Mr. Vale presenting: Tesla Coils

Gentiana Spahiu

On last Monday’s class we welcomed Mr. Vale again for another delightful presentation on some other remarkable scientific inventions. This time around Mr. Vale introduced us to Tesla Coil and also arranged a demonstration with a medium size device- even though to us it seemed quite big. I had previously heard of Tesla in a lengthy passionate conversation with a friend of mine. He has finished his graduate studies in nanotechnology and he was extremely fascinated with Tesla and his innovations. So, evidently afterwards I had done my little homework on Tesla already. Needless to say when I heard that Mr. Vale was going to talk about Tesla it sparked my attention even more.

Nicola Tesla, Austrian-born inventor, had a difficult childhood because of multiple diseases he incurred. A very eccentric person he never gained popularity as a social person. Tesla since the early years of his life had a fascination with electricity; therefore he decided to dedicate his time to improvements and new discoveries in the field. There are more than 278 known Tesla patents throughout the world and the most celebrated are the AC (alternative current) power transmissions and the Radio. Tesla inventions probably sparked the Second Industrial Revolution. Unfortunately though, for some bitter reasons Tesla has not been recognized and promoted as he should have been, because of Thomas Edison’s shadow in the field. Sometimes even history is written by and for the investors rather than inventors.

Tesla Coil

It essentially is a high frequency air-core transformer, or a resonant transformer. Tesla coils are known to create extremely powerful electrical fields, high voltage, and high frequency alternating current electricity. Under such strong fields fluorescent lights can lit up even in a 50 feet distance without being connected to an electric grid, therefore the Tesla coil constitutes as a wireless transmission of power.

Mr. Vale turned off the lights in the classroom so that the demonstration would be performed in better condition, and it made sense. He then plugged the Tesla Coil in an outlet and amazed us all as he would take different bulbs one by one close to the coil and they would all lit up- all wireless. To add more sensation to the demonstration he extended a wooden stick with e metallic end towards the top of the coil and sparks just burst out in a lightning structure.

If Tesla provided us with the option of wireless electricity, then why are we not implementing it? Indeed scientists are not unintelligent or indifferent towards such inventions, but bigger concerns refrain them from widely applying them. Tesla coils even though generate wireless energy, the strong field damages radios, TV, and even pacemakers, hence their limited use. The Tesla coils are mostly used for scientific experiments, x-ray generation, military experiments, lightings, and individual use.

If only we could find around the side effects of the Tesla coils, then we would surely have had a greener planet.

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