Adapted from Proceedings of the Tesla Centennial Symposium, 1984 Abstract
Before the discovery of the electron, the principle theory used to describe the electrical activity was that of the ether. At the turn of this century, the ether theory in use by science was a remnant of the concept common in western thought for several centuries. This situation favored the rise of atomic theory. This change in scientific paradigm requires a translation from 19th century terminology into 20th century language in order to understand Tesla's later research. Of particular interest is his magnifying transformer which claimed to produce resistanceless current.
Though science aims at giving accurate descriptions of the workings of nature, these descriptions change from historical period to historical period. In the same way that an object in one European country is called by a different name in an adjoining European country, so do the descriptions of nature change during different periods of man's history. In the 19th century western science the broadest view of the physical world was that all objects were somehow each connected to one another through pre-material ether. Solid bodies were believed to be made from condensation of this ether. In this worldview, atoms and electrons did not exist as scientific realities.
Toward the end of the last century the atomic picture of the world emerged in steps. Solid bodies were explained by minute vortices in the ether - small whirlpools - forming lumps of matter. Lord Kelvin, the virtual spokesman of Victorian science, developed an ether vortex model of the electron in an effort to explain some of the properties of electricity. The electron as a discrete particle did not become a fact of science until Thompson discovered it in 1897.
The view of nature as a single entity formed out of the ether changed to the modem one of matter being made of collections of individual particles in 1905 . In that year, Einstein presented his paper on Brownian motion explaining the movement of pollen particles on the surface of water in terms of discrete units of matter. From then until today, the atomic view has prevailed.
This difference between the 19th century description of nature and our presented description makes it difficult to have a complete picture of the work of the early electrical researchers. Today, Faraday, Maxwell and Tesla are recognized as valued contributors of the understanding of electricity, but their work was carried out before the electron- the fundamental carrier of electrical charge - was discovered. All of these scientist held a belief in an physical ether. Though Faraday's laws of induction are still accepted, and Maxwell's equations from electromagnetism are still used routinely, and Tesla's generators are still powering our lights, the 19th century physics that they learned and out of which their physics came, has been judged scientifically wrong.
The curious situation in which Faraday, Maxwell and Tesla can be seen be both right in their results but wrong in their beliefs about physics comes from an inability to translate the concepts of their historical periods into the language of our period. This lack of chronological translation, in contract to the spatial translation between European languages, is also an obstacle to understanding the physics of self-sustaining electrical ("free energy") generators based on the 19th century views.
In the last half of the 19th century, when researchers had to deal with the ether in practical engineering terms in order to guild their electrical devices, the concept of the ether then, several centuries old, was a watered down theory. At that time, the ether was considered something like a thin gas that could be found everywhere. However, that was not a historically correct view of the ether.
The ether had been pictured traditionally as a non-material substance capable of condensing into ponderable matter. Gas, no matter how thin, is still ponderable matter; and because of that, could not qualify as the ether.
To find out what was meant historically by the concept of ether, an early writer on the subject can be cited. Robert Fludd, in 1659 described the "EthericalL.influences" as "far subtler condition than is the vehicle of visible light... so thin, so mobile, so penetrating, so lively, that they are able, and also do continually penetrate, and that without manifest obstacles or resistance, even unto the center or inward bosom of the earth where they generate metals of sundry kinds."
Fludd quotes an even older source on the nature of ether, the writings of Plotinus (3rd Century AD) where the ether is described as being so fine "that it doth penetrate all bodies and... it maketh them not a jot bigger for all that because this inward spirit doth nourish and preserve all bodies." 
From these older descriptions of the ether, the following attributes can be seen missing from the late 19th century concept. First, the ether was held to be truly non-material - it does not make bodies "a jot bigger". If the ether were a gas, its addition to anything would be measurable. Second, the ether is a substance less material than "the vehicle of visible light", that is, something less than what today is known as a photon. Third, the ether was credited with generating metals and nourishing all bodies, clearly a distinct property not belonging to gases.
Whether or not the reality of the ether as put forth by these authors is accepted, it is historical fact that the tether Michelson and Moraly did not find in their experiments and that the modern atomists ridiculed so strongly when they came to scientific power in the early 20th century was never claimed to exist by people who first used the term. Taking a longer view of science, modem theorists fought a battle against an issue that never existed.
If, on the other hand, the ether is looked at in the earlier description of its properties, something can be learned about the operation of a least one type of self sustaining electrical generator. To do this, the ether concept has to be translated into an artifact of contemporary science.
The properties of having less mass than a massless photon, being able to interpenetrate a body but not add to it, and generating material bodies are encompassed in the modern view of the quantum wave nature of matter. In quantum theory, an object can be viewed as either made of particles or waves. It is not an idea everyone is comfortable with even now but one that is widely accepted and known to be verifiable by experiment. Transistors, tunnel diodes and even digital watches are a few of the real world objccts operating on physical principles that are explained best by the quantum wave nature of matter.
If an object can be both a quanum wave and a particle, then it its wave state, it can be said to interpenetrate an object without making it "a jot bigger". Also, being a wave equivalent to a particle, the wave would not have the mass of a particle. It has amplitude instead. The quantum wave is also responsible for the generation of solid bodies. Present theory has it that a particle exists in its quantum wave state until a measurement is made, when the wave is then said, to collapse to form an object. The collapse of the quantum wave defines the state of the object, that is, it generates the particle.
The quantum wave state of nature very much resembles the 17th century picture of the ether.
With this conceptual parallel in mind, it is possible to understand better the work of Nikola Tesla, who held the ether theory as a scientific concept, who, also no the basis of this theory, build working electrical machines, and who is associated with the idea of an electrical generator which could maintain a current without an external prime mover.
Schooled during the 1860's, Nikola Tesla's understanding of physics was pre-atomic. In his biographical articles Tesla does not comment on the theoretical aspects of his education, but in his technical writings, he uses the term "the ether" in a positive sense and only in his later writings are found grudging references to atomic particles and electrons.
Tesla's Magnifying Transformer
Tesla's most famous device was what he called a Magnifying Transformer, the principal tests of which were carried out in Colorado Springs during 1899. The device is described in his U.S. Patent as an "Apparatus for Transmitting Electrical Energy"  and claims some unusual characteristics among which were the propagation of waves faster than the speed of light, the transmission of signals, not around the earth, but through the earth, and doing this by eliminating as much as possible electromagnetic waves - the only electrically related waves known today capable of transmitting signals.
Tesla did this using a coil with 10,000 - 11,000 feet of cable , with what he claimed so be little or no resistance. This last fact, giving rise to the belief that in addition to tits other unusual characteristics, the device had the property of maintaining its current for a measurable period of time after disconnection from an outside power source.
Taking these ideas together — that the ether is equivalent to quantum wave energy, that Tesla held a belief in a physical ether, and that Tesla build a device capable of maintaining an electrical current without an external prime mover, a conclusion that can be reached, is that the quantum wave theory can be used to understand the dynamics of Tesla's magnifying transformer. This follows from the work of Dr. Andrija Puharich who, in a 1976 paper, put forth the idea that the magnifying transformer could not be explained by the laws of classical electrodynamics, but, rather in terms of high energy particle transformations . The wave theory of matter gained its present popularity in 1923 through the efforts of de Broglie. When experiments showed that light could be considered both a particle and a wave he reasoned that an electron, clearly a particle, could behave like a wave. He deduced the wavelength of the electron from the equation E=hf which equates the energy of a particle to the product of Planck's constant times the frequency. (Lambda works out to be 2.4 x 10-12 meters, which is the classical wavelength for the electron.)
In analyzing the Tesla magnifying transformer, this mathematical relationship can be used to determine the quantum energy of a wave in the transformer's operating frequency (here we use the pulse repetition rate of 7.5 Hz, following Corum  instead of the author's originally suggested kilohertz. oscillation frequency - Ed. note) and putting that value into the equation gives:
which would be the radiated energy per accelerated charge carrier (electron) in the conducor.
If the magnifying transmitter were operating at a current I = 100 amperes, the total charge can be found. Current is charge per time (I = q / t) and by definition, 1 Ampere = 1 Coulomb / second. This relationship can be used in turn to determine the number of charge carriers per second in the conductor for a 100 A current:
I = 6,25 x 102Q electrons per second (3)
The total number of charge carriers times the emitted energy per charge carrier would equal the quantum energy of the wave at a given frequency (7.5 Hz in this case):
If the highest reported current that Tesla used, 1000 amperes, is put into the calculation, the energy range would be 3.1 x 10"12 J/s to 31 x l0-12J/s.
Converting to a more commonly used system of measures, the energy of a quantum wave at 7.5 Hz would be:
If the highest current of 1000 amperes is put into the calculation, the energy of a quantum wave would be 190 Mev.1
In order to generate a wave of this energy, an electron would have to undergo a potential difference in the range of 19 to 190 million volts.
Tesla's magnifying transformer was reported to operate in the range of tens of millions of volts. At 20 million volts there would be more than sufficient electrical force to create a
1 Compare to Corum  who calculate about 225 coulombs in a volume of 10,000 cubic meters of glow discharge. Using 2.5 eV per molecule of air, the amount of power Tesla used for a pulse repetition rate of 7.5 Hz is found to be only 6.5 hp, consistent with what Tesla reported. For reasons explained in the article, the Corums find that Tesla generated l0 MeV electrons at 1000 amperes.
bacuum wave for the amount of charge in motion at 7.5Hz. At 200 million volts there would be enough force to produce such a wave for a current of 1000 amperes at that frequency. The generation of a quantum wave by the magnifying transformer goes a long way in explaining some of the properties Tesla claimed for the device. For one, he said that electromagnetic waves were reduced to a minimum and, indeed, it would seem hard to propagate any e.m. radiation with the blunt topped tower used in his transmission experiments. If, however, the waves that were being emitted were quantum waves, or waves of the ether, his claims for radiating energy from one point to another without the use of electromagnetism becomes clear.
Also, Tesla's statement that electromagnetic radiations were similar to the waves transmitted by an ordinary whistle through the air  makes sense. According to his view, e.m. waves would be nothing but undulations in the atmospheric gases, while his transmissions were taking place in a wholly different medium, that of the ether.
Tesla's claim for instantaneous transmission of energy has a basis in modern theory too, for a quantum wave is non-local in nature. That is, its effect is not limited to one particular point, but, through a physical process still not completely agreed upon, the effect can be measured at great distances from the point of origin at the moment of origin. The Superconducting State
As to maintaining a current in the transformer without an external power source, the only condition known today for achieving this, is the state of superconduction, which seemed to be ruled out in the case of Tesla's device which operated far above the almost zero temperatures needed for superconduction. However, what is understood as the superconducting state in today's science is in fact a description of the conductor. If a material has a certain type of atomic configuration and is cooled to a certain temperature, a superconducting condition exists in which a perpetual current can be maintained. The superconducting state, though, can exist without there being a current in the conductor. The state is a characteristic of the conductor.
Tesla may have discovered that superconductivity can be a property not of the conductor but of the current itself.
To examine how this might be the case, a specific model of electrical activity will be used. Instead of picturing an electric current composed of billiard ball particles of of little satellites of nuclear suns, or as an electron gas, or as electron plasma, it can be imagined as an electron liquid. At this point the make up of the liquid is not as important as is its fluid nature and that the fluid is electrical.
The model of a liquid is useful because it provides an easy example of how a substance can remain the same and yet become radically different under certain conditions. With water, when heat is removed from it, a phase change takes place which transforms it into solid ice. When thermal energy is added to water, it undergoes a different phase change and becomes a gas. The substance remains the same, but it exists in three difference states.
One of the extreme states that a fluid can achieve is superfluidity during which a liquid will move up the walls of its container. This, of course, is a property of the liquid, not of the container.
Perhaps the same phase change phenomenon takes place in the electron liquid. Under certain conditions, high voltage and or high current, the electron liquid will remain the same substance but will take on radically different properties, similar to the state of superfluidity. This condition would be a state change in the current, not in whatever material is serving as the conductor.
A state of superfluidity in an electron liquid would explain how Tesla was able to sent a current through the earth. When in its commonly known state a current does not travel far through the earth's resistance, but if the current has undergone the proper phase change, it could easily travel with no resistance.
Likewise, a phase changed current would travel through a generator coil with no resistance. Having undergone the change it would become a super-current in a non-superconducting conductor. Such a condition would allow a generator to maintain a current without an external power source.
This particular solution, which of course has to be tested, of Tesla's self-sustaining generators, is not an explanation of all the other similar devices such as the Figuera, Hubbard and Herdershot devices . There are probably as many engineering solutions to such generators as there are inventors of them.
One characteristic all the other devices have in common in contrast to Tesla's magnifying transformer, is that they did not require the high voltage and currents Tesla used. They do not, though, represent an engineering advancement over Tesla's engineering methods.
Tesla put his main efforts into high energy devices as a matter of mere practicality in marketing a product. A year after his Colorado Springs experiments, he wrote in his Century magazine article, 1900, that he had spent a great deal of time on a smaller generator but realized that negative market pressures would not allow such a machine to see the commercial light of day . And he was right; it is not possible yet to by a Hubbard or a Hendershot generator to light our homes.
Tesla believed he had a greater chance for introducing a new electrical technology if it made use of the generators then being sold, but which used their output in novel ways — which is why he concentrated on the wireless power transmission project, though even that idea proved too much for his time.
A careful study of his later writings shows that many of his more advanced concepts were based on earlier work with lower voltage versions of generators capable of maintaining a super-current. These designs appear to be based on intricate configurations of coil geometries. The peak of this line of research might have been just before the fire of his New York City laboratory in which, many of his prototypes and papers were lost. The task of uncovering the precise nature of these designs becomes very complex, because after the fire, Tesla spoke of his more advanced work only obliquely and never in detail.
Recovering these earlier designs would bring about the second stage of electrical technology - one that Nikola Tesla started, here, a century ago.
1. There have been several such paradigm changes in western ideas about nature. Theories alternate between a one substance universe out of which everything is made and a many substance universe in which the constituent particles are separated by a vacuum.
2. Robert Fludd, Mosaical Philosophy. London, Humphrey Moseley, 1659, p. 221.
4. U.S. Patent #1,119,732 of December 1, 1914; application filed January 18,1902.
5. Nikola Tesla, Colorado Springs Notes, 1899-1900. Beograd: Nolit. 1978, p.43.
6. Andrija Puharich, "The Physics of the Tesla Magnifying Transmitter and the Transmission of Electrical Power without Wires". Planetary Association of Clean Energy,
Ottawa, Ontario, 1976).
7. Nikola Tesla, quoted in the NY Herald Tribune, Sept 22, 1929, pg. 21.
8. C. Bird and O. Nichelson, "Nikola Tesla, Great Scientist, Forgotten Genius", New Age,
9. Nikola Tesla, "On the Problems of Increasing Human Energy", in Nikola Tesla,
Lectures, Patents, Articles, Biograd, Nikola Tesla Museum, 1956, p. A-143. (Also in Century,
June, 1900-Ed. note)
10. Coram, James & Kenneth, "Critical Speculations Concerning Tesla's Invention and Applications of Single Electrode X-Ray Directed Discharges for Power Processing, Terrestrial Resonances and Particle Beam Weapons," Proc. Inter. Tesla Symposium, 1986, p.7-21
Oliver Nichelson can be reached at 670 W 980 N, Provo, UT 84604
11 Self-Sustained Longitudinal Waves
I K' (inn ted from Proceedings of the Te s la Centennial Symposium, 1984
|t I 1 SUSTAINED NON-HERTZIAN LONGITUDINAL WAVE 1m ILLATIONS AS RIGOROUS SOLUTIONS OF MAXWELL'S loi 1AT10NS FOR ELECTROMAGNETIC RADIATION
In contradiction to common belief, Maxwell's classical theory of Beetromagnetic radiation does predict the existence of longitudinal ■' <;iromagnetic waves in vacuo, (Longitudinal non-Hertzian compression litu:s are very likely to be the type that Tesla produced with the TMT. -P<l note) This preliminary note contains what appears to be the first II, tous proof of the theoretical existence of such non-Hertzian self-lititained longitudinal wave oscillations. The E-fields and B-fields in such
■ itvcs are everywhere parallel (so that the Poynting vector vanishes Imtically and no energy is transported along the waves, though it does ■ipear possible in theory to transport force at a distance without pK'iiuation via such waves in vacuo). The waves have the following ■'-imetry. Choose a static vector potential (A) parallel to the static pujinetic field configuration of an arbitrary force-free magnetic field (B) t-t the type discovered in 1952 by Schluter and Lust.1 Then pick an •i1 -itrary frequency co = X c > 0 corresponding to an arbitrary wave number k - 0 where c is light speed, and multiply the vector potential A by X cos •>i to obtain the longitudinal wave B-field whose oscillations at frequency
■ generate an E-field obtainable by multiplying the vector potential by co *iti cot. The vector potential and both fields are parallel and typically in -1finite cylindrical or toroidal configurations as depicted in Figures 1 & 2.2
l a derive, let R denote an unbounded or bounded open connected region it real Euclidian 3-space E Let the boundary dR of R consist of the • •(iron of piece-wise smooth 2-surfaces. Let X > 0 denote an arbitrary i Lust and A. Schluter, Axial symmetrische magnetohydrodynamische ■ i< ichgewichtskonfigurationen. Z. Naturforsch. 12a (1957), 850-854.
I id note: Compare with 'Curl-Free Vector Potentials,' R. Gelinas, Proc. ITS 1986, p.4 11. & Gelinas patents #4.447,779, #4,429,288, #4,429.280 on modulating/demodulating ;ilar waves, as well as J. Corum patents #4,622,558, #4.751,515 using toroidal fields.
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It seems like the efforts to find the best alternative energy sources are seriously being looked into by lots of countries including most US cities. One proof is the signing of the Kyoto Treaty. The main aim of the concerned group and individuals is to lessen the greenhouse gases and pollutants.