 meters) tall and 68 feet (20.7 m) in diameter. It had a supporting structure that was built of wood. It had a 55-ton steel (some report it was a better conducting material, such as copper) hemispherical structure at the top (referred to as a cupola). The tower was designed by one of Stanford White's associates. The design of this structure was such as to allow each piece to be taken out if needed and replaced as necessary. Beneath the tower, a shaft sank 120 feet (36.6 m) into the ground. Sixteen iron pipes were placed one length after another 300 additional feet (94.4 m) in order for the machine, in Tesla's words, "to have a grip on the earth so the whole of this globe can quiver." [ [http://www.tfcbooks.com/tesla/nt_on_ac.htm "Nikola Tesla On His Work With Alternating Currents and Their Application to Wireless Telegraphy, Telephony, and Transmission of Power"] , ISBN 1-893817-01-6, p. 203] At this depth, telluric currents of the Earth could be transceived.

The main building occupied the rest of the facility grounds. It included a laboratory area, instrument room, boiler room, generator room and machine shop. Inside the main building, there were electromechanical devices, electrical generators, electrical transformers, glass blowing equipment, X-ray devices, Tesla coils, a remote controlled boat, cases with bulbs and tubes, wires, cables, a library, and an office. It was constructed in the style of the Italian Renaissance.

Theories of operation

The Transmission of Radiant Energy

In 1891 and 1892, Tesla had used an oscillatory transformer that bears his name in demonstration lectures delivered before meetings of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (AIEE) in New York City" [ [http://www.tfcbooks.com/tesla/1891-05-20.htm "Experiments With Alternating Currents of Very High Frequency, and Their Application to Methods of Artificial Illumination,"] AIEE, Columbia College, N.Y., May 20, 1891] and the Institute of Electrical Engineers (IEE) in London. [ [http://www.tfcbooks.com/tesla/1892-02-03.htm “Experiments With Alternate Currents of High Potential and High Frequency,"] IEE Address, London, February 3, 1892” ("Inventions, Researches and Writings of Nikola Tesla").] Of two striking results that Tesla demonstrated, one was that the wireless transmission of electrical energy was possible. A later presentation, titled "On Light and Other High Frequency Phenomena" (Philadelphia/St. Louis; Franklin Institute in 1893), [ [http://www.tfcbooks.com/tesla/1893-02-24.htm "On Light and Other High Frequency Phenomena,"] February 24, 1893, before the Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, March 1893, before the National Electric Light Association, St. Louis.] was a key event in the invention of radio and could be said to have begun the development of Wardenclyffe.

One-Wire Transmission

In the early presentations, the first experiment to be demonstrated was the operation of light and motive devices connected by a single wire to only one terminal of a high frequency induction coil, presented during the 1891 New York City lecture at Columbia University. While a single terminal incandescent lamp connected to one of an induction coil’s secondary terminals does not form a closed circuit “in the ordinary acceptance of the term”, the circuit is closed in the sense that a return path is established back to the secondary by what Tesla called “electrostatic induction” (or 'displacement currents'). This is due to the fact that the lamp’s filament or refractory button has capacitance relative to the coil’s free terminal and environment and the secondary’s free terminal also has capacitance relative to the lamp and environment. At high frequencies, the displacement current required to charge these capacitances becomes sufficient to light the lamp.

Wireless Transmission

The second result demonstrated how energy could be made to go through space without any connecting wires. This was the first step towards a practical wireless system. The wireless energy transmission effect involved the creation of an electric field between two metal plates, each being connected to one terminal of an induction coil’s secondary winding. Once again, a light-producing device (in this case a gas discharge tube) was used as a means of detecting the presence of the transmitted energy. "The most striking result obtained" involved the lighting of two partially evacuated tubes in an alternating electrostatic field while held in the hand of the experimenter. In Tesla's words,

Here Tesla describes two different types of wireless transmitters, both employing a high-tension induction coil. The first, referred to here as the type-one transmitter, had a sheet of metal suspended from the ceiling and connected to one of the induction coil’s terminals. The other terminal was connected to ground. The second, referred to here as the type-two transmitter, had two sheets of metal suspended from the ceiling, each being connected with one of the coil’s terminals.

Theory of Wireless Transmission

While working to develop an explanation for the two observed effects mentioned above, Tesla recognized that electrical energy could be projected outward into space and detected by a receiving instrument in the general vicinity of the source without the need for any interconnecting wires. He went on to develop two theories related to these observations, which are:
#By using two type-one sources positioned at distant points on the Earth’s surface, it is possible to induce a flow of electrical current between them.
#By incorporating a portion of the Earth as part of a powerful type-two oscillator the disturbance can be impressed upon the Earth and detected “"at great distance, or even all over the surface of the globe".”Tesla also made the assumption that the Earth is a charged body floating in space.

A point of great importance would be first to know what is the capacity of the Earth? and what charge does it contain if electrified? Though we have no positive evidence of a charged body existing in space without other oppositely electrified bodies being near, there is a fair probability that the Earth is such a body, for by whatever process it was separated from other bodies—and this is the accepted view of its origin—it must have retained a charge, as occurs in all processes of mechanical separation.

Tesla was familiar with demonstrations that involved the charging of Leyden jar capacitors and isolated metal spheres with electrostatic influence machines. By bringing these elements into close proximity with each other, and also by making direct contact followed by their separation the charge can be manipulated. He surely had this in mind in the creation of his mental image, not being able to know that the model of Earth’s origin was inaccurate. The presently accepted model of planetary origin is one of accretion and collision.

If it be a charged body insulated in space its capacity should be extremely small, less than one-thousandth of a farad.

We now know that the Earth is, in fact, a charged body, made so by processes—at least in part—related to the interaction between the continuous stream of charged particles called the solar wind that flows outward from the center of our solar system and Earth’s magnetosphere. And we also know that Tesla's capacitance estimate was correct: Earth's self-capacitance is about 710 microfarads. [ [http://www.iop.org/activity/education/Projects/Teaching%20Advanced%20Physics/Electricity/Capacitors/page_3601.html "Episode 126: Capacitance and the equation C =Q/V"] , Institute of Physics website > Schools and Colleges > Projects > Teaching Advanced Physics > Electricity > Capacitors, accessed 2008-09-25]

But the upper strata of the air are conducting, and so, perhaps, is the medium in free space beyond the atmosphere, and these may contain an opposite charge. Then the capacity might be incomparably greater.

We now also know that one of the upper strata of Earth's atmosphere, the ionosphere, is conducting.

In any case it is of the greatest importance to get an idea of what quantity of electricity the Earth contains.

An additional condition of which we are now aware is that the Earth possesses a naturally existing negative charge with respect to the conducting region of the atmosphere beginning at an elevation of about 50 km. The potential difference between the Earth and this region is on the order of 400,000 volts. Near the Earth's surface there is a ubiquitous downward directed E-field of about 100 V/m. Tesla referred to this charge as the “electric niveau” or electric level. [As noted by James Corum, et al in the paper "Concerning Cavity Q", Proceedings of the 1988 International Tesla Symposium. ("ed". along with other sources)]

It is difficult to say whether we shall ever acquire this necessary knowledge, but there is hope that we may, and that is, by means of electrical resonance. If ever we can ascertain at what period the Earth's charge, when disturbed, oscillates with respect to an oppositely electrified system or known circuit, we shall know a fact possibly of the greatest importance to the welfare of the human race. I propose to seek for the period by means of an electrical oscillator, or a source of alternating electric currents... ["On Light and Other High Frequency Phenomena," February 24, 1893, before the Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, March 1893, before the National Electric Light Association, St. Louis.]

Some maintain the 200 kW wireless facility would have functioned by the propagation of electromagnetic radiation, or radio waves, then called Hertzian radiation.

By Tesla's own account, his earth resonance system works by the creation of powerful disturbances in Earth's natural electric charge. The Wardenclyffe facility had a dual purpose. In addition to point-to-point telecommunications and broadcasting it was also intended to demonstrate the transmission of electrical power on a reduced scale. He stated,

It is intended to give practical demonstrations of these principles with the plant illustrated. As soon as completed, it will be possible for a business man in New York to dictate instructions, and have them instantly appear in type at his office in London or elsewhere. He will be able to call up, from his desk, and talk to any telephone subscriber on the globe, without any change whatever in the existing equipment. An inexpensive instrument, not bigger than a watch, will enable its bearer to hear anywhere, on sea or land, music or song, the speech of a political leader, the address of an eminent man of science, or the sermon of an eloquent clergyman, delivered in some other place, however distant. In the same manner any picture, character, drawing, or print can be transferred from one to another place. Millions of such instruments can be operated from but one plant of this kind. More important than all of this, however, will be the transmission of power, without wires, which will be shown on a scale large enough to carry conviction. ["The Future of the Wireless Art," Wireless Telegraphy and Telephony, Walter W. Massie & Charles R. Underhill, 1908, pp. 67-71]

Wardenclyffe was the first of many installations to be constructed near major population centers around the world. If Tesla's plans had moved forward without interruption the Long Island prototype would have been followed by a second plant built somewhere along the southwest coast of England, perhaps in Cornwall. Each of these towers would have been a large magnifying transmitter of a design loosely based upon the apparatus which Tesla assembled at the Colorado Springs Experimental Station in 1899. : ". . . The plant in Colorado was merely designed in the same sense as a naval constructor designs first a small model to ascertain all the quantities before he embarks on the construction of a big vessel. I had already planned most of the details of the commercial plant, subsequently put up at Long Island, except that at that time the location was not settled upon. The Colorado plant I have used in determining the construction of the various parts, and the experiments which were carried on there were for the practical purpose of enabling me to design the transmitters and receivers which I was to employ in the large commercial plant subsequently erected. . . ." [Anderson, Leland, "Nikola Tesla On His Work with Alternating Currents and Their Application to wireless Telegraphy, Telephony, and Transmission of Power," Twenty First Century Books, 2002, pp. 170.]

Using a global array of these magnifying transmitters, it was Tesla's plan to establish what he called the "World System," providing multi-channel global broadcasting, an array of secure wireless telecommunications services, and a long range aid to navigation, including means for the precise synchronization of clocks. In a more highly developed state he envisioned the World System would expand to include the wireless industrial transmission of electric power. ["U.S. Blows Up Tesla Radio Tower," Electrical Experimenter, September 1917, p. 293.]

The installation was also used by Tesla as a laboratory for designing a power distribution system that would allow electricity to be transmitted over great distances without wires. This cannot be accomplished with what Tesla called "Hertz waves," which explains why Wardenclyffe was designed in a different manner than modern radio transmitters. Instead of distributing electricity through copper wire, remote users would be able to "receive" power through a buried ground connection, along with a spherical antenna terminal mounted just above their roof. At the time the power grid was quite limited in terms of who it reached and the Wardenclyffe prototype represented a way in which to significantly reduce the cost of "electrifying" the countryside. Tesla called his wireless technique the "disturbed charge of ground and air method". [ [http://www.tfcbooks.com/articles/tws4.htm Peterson, Gary, "Rediscovering the Zenneck Surface Wave,"] Feed Line No. 4.]

The prototype facility was also meant to serve as a reduced-scale model for a national (and later global) system of towers to transmit electrical energy to users in the form of earth currents and magnetohydrodynamic waves. There is evidence that Wardenclyffe would have used extremely low frequency signals combined with higher frequency signals. In practice, the transmitter electrically influences both the Earth and the space above it. He made a point of describing the process as being essentially the same as transmitting electricity by conduction through a wire. Tesla stated that electrical energy can be efficiently transmitted back and forth between World System transmitter / receiver facilities via electrical conduction through the ground. To accommodate this plan each facility includes one or two elevated terminal connections and one or two ground terminal connections.

Tesla clearly specified the Earth as being one of the conducting media involved in ground and air system technology. The other specified medium is the atmosphere above convert|5|mi|km elevation. While not an ohmic conductor, in this region of the troposphere and upwards, the density or pressure is sufficiently reduced to so that, according to Tesla’s theory, the atmosphere’s insulating properties can be easily impaired, allowing an electric current to flow. His theory further states that the conducting region is developed through the process of atmospheric ionization, in which the effected portions thereof are changed to plasma. The presence of the magnetic fields developed by each plant’s helical resonator suggests that an embedded magnetic field and flux linkage is also involved. Flux linkage with Earth’s natural magnetic field is also a possibility, especially in the case of an earth resonance transmission system.

The atmosphere below convert|5|mi|km is also viewed as a propagating medium for a portion of the above-ground circuit, and, being an insulating medium, electrostatic induction would be involved rather than true electrical conduction. Tesla felt that with a sufficiently high electrical potential on the elevated terminal the practical limitation imposed upon its height could be overcome. He anticipated that a highly energetic transmitter, as was intended at Wardenclyffe, would charge the elevated terminal to the point where the atmosphere around and above the facility would break down and become ionized, leading to a flow of true conduction currents between the two terminals by a path up to and through the troposphere, and back down to the other facility. The ionization of the atmosphere directly above the elevated terminals would be facilitated by the use of an ionizing beam of ultraviolet radiation to form what might be called a high-voltage plasma transmission line. ["ed". see "maxwellian" waves and waves in plasmas] Powered by an industrial alternator, a generator facility's tower was intended to inject large amounts of energy into a natural Earth circuit, using the Earth-Ionosphere network as the transmission circuit.

In various writings, Tesla explained that the Earth itself behaves as a resonant LC circuit when it is electrically excited at certain frequencies. At Wardenclyffe he operated at frequencies ranging from 1,000 Hz to 100 kHz. Tesla found the frequency range up to 30 – 35 kHz “to be most economical.” Excitation of earth resonance at or near a fundamental frequency (about 7.5 to 7.9 Hz), might suggest the utilization of what is now known as a Schumann resonance mode. The entire Earth can be electrically resonated with a single type-two source, so an earth-resonance based system would require, at a minimum, that only one generating facility be constructed. Alternatively, two distantly spaced type-one generating facilities could be constructed. Such a system would not be so dependent upon the excitation of an earth-resonance mode. In either case a surface or ground wave, similar to the Zenneck wave would be utilized. Artificially induced earth currents would be utilized. According to Tesla, the planet's large cross-sectional area provides a low resistance path for the flow of earth currents. The greatest losses are apt to occur at the points where the transmitting / receiving plants and dedicated receiving stations are connected with the ground. This is why Tesla stated,

You see the underground work is one of the most expensive parts of the tower. In this system that I have invented it is necessary for the machine to get a grip of the Earth, otherwise it cannot shake the Earth. It has to have a grip on the Earth so that the whole of this globe can quiver, and to do that it is necessary to carry out a very expensive construction. [Anderson, Leland, "Nikola Tesla On His Work With Alternating Currents and Their Application to Wireless Telegraphy, Telephony and Transmission of Power", p. 203]

To close the circuit a second path would be established between the two type-one plants' elevated high-voltage terminals through the rarefied atmospheric strata above five miles (8 km). The connection would be made by some combination of electrostatic induction and electrical conduction through plasma. While a number of his wireless patents, including "Apparatus for transmitting electrical energy", U.S. Patent No. 1,119,732, December 1, 1914, describe a system which uses the plasma-conduction scheme, his "Art of transmitting electrical energy through the natural mediums", U.S. Patent No. 787,412, April 18, 1905 and some of his Wardenclyffe design notes from 1901 show that he also had a plan to electrostatically induce oscillations in the potential associated with Earth's self-capacitance by rapidly transferring large amounts of electrical charge between the large topload capacitance and the self-capacitance of the whole Earth. The type-two transmitter is especially designed for this purpose. Tesla wrote,

The specific plan of producing the stationary waves, here-in described, might be departed from. For example, the circuit which impresses the powerful oscillations upon the earth might be connected to the latter at two points. [U.S. Patent No. 787,412, April 18, 1905 and some of his Wardenclyffe design notes]

Tesla firmly believed that a fully developed system with generating stations based upon the Wardenclyffe prototype would permit wireless transmission and reception across large distances with negligible losses. [ [http://www.teslaradio.com/pages/wireless.htm Peterson, Gary, "Nikola Tesla's Wireless Work: The development of a ground-based system for wireless transmission"] ] [ [http://www.teslaradio.com/pages/compare.htm Peterson, Gary, "Comparative Study of the Hertz, Marconi and Tesla Low-Frequency Wireless Systems"] ] [ [http://www.tfcbooks.com/articles/tws8b.htm Peterson, Gary, "Tesla Coils & the World System: Nikola Tesla's Engineering Legacy"] ] [ [http://www.tfcbooks.com/articles/monument.htm Peterson, Gary, "A Museum at Wardenclyffe: The Creation of a Monument to Nikola Tesla"] .]

Electrical reception

Variants were suggested by Tesla for receiving power from electromagnetic radiation, or alternating electric near fields, of practicable frequency, and for exploiting the vertical voltage gradient in the Earth's atmosphere. Tesla performed experiments of the former type with some success, particularly in the area of receiving what was probably the near electric field of a large transmitting Tesla coil some distance away. He felt that several of his experiments were operating on a basis of Hertzian waves, electromagnetic waves propagated in space without artificial guide. [ [http://www.ul.com/international/india.html Definition of "Hertzian"] ]

Tesla stated that one of the seven features of this world wireless system was the construction of a "resonant receiver". [Marc J. Seifer, "Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla". Page 228.] The secondary of a Tesla Coil and its capacitor can be used in receive mode. [Tesla, Nikola, "". "Electrical Experimenter", May 1919. ( [http://www.pbs.org/tesla/res/res_art06.html Available at pbs.org] )] [US patent|645576] [US patent|725605] [US patent|685957, Apparatus for the utilization of radiant energy, N. Tesla] [US patent|685958, Method of utilizing of radiant energy, N. Tesla] ["Apparatus for Transmitting Electrical Energy", Jan. 18, 1902, U.S. Patent 1,119,732, December 1, 1914 (available at US patent|1,119,732 and tfcbooks' [http://www.tfcbooks.com/patents/tower.htm Apparatus for Transmitting Electrical Energy] )] Tesla himself demonstrated wireless transmission of electric power from his transmitter to his receiver. These concepts and methods are part of his wireless transmission of electric power distribution system (US1119732 — Apparatus for Transmitting Electrical Energy — 1902 January 18). Tesla made a proposal that there needed to be "thirty" such antennas worldwide. [Marc J. Seifer, "Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla". Page 472. ("cf". "Each tower could act as a sender or a receiver. In a letter to Katherine Johnson, Tesla explains the need for well over thirty such towers".)] The receiving circuit of these towers are connected each with a condenser and a device adapted to open and close the receiving circuit at predetermined intervals of time. [U.S. Patent 0685956] The Tesla Coil receiver has means for commutating, directing, or selecting the current impulses in the charging circuit so as to render them suitable for charging the storage device, a device for closing the receiving-circuit, and means for causing the receiver to be operated by the energy accumulated. [ U.S. Patent 0685955 Apparatus for Utilizing Effects Transmitted From A Distance To A Receiving Device Through Natural Media]

A Tesla Antenna [G. L. Peterson, [http://www.tfcbooks.com/articles/tws4.htm Rediscovering the Zenneck Surface Wave] .] [' [http://amasci.com/tesla/tesceive.html Energy-sucking' Radio Antennas] , N. Tesla's Power Receiver.] [William Beaty, " [http://amasci.com/tesla/tradio.html Tesla invented radio] ?". 1992.] [ [http://www.tesla-symp06.org/papers/Tesla-Symp06_Aca.pdf Nikola Tesla's Contributions to Radio Developments] . www.tesla-symp06.org.] as a receiver acts as a step-down transformer with high current output. [A. H. Taylor, " [http://prola.aps.org/abstract/PRI/v18/i4/p230_1 Resonance in Aërial Systems] ". American Physical Society. Physical review. New York, N.Y.: Published for the American Physical Society by the American Institute of Physics. ("cf". "The Tesla coil in the receiver acts as a step-down transformer, and hence the current is greater than in the aerial itself".)] The parameters of a Tesla Coil transmitter are identically applicable to it being a receiver ("e.g"., an antenna circuit), due to reciprocity. Impedance, generally though, is not applied in an obvious way; for electrical impedance, the impedance at the load ("e.g"., where the power is consumed) is most critical and, for a Tesla Coil receiver, this is at the point of utilization (such as at an induction motor) rather than at the receiving node. Complex impedance of an antenna is related to the electrical length of the antenna at the wavelength in use. Commonly, impedance is adjusted at the load with a tuner or a matching networks composed of inductors and capacitors.

A Tesla Coil can receive electromagnetic impulses [This would include being able to be "shock excited" by all electrical phenomena of transverse waves (those with vibrations perpendicular to the direction of the propagation) and longitudinal waves (those with vibrations parallel to the direction of the propagation). Further information can be found in US patent|685953, US patent|685954, US patent|685955, US patent|685956, US patent|685957 and US patent|685958.] from atmospheric electricity [Marc J. Seifer, "Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla". Page 221 ("cf". "The inventor had tuned his equipment so carefully that “in one instance the devices recorded effects of lightning discharges fully 500 miles away […] "] [Hermann Plauson, US patent|1540998, "Conversion of atmospheric electric energy". Jun. 1925.] [ Nikola Tesla, " [http://www.tfcbooks.com/tesla/1907-03-08.htm Tuned Lightning] ", "English Mechanic and World of Science", March 8, 1907. ] and radiant energy, [US patent|685957, Apparatus for the utilization of radiant energy, N. Tesla] [US patent|685958, Method of utilizing of radiant energy, N. Tesla] besides normal wireless transmissions. Radiant energy throws off with great velocity minute particles which are strongly electrified and other rays falling on the insulated-conductor connected to a condenser (i.e., a capacitor) can cause the condenser to indefinitely charge electrically. [US685957 Utilization of Radiant Energy] The helical resonator can be "shock excited" due to radiant energy disturbances not only at the fundamental wave at one-quarter wave-length but also is excited at its harmonics. Hertzian methods can be used to excite the Tesla Antenna with limitations that result in great disadvantages for utilization, though. [U.S. Patent 0685953 Apparatus for Utilizing Effects Transmitted from a Distance to a Receiving Device through Natural Media] The methods of ground conduction and the various induction methods can also be used to excite the Tesla Antenna, but are again at a disadvantages for utilization. [U.S. Patent 0685953 Apparatus for Utilizing Effects Transmitted from a Distance to a Receiving Device through Natural Media] The charging-circuit can be adapted to be energized by the action of various other disturbances and effects at a distance. Arbitrary and intermittent oscillations that are propagated via conduction to the receiving resonator will charge the receiver's capacitor and utilize the potential energy to greater effect. [U.S. Patent 0685953 Apparatus for Utilizing Effects Transmitted from a Distance to a Receiving Device through Natural Media] Various radiations can be used to charge and discharge conductors, with the radiations considered electromagnetic vibrations of various wavelengths and ionizing potential. [US685957 Utilization of Radiant Energy] The Tesla Antenna utilizes the effects or disturbances to charge a storage device with energy from an external source (natural or man-made) and controls the charging of said device by the actions of the effects or disturbances (during succeeding intervals of time determined by means of such effects and disturbances corresponding in succession and duration of the effects and disturbances). [U.S. Patent 0685954 Method of Utilizing Effects Transmitted through Natural Media ] The stored energy can also be used to operate the receiving device. The accumulated energy can, for example, operate a transformer by discharging through a primary circuit at predetermined times which, from the secondary currents, operate the receiving device. [U.S. Patent 0685954 Method of Utilizing Effects Transmitted through Natural Media]

While Tesla Coils can be used for these purposes, much of the public and media attention is toward the transmitting applications of the Tesla Coil since the plasma discharges are fascinating to most people. Regardless of this fact, Tesla did suggest that this variation of the Tesla coil could utilize the phantom loop effect to form a circuit to induct energy from the Earth's magnetic field and other radiant energy sources (including, but not limited to, electrostatics [cite book| first=Louis| last=Bell| title=Electric Power Transmission; a Practical Treatise for Practical Men| year=1901| page=p. 10| url=http://books.google.com/books?id=hSYKAAAAIAAJ&pg=RA3-PA110&lpg=RA3-PA110&dq=%22electric+power+transmission+a+practical+treatise+for+practical+men%22&source=web&ots=FTKTW8smJm&sig=8kcwxaAWKmm5-1ysBFR52oQiRik#PRA1-PA10,M1| accessdate=2007-02-15 "Both kinds of strains exist in radiant energy, […] The stresses in electro-magnetic energy are at right angles both to the electrostatic stresses and to the direction of their motion or flow."] ). With regard to Tesla's statements on the harnessing of natural phenomena to obtain electric power, he stated:

Ere many generations pass, our machinery will be driven by a power obtainable at any point of the universe.— "Experiments with Alternate Currents of High Potential and High Frequency" (February 1892)

Tesla stated that the output power from these devices, attained from Hertzian methods of charging, was low, [U.S. Patent 0685953 "Apparatus for Utilizing Effects Transmitted from a Distance to a Receiving Device through Natural Media"] but alternative charging means are available. Tesla receivers operated correctly act as a step-down transformer with high current output. [A. H. Taylor, " [http://prola.aps.org/abstract/PRI/v18/i4/p230_1 Resonance in Aërial Systems] ". American Physical Society. Physical review. New York, N.Y.: Published for the American Physical Society by the American Institute of Physics. ("cf". "The Tesla coil in the receiver act as a step-down transformer, and hence the current is greater than in the aerial itself".)] There are, to date, no commercial power generation entities or businesses that have utilized this technology to full effect. The power levels achieved by Tesla Coil receivers have, thus far, been a fraction of the output power of the transmitters.Fact|date=September 2007

Ignoring earth currents and other natural electromagnetic phenomena the Tesla antenna can receive, atmospheric electricity's total power of only all the sky-to-ground lightning everywhere on Earth from moment to moment has been stated at 700 megawatts. [ [http://hubbellpowersystems.com/powertest/tips_news/pdfs_best/EU1422.pdf Lightning: The Most Common Source of Overvoltage (Hubbell Power Systems Inc.)] ] By comparison, a typical fossil fuel power plant (such as oil or gas) feeding the utility grid may have two gas turbines and a single steam turbine utilizing the heat from the discharged flue gas of the gas turbines, with each of the three turbines rated at 100 megawatts. On the load side, 700 MW is seen to correspond to two million parsimonious households averaging 350 watts of power use, contrasted with a world population of over six billion people. As regards methods, atmospheric electricity includes static electricity and other phenomena. Modern HVDC technology inverts DC at such voltages to AC well enough to be very popular for use in the power grid; a Tesla coil variant is not the only way to do this, nor necessarily the best way, either for atmospheric electricity or telluric power. [ A treatment of natural electricity is provided in [http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=898&page=206 The Earth's Electrical Environment, CPSMA, USA National Academies Press] ] Earth's surface has a negative charge and the atmosphere has a positive charge.

The amount of electromagnetic radiation present on the surface of the Earth is known to those whose technical work on radio communication or regulatory compliance involves reception and measurement. Radiation is monitored from ten-thousands of hertz (cycles per second) up to thirty billion hertz (wavelength one centimeter) or more, in many cases. Authorized radio transmissions and minor but unwanted emissions from equipment being designed are not greatly overshadowed by naturally occurring radio frequency energy. [ [http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_06/47cfr15_06.html USA Federal Communications Commission Rules Part 15 (47CFR15)] See signals to be detected] This natural and unnatural 'noise' is abundant in the environment and can be received via wideband reception, although this article does not cite any demonstration providing power on the scale needed for household, commercial or industrial purposes at the present time.

Tesla's ray

Related to the operation and utilization of Wardenclyffe Tower was Nikola Tesla's work on a "macroscopic particle beam weapon" called "Teleforce" in the 1930s. A Wardenclyffe styled facility which included the weapon was contemplated by Tesla. He offered it to Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company in early 1934. It was also offered to the US War Department, Great Britain, and Yugoslavia. A descriptive 17-page type-written document on Tesla's office letterhead titled, "New Art of Projecting Concentrated Non-Dispersive Energy Through Natural Media," which presently exists in the Nikola Tesla Museum archive in Belgrade, shows that his "macroscopic particle beam", also dubbed the "Peace Ray" or the "death ray" by contemprary media, was a narrow stream of charged clusters of mercury or tungsten accelerated by high voltage, produced by either a huge Van de Graaff generator or Tesla Coil. Immediately after his death, a component of the particle beam projector that may have been found among Tesla's possessions is said to have disappeared. Russian spies reportedly raided the room and the safe containing the schematics of the "death ray". The FBI never found any of the important parts of the schematics nor the trunk with the prototype, as far as existing public records show.Fact|date=February 2007

Telefunken Station

After Wardenclyffe, Tesla built the Telefunken Wireless on the South Shore of Long Island. Some of what he wanted to achieve at Wardenclyffe was achieved with the Telefunken Wireless. In West Sayville, Long Island, New York, Tesla assisted in the building of three convert|600|ft|m|sing=on radio towers, creating the western wireless communication station in a North America and Europe network.


*"As soon as [the Wardenclyffe facility is] completed, it will be possible for a business man in New York to dictate instructions, and have them instantly appear in type at his office in London or elsewhere. He will be able to call up, from his desk, and talk to any telephone subscriber on the globe, without any change whatever in the existing equipment. An inexpensive instrument, not bigger than a watch, will enable its bearer to hear anywhere, on sea or land, music or song, the speech of a political leader, the address of an eminent man of science, or the sermon of an eloquent clergyman, delivered in some other place, however distant. In the same manner any picture, character, drawing, or print can be transferred from one to another place ..." - Nikola Tesla, "The Future of the Wireless Art", Wireless Telegraphy and Telephony, 1908, pg. 67-71.

*"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 discoverer'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 strife of commercial existence. So do we get our light. So all that was great in the past was ridiculed, condemned, combatted, suppressed — only to emerge all the more powerfully, all the more triumphantly from the struggle." – Nikola Tesla (at the end of his dream for Wardenclyffe) ["Wardenclyffe — A Forfeited Dream"]

Related patents

;Nikola Tesla's patents

* "Means for Generating Electric Currents"," US patent|514168, February 6, 1894
* "Electrical Transformer"," US patent|593138, November 2, 1897
* "Method Of Utilizing Radiant Energy," US patent|685958 November 5, 1901
* "Method of Signaling," US patent|723188, March 17, 1903
* "System of Signaling," US patent|725605, April 14, 1903
* "Art of Transmitting Electrical Energy Through the Natural Mediums"," US patent|787412, April 18, 1905
* "Apparatus for Transmitting Electrical Energy"," January 18, 1902, US patent|1119732, December 1, 1914

;Other patents
* Hansell, US patent|2389432, Communication system by pulses through the Earth.
* Leydorf, G. F., US patent|3278937, "Antenna near field coupling system". 1966.

ee also

* "Transceiver": transmitter and receiver
* "Devices": Tesla coil and Magnifying Transmitter


Further reading

* Anderson, Leland, "Rare Notes from Tesla on Wardenclyffe", in Electric Spacecraft - A journal of Interactive Research, Issue 26, September 14, 1998. Contains copies of rare documents from the Tesla Museum in Belgrade including Tesla's notes and sketches from 1901
* Bass, Robert W., "Self-Sustained Non-Hertzian Longitudal Wave Oscillations as a Rigorous Solution of Maxwell's Equations for Electromagnetic Radiation". Inventek Enterprises, Inc., Las Vegas, Nevada.
* "Boundless Space: A Bus Bar". The Electrical World, Vol 32, No. 19.
* Massie, Walter Wentworth, "Wireless telegraphy and telephony popularly explained ". New York, Van Nostrand. 1908.
* Rather, John, "Tesla, a Little-Recognized Genius, Left Mark in Shoreham". The New York Times. Long Island Weekly Desk.
* Tesla, Nikola, "On the Transmission of Electricity Without Wires". Electrical World and Engineer, March 5, 1904.

External links

* Facility details: [http://www.teslascience.org/archive/descriptions/WP005.htm Interior view (a)] -- [http://www.teslascience.org/archive/descriptions/WP004.htm Interior view (b)] -- [http://www.teslascience.org/archive/descriptions/WP014.htm Interior view (c)] -- [http://www.tfcbooks.com/images/articles/twp6a3.gifFacility front view] -- [http://www.tfcbooks.com/images/articles/tower_sb.gifFacility side view] -- [http://www.teslasociety.com/tower.jpgFacility large front view] -- [http://www.teslasociety.com/tower2.jpgTower alone]
* [http://www.tfcbooks.com/teslafaq/q&a_051.htm Facilities assembled] ; Colorado Springs, Long Island, and Lac Edouard (near Sanford, Quebec).
* [http://www.pbs.org/tesla/ll/ll_todre.html PBS Tower of Dreams]
* [http://www.teslascience.org/ The Tesla Wardenclyffe Project]
* [http://www.ensc.sfu.ca/~ljilja/cnl/presentations/ljilja/ucb/tesla/index.htm Tesla's vision of the wireless global communications]
* [http://www.teslaradio.com/ Tesla Radio: A Wireless Telecommunications System for the ‘Modern Age’]
* [http://www.tfcbooks.com/articles/monument.htm Creation of a Monument to Nikola Tesla]
* [ The Real Science of "Non-Hertzian" Waves] ("ed". Reportedly focuses on Tesla's wireless energy transmission ideas; the main focus is on transverse wave, i.e. "Hertz waves". Plasma wave physics, longitudinal waves, and telluric currents not considered).
* [http://tech.ph.groups.yahoo.com/group/wireless_energy_transmission/photos/view/14ed?b=1 The Basic Tesla Transmitter Apparatus with Passive Receiver.]
* [http://www.teslaradio.com/images/image004.jpgThe Basic Dual-tower Tesla Transmitter Configuration.] A receiver is standing out to the right.
* [http://tech.ph.groups.yahoo.com/group/wireless_energy_transmission/photos/view/c48d?b=2&m=s&o=0 Simplified Schematic of the Dual-tower Earth Resonance Tesla Transmitter.]
* Cooper, John. F., "Modified Type 2 Magnifying Transmitter [http://www.tesla-coil.com/images/Magnifier%201.jpgcircuit diagram] ; [http://www.tesla-coil.com/images/Magnifier%202.jpgalternate circuit diagram] ." Both designs were deemed to be unusable.
* [http://www.teslaradio.com/images/14-083-1.gifThe Finalized Magnifying Transmitter Design of 1914] , patented by Nikola Tesla.
* [http://www.skyscraperpage.com/diagrams/?b41929 Entry at SkyscraperPage.com]
* Bird's Eye view of [http://maps.live.com/default.aspx?v=2&cp=qtr59b8xrn6z&style=o&lvl=2&tilt=-90&dir=0&alt=-1000&scene=9499425&encType=1 Wardenclyffe tower] from Live maps
* Utilization of Radiant Energy 1901 Nikola Tesla, [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-yAkIF8LE8 My test] , [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwUA9am6wpQ My setup 1] , [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hZMnqL5i4U My setup 2] , [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WYWbngD__I My setup 3] , [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFl-lM1RI3I My test 2] , [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yezp_xx71Wk My test 3] , [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTQmBbM--PU My test 4] , [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20hxsF85RWE My test 5] , [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXvXZHWajuA My test 6] , [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ed_WOCaeaCg My test 7] , [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfN0HcKMNPc My test 8] . youtube.com

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