Presented by: Neil Boucher
We begin with a look at a current model Tesla machine that stands at 2 metres tall and plays music. This is not a machine that Tesla ever made.
Tesla's life can be divided into a few periods. First his failure to qualify as anything in particular in Europe, followed by a 10 year stint of brilliant fabrication in the US (under direction), where he made a significant contribution for AC transmission on the Niagara Falls line. He did not invent AC (as is often claimed) as this occurred before he was born. Parallel development in Europe saw much of his work on AC transmission replicated there. However his productivity in this period in undeniable.
Tesla explained little (mainly because he couldn't) and published mostly through the popular press. After about 10 years on the Niagara line Tesla began working alone. He funded his work on investors’ money saying that his aim was to invent long distance communications (like Marconi) but secretly he was trying to invent long distance power transmission and "free power" from the universe.
What he really invented was the Tesla coil which could have set particle physics 5 or 10 years forward, but instead he kept the coil more or less to himself. Even his own engineers were not permitted to make measurements on his coils.
Tesla claimed to have invented all kinds of things which were in 1943 appropriated briefly by the war office who in three days pronounced them "largely speculative and of no use", He died a disbeliever in relativity and E=MC^2 (he didn't understand these either)
We show a 100,000 volt Tesla coil and a 750,000 volt coil with some of the things it could do.
Finally we show the famous picture of Tesla reading a newspaper by the light of 3-5 metre Tesla flashes and reveal that it too was a fake.