Saturday, October 25, 2014

Physics of Tesla's Wardenclyffe Tower

On the web, I have come across many pages and videos on Wardenclyffe Tower, but so far everything I have come across on the way the this technology should work is missing key bits and pieces.

Nicholas Tesla’s Wardenclyffe Tower is very similar to the way a battery works.  For instance, the ionosphere which was to act as the energy source is comparable to battery acid in a DC (Direct Current) cell.  The ionosphere is as such because it consists of ions.  Ions are electrically charged because they pass electricity.  For example, deionized water does not carry a charge well because it is no longer ionic, to a certain degree.  The truth is that deionized water can pass a charge, although it is very resistant to that.  For instance, if sodium chloride (table salt) is dissolved in water, it ionizes into sodium and chloride, the sodium ion carrying a positive electrical change, and chloride carrying a negative charge.

The positive terminal was to be made of copper and placed at the top of the Tower.  The negative terminal was iron, and it was to be placed in the dirt (earth), so that earth would become usably charged instead of its usual role as an electrical ground.  In chemical reactions, copper is positive because it may receive electrons.  In chemical reactions, iron is negative because may give off electrons.  The reaction of copper and iron is sometimes referred to as a ox/redox reaction.

In my opinion, the best way to understand the Tesla Tower is to build a battery yourself.  Start with a lemon, a penny (copper or copper plated), and zinc plated nail (sometimes called a galvanized nail).  Like iron, the zinc functions as a negative terminal, meaning it may give off electrons.  These items are purchasable at regular stores; the local grocery store and local hardware store.  And oh yeah, you will want to pick up a cheap voltmeter at a store like Radio Shack, not because it is necessary for the DC cell to work, but because it is important to be able to know that your battery works.  If you are uncertain at this point, perhaps use a regular 9V battery, and play around with it until you are able to measure the voltage of the 9V battery with a voltmeter.

If you are able to figure out how to measure the 9V battery with your voltmeter, then the next step is to use the idea of this battery technology and apply it to a lemon.  There isn’t much hope for you if you can’t intuitively figure out how to operate a voltmeter.

If you have a store bought battery, then you have probably noticed that the way to complete a battery circuit is through its two terminals, one positive, and one negative.  The “+” or red terminal is positive.  The “-” or black terminal is negative.  It is even true that there can be multiple negative terminals, each passing current in such a system.  Thus, just as solid state electricity may be wired to carry parallel circuits, so to is it possible to differentiate electrical terminals in any system, be it the atmosphere, or water, etc.  

Just as we could use the electrodes of a battery to power a lightbulb, so can we use the current generated from the completion of copper and zinc electrodes embedded in a lemon to register on a voltmeter.  Yes, that is it! Use a lemon to power a light bulb!  Make sure the penny and the nail are actually part way into the lemon so that they are in contact with the juice.   You should be able to find video instructions that are plain on (search for lemon battery).  You may try lighting up a Christmas tree light bulb with it by connect it.

Basically, what Telsa hoped for was that the entire ground of planet earth would become the negative terminal of a battery, so that we could access its electrical power without traditional power outlets, and also very inexpensively.  That is, as a negative terminal, the ground of earth would give off electrons from the stored energy in the skies completing a DC electrical circuit.

This invention is not new.  The origin of the Tesla Tower probably comes the idea of a classic water tower.  There is a reservoir of water in the water tower, where the tower itself may be likened to a Tesla's Tower, while instead of using water current to bring folks water, the Tesla Tower would deliver electric current as needed (instead of the water of a water tower). 

1 comment:

  1. I tried to make it clear that the electrons (electrical current) are passed from iron in the ground. The ground interfaces with the Tower by way of ions in the sky. However, if the sky is not ionic, it will not connect the system.