Quotes by Nikola Tesla

, Modern Mechanics and Inventions, July, 1934 US (Serbian-born) electrical inventor (1857 - 1943)

Tesla on Faraday's disc rotating between two poles of a magnet

It is characteristic of fundamental discoveries, of great achievements of the intellect, that they retain an undiminished power upon the imagination of the thinker. The memorable experiment of Faraday with a disc rotating between two poles of a magnet, which has borne such magnificent fruit, has long passed into every-day experience; yet there are certain features about this embryo of the present dynamos and motors which even today appear to us striking, and are worthy of the most careful study.

, 1891, New York City, New York

Electrostatic induction vs. electromagnetic induction

During my investigations in this line I endeavored to excite tubes, devoid of any electrodes, by electromagnetic induction, making the tube the secondary of the induction device, and passing through the primary the discharges of a Leyden jar. These tubes were made of many shapes, and I was able to obtain luminous effects which I then thought were due wholly to electromagnetic induction. But on carefully investigating the phenomena I found that the effects produced were more of an electrostatic nature.

There is no limit to the energy which you can develop with a condenser

The advantage of this apparatus was the delivering of energy at short intervals whereby one could increase activity, and with this scheme I was able to perform all of those wonderful experiments which have been reprinted from time to time in the technical papers. I would take energy out of a circuit at rates of hundreds or thousands of horsepower. In Colorado, I reached 18 million horsepower activities, but that was always by this device: Energy stored in the condenser and discharged in an inconceivably small interval of time. You could not produce that activity with an undamped wave. The damped wave is of advantage because it gives you, with a generator of 1 kilowatt, an activity of 2,000, 3,000, 4,000, or 5,000 kilowatts; whereas, if you have a continuous or undamped wave, 1 kilowatt gives you only wave energy at the rate of 1 kilowatt and nothing more. That is the reason why the system with a quenched gap has become popular.
I have refined this so that I have been able to take energy out of engines by drawing on their momentum. For instance, if the engine is of 200 horsepower, I take the energy out for a minute interval of time, at a rate of 5,000 or 6,000 horsepower, then I store [it] in a condenser and discharge the same at the rate of several millions of horsepower. That is how these wonderful effects are produced. The condenser is the most wonderful instrument, as I have stated in my writings, because it enables us to attain greater activities than are practical with explosives. There is no limit to the energy which you can develop with a condenser. There is a limit to the energy which you can develop with an explosive.

Varying Electrostatic condition results in many effects not producible with an unvarying force

The first class of effects I intend to show you are effects produced by electrostatic force. It is the force which governs the motion of the atoms, which causes them to collide and develop the life sustaining energy of heat and light, and which causes them to aggregate in an infinite variety of ways, according to Nature’s fanciful designs, and to form all these wondrous structures we perceive around us; it is, in fact, if our present views be true, the most important force for us to consider in Nature.
As the term electrostatic might imply a steady electric condition, it should be remarked, that in these experiments the force is not constant, but varies at a rate which may be considered moderate, about one million times a second, or thereabouts. This enables me to produce many effects which are not producible with an unvarying force.

Neglection of the study of electrostatic phenomena

Modern research has opened new possibilities for the production of an efficient source of light, and the attention of all has been turned in the direction indicated by able pioneers. Many have been carried away by the enthusiasm and passion to discover, but in the zeal to reach results, some have been misled. Starting with the idea of producing electro-magnetic waves, they turned their attention, perhaps, too much to the study of electro-magnetic effects, and neglected the study of electrostatic phenomena. Naturally, nearly every investigator availed himself of the apparatus similar to that used in earlier experiments. But in those forms of apparatus, while the electro-magnetic inductive effects are enormous, the electrostatic effects are excessively small.

Tesla in 1919

"....If we could produce electric effects of the required quality, this whole planet and the conditions of existence on it could be transformed. The sun raises the water of the oceans and winds drive it to distant regions where it remains in state of most delicate balance. If it were in our power to upset it when and wherever desired, this mighty life-sustaining stream could be at will controlled. We could irrigate arid deserts, create lakes and rivers and provide motive power in unlimited amount. This would be the most efficient way of harnessing the sun to the uses of man......"

June 1919,

If we use fuel to get our power we are living on our capital - this method is barbarous.

If we use fuel to get our power we are living on our capital - this method is barbarous.

What period the earth's charge, when disturbed, oscillates on..

"If ever we can ascertain at what period the earth's charge, when disturbed, oscillates, . . . we shall know a fact possibly of the greatest importance to the welfare of the human race."

Nikola Tesla on the DC Motor

In our dynamo machines, it is well known, we generate alternate currents which we direct by means of a commutator, a complicated device and, it may be justly said, the source of most of the troubles experienced in the operation of the machines. Now, the currents, so directed cannot be utilized in the motor, but must - again by means of a similar unreliable device - be reconverted into their original state of alternate currents. The function of the commutator is entirely external, and in no way does it affect the internal workings of the machines. In reality, therefore, all machines are alternate current machines, the currents appearing as continuous only in the external circuit during the transfer from generator to motor. In view simply of this fact, alternate currents would commend themselves as a more direct application of electrical energy, and the employment of continuous currents would only be justified if we had dynamos which would primarily generate, and motors which would be directly actuated by, such currents.

- adopted from T.C. Martin

Nikola Tesla on the future

We are confronted with portentous problems which can not be solved just by providing for our material existence, however abundantly. On the contrary, progress in this direction is fraught with hazards and perils not less menacing than those born from want and suffering. If we were to release the energy of the atoms or discover some other way of developing cheap and unlimited power at any point of the globe this accomplishment, instead of being a blessing, might bring disaster to mankind... The greatest good will come from the technical improvements tending to unification and harmony, and my wireless transmitter is preeminently such. By its means the human voice and likeness will be reproduced everywhere and factories driven thousands of miles from waterfalls furnishing the power; aerial machines will be propelled around the earth without a stop and the sun's energy controlled to create lakes and rivers for motive purposes and transformation of arid deserts into fertile land...

Primary substance = ether

Every particle of matter is composed of a primary substance-- the ether--filling all space. The atom of any elementary body is differentiated from the rest of this tenuous substance merely by a spinning motion like a whirl in a calm lake. By being set in movement ether becomes palpable matter; the movement arrested, the primary substance reverts to its normal state and becomes imperceptible....To create and annihilate material substance, to cause at will its birth and death, would be man's most consequential deed--his greatest achievement, which would place him beside his creator, make him fulfill his ultimate destiny.

Water-Power is the Solution to the problems of all Material Existence.

"The inevitable conclusion is that water-power is, by far, our most valuable resource. On this, humanity must build its hopes for the future. With its full development and a perfect system of wireless transmission of the energy to any distance, man will be able to solve all the problems of material existence. Distance, which is the chief impediment to human progress, will be completely annihilated in thought, word and action. Humanity will be united, wars will be made impossible, and peace will reign supreme."

The magnificence of 3, 6 and 9

If you only knew the magnificence of the 3, 6 and 9, then you would have a key to the universe.
readers of MERLib - verify whence this quote originates from, please?

When I in 1900 flashed an electric current around the globe.

When in 1900 I obtained powerful discharges of 1,000 feet and flashed a current around the globe, I was reminded of the first tiny spark I observed in my Grand Street laboratory and was thrilled by sensations akin to those I felt when I discovered the rotating magnetic field.

The spinning whirling energy in the universe, harnessable by mankind. Now.

"We are whirling through endless space, with an inconceivable speed, all around us everything is spinning, everything is moving, everywhere there is energy. There must be some way of availing ourselves of this energy more directly. Then, with the light obtained from the medium, with the power derived from it, with every form of energy obtained without effort, from the store forever inexhaustible, humanity will advance with giant strides. The mere contemplation of these magnificent possibilities expands our minds, strengthens our hopes and fills our hearts with supreme delight."

The most remarkable and inexplicable aberration of scientific mind ever in history.

"The hertz wave theory of wireless transmission may be kept up for a while, but i do not hesitate to say that in a short time it will be recognized as one of the most remarkable and inexplicable aberrations of the scientific mind which has ever been recorded in history."

Ionizes the air, setting free many charges

"I can now state that I have succeeded in operating a motive device by means of [cosmic rays]. I will tell you in the most general way, the cosmic ray ionizes the air, setting free many charges -- ions and electrons. These charges are captured in a condenser which is made to discharge through the circuit of the motor."
.. Brooklyn Eagle; July 10

It is characteristic of fundamental discoveries

It is characteristic of fundamental discoveries, of great achievements of the intellect, that they retain an undiminished power upon the imagination of the thinker. The memorable experiment of Faraday with a disc rotating between two poles of a magnet, which has borne such magnificent fruit, has long passed into every-day experience; yet there are certain features about this embryo of the present dynamos and motors which even today appear to us striking, and are worthy of the most careful study.

...the elimination of egoism and pride...

"What we now want is closer contact and better understanding between individuals and communities all over the earth... and the elimination of egoism and pride which is always prone to plunge the world into primeval barbarism and strife."

Why this site exists

Today's scientists have substituted mathematics for experiments, and they wander off through equation after equation, and eventually build a structure which has no relation to reality.

Ere many generations pass - mankind will succeed in attaching their machinery to the very wheelwork of nature.

Ere many generations pass, our machinery will be driven by a power obtainable at any point of the universe. Throughout space there is energy. Is this energy static or kinetic? If static, our hopes are in vain; if kinetic - and this we know it is, for certain - then it is a mere question of time when men will succeed in attaching their machinery to the very wheelwork of nature.

Virtues and Failings

Our virtues and our failings are inseparable, like force and matter. When they separate, man is no more.

The Future is Mine

"Let the future tell the truth, and evaluate each one according to his work and accomplishments. The present is theirs, the future, for which I have really worked, is mine."