The inventor Nikola Tesla's esoteric beliefs included unusual theories about the Egyptian pyramids.
- Nikola Tesla had numerous unusual obsessions.
- One of his beliefs was that the Great Pyramids of Egypt were giant transmitters of energy.
- He built Tesla Towers according to laws inspired by studying the Pyramids.
Nikola Tesla died somewhat unappreciated but his fame and the myth around him has continued to grow tremendously into our times. He is now perceived as the ultimate mad scientist, the one who essentially invented our times, credited with key ideas leading to smartphones, wi-fi, AC electrical supply system, and more.
Besides ideas that Tesla implemented and patented, he also had many other interests in different fields of research, some quite esoteric. One of the most unusual was his preoccupation with Egyptian pyramids, one of humanity's most mysterious and magnificent constructions.
Tesla believed they served a higher purpose and was investigating them throughout his life. What did he find so alluring about the pyramids? He wondered if they weren't giant transmitters of energy – a thought that coincided with his investigation into how to send energy wirelessly.
In 1905, Tesla filed a patent in the U.S. titled "The art of transmitting electrical energy through the natural medium," outlining designs for a series of generators around the world which would tap the ionosphere for energy collections. He saw planet Earth itself, with its two poles, as a giant electrical generator of limitless energy. His triangle-shaped design became known as Tesla's electromagnetic pyramid.
Tesla sitting in his Colorado Springs laboratory
"The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence," said Tesla.
It wasn't just the shape of the Egyptian pyramids but their location that created their power, according to Tesla. He built a tower facility known as the Tesla Experimental Station in Colorado Springs and Wardenclyffe Tower or Tesla Tower on the East Coast that sought to take advantage of the Earth's energy field. The locations were chosen according to the laws of where the Pyramids of Giza were built, related to the relationship between the elliptical orbit of the planet and the equator. The design was intended for wireless transmission of energy.
Wardenclyffe Tower. 1904.
Were the Great Pyramids essentially ancient Tesla Towers? How the Pyramids were made:
How the Pyramids Were Built (Pyramid Science Part 2!)
Another aspect of Tesla's thinking reportedly related to numerology. Tesla was, by many accounts, an unusual individual, with obsessive qualities. One such obsession were the numbers "3,6,9", which he believed were the key to the universe. He would drive around buildings 3 times before going in or stay in hotels with numbers divisible by 3. He made other choices in sets of 3. Some believe Tesla's obsession with these numbers connected to his preference for pyramidal shapes and the belief that there was some fundamental mathematical law and ratios that are part of a universal math language. As we don't know precisely how the pyramids were built and why, they are looked at by some as creations that may be either generating energy or be serving as deliberately installed messengers or even code from an ancient civilization.
It's easy to get into "ancient aliens" type of theories by extending such thinking. If you're up for such an approach, check out this video:
Nikola Tesla - Limitless Energy & the Pyramids of Egypt
These products are sure to inspire anyone who loves the work of engineer and inventor, Nikola Tesla.
- A prolific inventor, Nikola Tesla has been dubbed "the man who invented the 20th century."
- Tesla is best known for inventing the Tesla coil and the first alternating current (AC) electric system.
- These gifts are designed to inspire engineers, scientists, and general fans of Nikola Tesla and his work.
A list of the greatest minds of all time would not be complete without a nod to "the man who invented the 20th century," Nikola Tesla. Born in modern-day Croatia in 1856, Tesla was a scientist and engineer remembered for his many brilliant ideas, designs, and inventions, including the first alternating-current electric system, radio remote control, and the Tesla Coil.
Tesla has received a major boost in popularity in recent years, thanks in no small part to the electric vehicle company that bears his name. Formerly Tesla Motors (now Tesla, Inc.), the company is led by Elon Musk, an entrepreneur and engineer who considers himself a fan of both Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison. But Musk isn't alone. Several decades after his death, Tesla's legacy lives on through his devoted fans and fellow thinkers who respect all that he accomplished in the name of science. If you have a Nikola Tesla fan in your life, here are 5 gifts that are sure to inspire them to uphold his legacy and invent objects and tools that will change the world.
Wearing a shirt with Tesla's face on it says that you think he's cool, but wearing Tesla-themed socks puts you on another level. Generating static on the carpet and shocking family members is much more fun with these on.
Illuminate nearby bulbs, play music, and enjoy the spinning light show with this Tesla Coil model. The product comes pre-assembled and is as easy as plugging in a cable and hitting a switch. Science teachers and other reviewers on Amazon say that while the speaker isn't made for parties, the model provides hours of fun and is a great way to visualize Tesla's experiments.
Standing 7.5 inches tall and weighing 2 pounds, this highly detailed cold cast bronze bust of Nikola Tesla brings its owner face to face with their inspiration. According to reviewers, the base is covered with felt so it doesn't slide or scratch the surface beneath. The production process involves adding a bronze powder to resin and pouring it into a mold. The final casting is lighter (and cheaper) than solid metal, but the detail still shines through. It's like having your mentor there as you study and create.
Made by a company called ThemToys, this custom LEGO figure depicts the inventor in experimenting with electricity in his lab. The set includes the Tesla figure, an electricity holder, and an electricity tower. The scene can be displayed on a desk, mantle, bookcase, or anywhere the innovative spirit of Nikola Tesla is needed.
There have been many books written about the life and works of Nikola Tesla, but this is the closest we will get to hearing it directly from the source. Originally published in 1919, this autobiography was compiled and edited by Ben Johnston. The primary sources were articles that Tesla wrote for a magazine called "The Electrical Experimenter." The book is divided into six parts, beginning with a chapter on Tesla wrote on his early life, and concluding with a discussion of "The Art of Telautomatics." Even if some of the details go over their heads, it's a must-have for any Nikola Tesla fan.
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Twain and Tesla had similar passions and an amusing friendship.
- Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) and Nikola Tesla shared a friendship starting in 1890s.
- Tesla read a lot of early Twain when recovering from a serious illness.
- The two shared an interest in electricity.
Having famous friends can be both a blessing and a burden in our oversaturated media age. But about a hundred years ago, it could be quite fun to hang out with brilliant minds and discuss earth-shattering ideas. And no friendship is perhaps any more curious than the one between the legendary American writer Mark Twain and one of the most iconoclastic minds ever - Nikola Tesla.
By many accounts, Mark Twain was fascinated by technology and electricity, in particular. Visiting New York in the 1890s, he became friends with Nikola Tesla, who had an interest in Mark Twain, having read some of his early works when he was recovering from a life-threatening illness in the 1870s. That's before he emigrated to the United States. The books were instrumental in Tesla's recovery, according to the scientist himself, who said the stories by Twain were "so captivating as to make me utterly forget my hopeless state."
In Tesla's Lab. 1894. Mark Twain holds Tesla's vacuum lamp, powered by a loop of wire that gets electromagnetic energy from a Tesla coil. Tesla's face is in the background.
Tesla got to explain this to Twain 25 years later, when they met, bringing the writer to tears.
While the life-saving power of Twain's words and their imaginations may have been the secret sauce behind the friendship, another factor that drew them together was simply money. Twain, or Samuel Clemens as was his real name, invested in new tech, including an electrical motor in the 1880s. This fact made Tesla's name known to Twain, who'd been hearing about the motor Tesla invented for Westinghouse. As historian Juliana Adelman wrote for Irish Times, Tesla actually advised Twain against investing into a motor created by James W. Paige – an advice the famous writer didn't heed, losing a large sum of money on Paige's mechanical typesetter.
In the end, Twain did think Tesla's motor design was superior and was a frequent visitor in the inventor's lab, even taking part in experiments. A number of photographs are testament to these fascinating interactions.
In Tesla's lab. 1894. Nikola Tesla (1856 – 1943, blurred at centre) is in the midst of an electrical experiment with writer Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain (1835 – 1910, left) and actor Joseph Jefferson (1829 – 1905).
Photo: Kostich/FPG/Archive Photos/Getty Images
One well-known story about Clemens is that Tesla cured the writer's constipation. The author of "Tom Sawyer" took part in an experiment where he spent a considerable amount of time on an electromechanical oscillator, which generated high-frequency alternating current and featured a vibrating plate. It was also known as the "earthquake" machine for its shaking and noise.
Tesla believed it could be medically helpful to Twain, who was known to have digestive problems. Vibrations could help with constipation is how some accounts describe Tesla's reasoning. The writer apparently did enjoy the machine for a few minutes until it started to behave like a laxative, sending him off to the restroom.
The friendship between the two titans also included Twain's invitations for Tesla to join the Players Club in 1888 and to attend the wedding of Twain's daughter.
It's a record magnetic field, but... yeah. That didn't last long.
- Scientists knew that it would probably explode, but they did not expect to reach such a record magnetic field.
- Magnetic fields are measured in teslas, after Nikola Tesla.
- This one reached a record 1,200 teslas, 400 times stronger than an MRI; watch it explode in the video
"With magnetic fields above 1,000 teslas, you open up some interesting possibilities," lead researcher Takeyama explained. "You can observe the motion of electrons outside the material environments they are normally within. So we can study them in a whole new light and explore new kinds of electronic devices. This research could also be useful to those working on fusion power generation."
The study, published in Review of Scientific Instruments, was released on September 17.
To achieve the record, the team used a technique known as electromagnetic flux-compression (EMFC). The instrument, which generates a low-strength magnetic field of 3.2 teslas, was attached to a row of capacitors that generate 3.2 megajoules, which is a huge amount of energy.
This compresses the magnetic field into a tiny area extremely quickly. But, as the team predicted, it can't be compressed for long, eventually creating a shock wave that rips the instrument apart. They expected this to happen after about 700 teslas, as that's what it was built to withstand. But incredibly, it reached 1,200 before exploding.
1,200 teslas later... a huge white light engulfs the lab. Video below!
Photo: The University of Tokyo.
Another view of the magnetic explosion
This image explains it a bit better, from the IEEE institute. "The University of Tokyo's 1,200-Tesla magnetic field generator is powered by a bank of capacitors [on left, white] capable of storing 5 megajoules. The capacitors' energy flows into the primary coil [bottom left, gray] and induces a counteracting current and magnetic field in the liner [orange]. This implodes the liner in 40 microseconds, compressing the magnetic field [bottom right]."
Graphic illustration of how the scientists hit the record.
Image by University of Tokyo.
Watch it go boom
What did Nikola Tesla or Bertrand Russell think of fewer working hours? Can a good life only come from work — and if so how much of it, and what kind?
How long was your work day today? Eight hours? Seven hours? Nine? How long is your working week? If you live in the United States you probably answered somewhere near 40 hours. If you live in Europe you probably answered a little less than that. If you were to ask a dozen people what they thought was the right amount of time to work, you would be likely to find a dozen different answers.
The question of the proper work-life balance has puzzled thinkers from Moses and Marx, to Ford and Friedman. How much work is enough? How much is excessive? Who should do it? Can we work on the Sabbath?
It is this question of work-life balance that The Greens party of Australia seeks to answer, with its recent discussion as to the feasibility of a four-day work week or a six-hour day. “We want to kick off a conversation about the future of work and start by questioning the entrenched political consensus that a good life can only come from more work,” said the Leader of the Australian Greens, Richard Di Natale. "We rightly talk about the 16% of people who want to work more hours but we never hear about the more than one in four Australians who want to work less."
Alright, so what conversation does it wish to have? What are the facts?
While the effect of mandating a 40-ish hour week across the Western world over the last century didn’t end up causing the disaster predicted by many in the leisure class, the effects of reducing working time further have not been studied well enough to make an absolute judgement on the matter. The data is simply too limited.
However, in Sweden, data from a recently ended two-year trial of a six-hour work day showed employees of a nursing home were happier, healthier, more productive, and less stressed as a result of the reduced hours, and were better able to carry out their duties. The clients agreed on the later point. However, the reduction in hours required increased hiring to cover the missing time, resulting in higher costs. Further experiments are ongoing in other locations and fields.
So, one example showed employees being less stressed and working better when given reduced hours, at the price of higher costs overall to hire more people to work. Are there any deeper arguments than this?
More philosophic arguments for and against a reduced working week have been made many times before. Obviously, anyone who feels that diligence is a virtue in itself would be at least mildly suspicious of the idea of reducing the standard workweek by such a fraction. In counter to this particular suggestion, some Australian politicians have raised the question of how public services would be funded with everybody working less. A question The Greens must answer if it wants its discussion to last long.
On a psychological note, in the dystopian novel Brave New World, written by Aldous Huxley, the idea that humans need to work longer hours than is economically necessary is suggested by some of the characters, who point out that when the economy was made more efficient, workers went mad from the resulting free time.
Similar ideas, along with the specter of automation-driven unemployment, were presented in Kurt Vonnegut’s Player Piano. In a slightly happier place, St. Thomas More's Utopia, residents enjoy a six-hour work day, with many people selecting to work longer on their own accord.
On the other hand, British philosopher Bertrand Russell posited that, “Leisure is essential to civilization… and with modern technique it would be possible to distribute leisure justly without injury to civilization.” in his essay 'In Praise of Idleness', he argued for a four-hour workday along side scientific organization as a means to the end of both unemployment and overwork. Likewise, the great scientist and inventor Nikola Tesla saw the march of technology moving man towards a reduced work day rather than towards larger incomes.
The question of the proper number of working hours is one that has bothered economic and ethical thinkers for 2,000 years. The question of whether or not we can afford, or even should desire, to reduce the working week down further is one that is subject to debate and investigation. As automation continues to alter our economy, it is a debate that is more relevant than ever.