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(The Oatmeal)   The Oatmeal is at it again, This time the results could be....electrifying   (theoatmeal.com ) divider line
    More: Spiffy, Nikola Tesla  
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22187 clicks; posted to Main » on 15 Aug 2012 at 8:14 PM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-08-16 06:55:50 AM  

CygnusDarius: Keyser_Soze_Death: A decent movie about Tesla, (with Orson Welles!) that somewhat accurately depicts how very odd he was socially.

The Secret of Nicola Tesla

Had his funding not been cut off by politics, today we would probably have those flying cars everyone keeps biatching about.

And power armor.


images1.wikia.nocookie.net
AGREES
 
2012-08-16 07:23:01 AM  

Fragarach: Hand Banana: He did some cool things, but the whole wireless electricity thing was totally stupid.

See, this is exactly why we need a Tesla museum. We have people in this thread commenting about how Tesla was a loon and half his ideas didn't work, not knowing that at least some of those ideas do work even if we went through a long period of no one understanding them. Wireless power transmission for things like lighting a light bulb were absolutely not a big a deal in the early 1900s...40 years later and most people on the street would call you crazy for suggesting it. This thread makes it obvious that even today people aren't aware of it, despite a NASA high power demonstration conducted in 1975 and a video of said demonstration up on youtube. 

Maybe if this knowledge was more common we'd get start working on the steps needed for space based power generation and transmission to Earth, which, ironically enough, would effectively be "power from the air, enough for everyone", exactly like Tesla said.


Not going to lie - that video is damn awesome.

/just like Tesla
 
2012-08-16 07:30:23 AM  

gingerjet: GAT_00: Am I the only person left on the Internet who doesn't think Nikola Tesla was a goddamn God?

Tesla WAS a farking genius. But horrible at business and by all accounts - a complete asshole. He was his own worse enemy.


That's not nearly as good as being his own best friend.

images.wikia.com

But anyways, I agree that a museum would be a much better use of the land than another shopping center...
 
2012-08-16 07:32:25 AM  

dbaggins: JosephFinn: Oh god, not the Tesla myth people again. Look, he was a decent inventor who never capitalized on his inventions. We clear?

decent inventor ? I don't think I can name a single greater inventor in mankind's history.

you want to give it a try?


Johannes Gutenberg. Done.

Much as the many things that have come since then are quite awesome and make our lives easier and longer, mankind would be worthless (and likely all worthwhile inventions we now reap the benefits of would not yet exist) if we'd never first been able to reproduce writing on a massive scale. Math, science, engineering, and medicine are all VERY cool, but if you can't share knowledge/information on a large scale, we'd be screwed.
 
2012-08-16 08:07:39 AM  

Empty Matchbook: scottydoesntknow: [s3.amazonaws.com image 769x1500]

Click pic to see the whole shebang

The Oatmeal is often a great site, but often disappears up its own cavernous asshole. Suggesting that a "true geek" would turn down sex to work on an invention is...hysterically short-sighted and monumentally arrogant. The guy was likely asexual. It had as much to do with "not wanting to interfere with his experiments" as having sex "obliterates writing from my life."

/though it DOES make it more difficult

 

3.bp.blogspot.com
 
2012-08-16 08:09:48 AM  
Holy fark.. Something worth a damn on the internet and it involves the most awesome science guy who ever lived? *head asplodes*
 
2012-08-16 08:33:35 AM  

Owangotang:
I don't take issue with the veracity of it, only the way it is presented. Every Tesla fact is followed by something dirty Edison did. That's all well and good but it tells me Tesla's and Edison's whole stories don't fit the narrative, which is lame.


He actually went fairly light on Edison. He didn't even touch on Edison's movie pirating and patent trolling.
 
2012-08-16 08:56:28 AM  

JosephFinn: Oh god, not the Tesla myth people again. Look, he was a decent inventor who never capitalized on his inventions. We clear?


And why is capitalizing it the important part?
 
2012-08-16 08:59:47 AM  

vodka: Meh, people "dead before their time" usually get more recognition than they deserve. Given enough time he probably would have been running around with cats in his pants.


Tesla: inventor of the Pocket Pussy.
 
2012-08-16 09:00:50 AM  

Dr.Fey: dbaggins: Edison: never invented a thing.

Why do people believe this? He invented lots of stuff, such as the stock ticker and an electric vote recorder when he was a very young man. This was well before he "ran a very productive company filled with inventors."

Of course he invented things. He invented a phonograph that could both record and then produce the sounds.


That'd been done before too, but not "capitalized". sounds recorded photographically and on other media; Edison just put it on aluminum.
 
2012-08-16 09:17:11 AM  
When I was a kid, we used to go on a vacation ever year to Ft Myers. During these vacations, I went on the tour of Edison's summer home at least once every trip. One time, only once, we got this really old tour guide who explained that this wooden box up on a pedestal was sealed and locked by Edison during a time when he was experimenting with the phonograph, when he was also supposedly trying to find a way to contact the dead. Edison's instructions were that the box was to remain sealed until the year 2000, when he thought the world would finally be ready for what was inside.

So a few years ago, my wife and I did the Edison tour. I looked all around trying to find this box but didn't see anything like it. At the end, I privately asked our tour guide about it, wondering what happened when they opened the box. He told me that the tour guides are no longer allowed to make up stories like they used to.
 
2012-08-16 09:20:46 AM  

dbaggins: should I keep going ?


Yes please.
 
2012-08-16 09:31:35 AM  

sxacho: When I was a kid, we used to go on a vacation ever year to Ft Myers. During these vacations, I went on the tour of Edison's summer home at least once every trip. One time, only once, we got this really old tour guide who explained that this wooden box up on a pedestal was sealed and locked by Edison during a time when he was experimenting with the phonograph, when he was also supposedly trying to find a way to contact the dead. Edison's instructions were that the box was to remain sealed until the year 2000, when he thought the world would finally be ready for what was inside.

So a few years ago, my wife and I did the Edison tour. I looked all around trying to find this box but didn't see anything like it. At the end, I privately asked our tour guide about it, wondering what happened when they opened the box. He told me that the tour guides are no longer allowed to make up stories like they used to.


I thought Edison was just planning to stick his head in the ground and yell.
 
2012-08-16 09:35:28 AM  
What about Dr. Emmett Brown?? FerGodsSake! He invented the flux capacitor!! It's what makes time travel possible!

/Obvious
 
2012-08-16 09:40:36 AM  

GAT_00: Am I the only person left on the Internet who doesn't think Nikola Tesla was a goddamn God?

If you propose theories but never get them working, that NOBODY has ever gotten working, that doesn't make you a genius.


So you don't use alternating current?
 
2012-08-16 09:44:48 AM  

SapperInTexas: Aidan:
It's not technically about Tesla. It's a cultural meme. It's "us" and our culture vs "them" and their culture. "They" have screwed things up, deified Edison, shunted Tesla to the dustbin of history, pushed down inventors and crazies and made us eat peas.

I like peas. I like Tesla. How can I reconcile these two facts?


You like peas. I can't help you. It's one of those universal constants.

/You know peas have teeth, don't you?
 
2012-08-16 09:55:20 AM  

sxacho: When I was a kid, we used to go on a vacation ever year to Ft Myers. During these vacations, I went on the tour of Edison's summer home at least once every trip. One time, only once, we got this really old tour guide who explained that this wooden box up on a pedestal was sealed and locked by Edison during a time when he was experimenting with the phonograph, when he was also supposedly trying to find a way to contact the dead. Edison's instructions were that the box was to remain sealed until the year 2000, when he thought the world would finally be ready for what was inside.

So a few years ago, my wife and I did the Edison tour. I looked all around trying to find this box but didn't see anything like it. At the end, I privately asked our tour guide about it, wondering what happened when they opened the box. He told me that the tour guides are no longer allowed to make up stories like they used to.


I love shaggy dog stories. :)
 
2012-08-16 10:00:08 AM  
Oh good. I look forward to daily updates on what this super awesome website is doing.
Oh, yeah. Pandering to geeks on the internet
 
2012-08-16 10:01:54 AM  

doubled99: Oh good. I look forward to daily updates on what this super awesome website is doing.
Oh, yeah. Pandering to geeks on the internet


Plug Tag?

Seriously who gives a shiat, if your going to greenlight somones attempt at promoting another website the least you could do is give us a filter tool to screen out this crap.
 
2012-08-16 10:09:05 AM  
Thanks for posting subby!

/Dontated
 
2012-08-16 10:13:42 AM  

UNAUTHORIZED FINGER: sxacho: When I was a kid, we used to go on a vacation ever year to Ft Myers. During these vacations, I went on the tour of Edison's summer home at least once every trip. One time, only once, we got this really old tour guide who explained that this wooden box up on a pedestal was sealed and locked by Edison during a time when he was experimenting with the phonograph, when he was also supposedly trying to find a way to contact the dead. Edison's instructions were that the box was to remain sealed until the year 2000, when he thought the world would finally be ready for what was inside.

So a few years ago, my wife and I did the Edison tour. I looked all around trying to find this box but didn't see anything like it. At the end, I privately asked our tour guide about it, wondering what happened when they opened the box. He told me that the tour guides are no longer allowed to make up stories like they used to.

I love shaggy dog stories. :)


Yeah, but it only took you a minute to find out the end. It took me and my young over-imagination about 20 years.
 
2012-08-16 10:14:59 AM  

dbaggins: most people are entirely ignorant of all of Tesla's actually working inventions


the AC electric generator

the three-phase induction motor (the motor in every factory on earth)

the AC transformer (walk out to your street, follow the humming sound)

the AC/DC rectifier , and for kicks, also the inverter.

oh, and thanks to solid-state inverters you now get....electric cars that use the 3-phase induction motor, with constant toque at all speeds and no losses. ta da


Tesla didn't actually discover AC, nor did he invent the transformer. He did patent some improvements to the transformer I believe, and worked on polyphase AC systems. (I'm on my phone now, and don't feel like posting links at the moment.) He did invent the induction motor.

Do you have a source on him developing the rectifier and inverter? I know a lot of his devices made use of synchronous switching for going between AC and DC, but there were a bunch of different technologies used for rectification back then. As for inverters, modern ones didn't really start to come to fruition until the development of power semiconductors in the mid-20th century (same goes for DC-DC converters). There were of course motor generators, though, and Tesla did a lot with resonant circuits so it's not totally unrelated.
 
2012-08-16 10:17:47 AM  
Battered. Chapped. Pussay.
 
2012-08-16 10:21:47 AM  

archichris: doubled99: Oh good. I look forward to daily updates on what this super awesome website is doing.
Oh, yeah. Pandering to geeks on the internet

Plug Tag?

Seriously who gives a shiat, if your going to greenlight somones attempt at promoting another website the least you could do is give us a filter tool to screen out this crap.


I went with spiffy, because I think it is pretty spiffy. If I were associated in any way with the Oatmeal, maybe I would have put up "plug," but I'm not, I'm just a long time fan of Tesla(yes I knew of him way before Bowie played him) and I think it's cool what Inman is doing.
 
2012-08-16 10:51:21 AM  

Empty Matchbook: The Oatmeal is often a great site, but often disappears up its own cavernous asshole. Suggesting that a "true geek" would turn down sex to work on an invention is...hysterically short-sighted and monumentally arrogant. The guy was likely asexual. It had as much to do with "not wanting to interfere with his experiments" as having sex "obliterates writing from my life."


www.harkavagrant.com
 
2012-08-16 11:50:08 AM  
Internet + fools = - money.
 
2012-08-16 12:11:18 PM  

Cyno01: True, the Aeolipile as described was woefully inefficient, but it was a start, combustion to motion, thats the foundation of pretty much everything. It easily could have been refined. They already had very complex machinery that could have been driven by it. Im trying to remember the documentary series, they all kind of blend together, but i remember one, it talked about the aeolipile, and then there was a segment on ancient greek stage craft that included some ridiculously complex set machinery that was mostly hand run. Watching it im thinking... one little inspiration and someone could think to hook an aeolipile up to all that. I think it was episode 103 of Ancient Discoveries. This shorter segment is from another episode but talks about the same basic stuff. The ancient greeks had all the pieces of an internal combustion engine, just nobody had thought to put them together.


More importantly, they had no reason to. They lived in an economy where labor was cheap, but materials were expensive. In that context, it would make no sense to replace human labor with mechanized.
 
2012-08-16 12:24:59 PM  

Ringshadow: [i46.tinypic.com image 850x390]

[cdn.uproxx.com image 624x317]


The only time I have seen this meme used well.

Ringshadow: tomcatadam: I look at it the other way. We need MORE hero worship of scientists and engineers. Make them big, make them figures that kids or just people want to be, want to be like.
Sad that it's more of a bandwagon/fad thing, but it's better than nothing.

[i47.tinypic.com image 410x400]

In an age where being an intellectual will get you looked down upon more often then not (look no further than the political arena for this), putting a scientist up on the pedestal he deserves is something we NEED now. We NEED to hold our intellectuals and inventors and crazy smart people up, and encourage young people to be like them. We NEED more innovators and rule breakers and more crazy science.


Yes! This is the last thing any of us should be complaining about.
 
2012-08-16 01:26:22 PM  

Dr.Fey: He invented a phonograph that could both record and then produce the sounds.


thetubameister: That'd been done before too


Citation needed.
 
2012-08-16 01:34:50 PM  
Link Farked already?!
 
2012-08-16 01:49:14 PM  
For all the Tesla naysaying hipster contrarian douches in this thread, fark off - this thread and fundraising is clearly not for you. Seek hate elsewhere.
 
2012-08-16 01:55:35 PM  
sure looks that way :/
 
2012-08-16 02:24:01 PM  

Disposable Rob: Owangotang:
I don't take issue with the veracity of it, only the way it is presented. Every Tesla fact is followed by something dirty Edison did. That's all well and good but it tells me Tesla's and Edison's whole stories don't fit the narrative, which is lame.

He actually went fairly light on Edison. He didn't even touch on Edison's movie pirating and patent trolling.


This. Edison was a hack.

/From New Jersey
//Made every yearly school field trip pilgrimage to Edison Museum
///Drove by museum every day during high school.
////Donated $100
 
2012-08-16 03:05:50 PM  
Well, 24 hours in and they've already raised just a little more than half the money. Inman can really rally the troops.
 
2012-08-16 04:11:13 PM  

CtrlAltDestroy: Empty Matchbook: scottydoesntknow: [s3.amazonaws.com image 769x1500]

Click pic to see the whole shebang

The Oatmeal is often a great site, but often disappears up its own cavernous asshole. Suggesting that a "true geek" would turn down sex to work on an invention is...hysterically short-sighted and monumentally arrogant. The guy was likely asexual. It had as much to do with "not wanting to interfere with his experiments" as having sex "obliterates writing from my life."

/though it DOES make it more difficult 

[3.bp.blogspot.com image 400x377]


That there's just IGNINT!
 
2012-08-16 09:19:33 PM  

AntonChigger: Gabrielmot: "J.P. Morgan, you there? One hundred years ago you believed in Tesla and backed him financially. Honor his legacy and help him out again!"

"Backed him financially?"... more like "stabbed him the back". Come on Oatmeal, do a little research about the man's life before you give one of his greatest nemeses credit for helping him...

He's not lying, and neither are you. J.P. Morgan did give Tesla funding, but he also loved his money, so when Tesla's ideas became really expensive he refused to write him a blank check, even though he probably could have afforded it. Frankly, if anyone could ever make wireless power work it would be Tesla, though I'm pretty sure in the last few decades some small advances have been made in this area

/I know, citation needed


My understanding is that wi-pi has been demonstrated to work for many years, but only at low power levels.
 
2012-08-16 10:07:11 PM  

Sylvia_Bandersnatch: AntonChigger: Gabrielmot: "J.P. Morgan, you there? One hundred years ago you believed in Tesla and backed him financially. Honor his legacy and help him out again!"

"Backed him financially?"... more like "stabbed him the back". Come on Oatmeal, do a little research about the man's life before you give one of his greatest nemeses credit for helping him...

He's not lying, and neither are you. J.P. Morgan did give Tesla funding, but he also loved his money, so when Tesla's ideas became really expensive he refused to write him a blank check, even though he probably could have afforded it. Frankly, if anyone could ever make wireless power work it would be Tesla, though I'm pretty sure in the last few decades some small advances have been made in this area

/I know, citation needed

My understanding is that wi-pi has been demonstrated to work for many years, but only at low power levels.


It depends on the technology used. You can transfer power using radio waves like microwaves (which I believe NASA has demonstrated at high power with reasonable efficiency), electromagnetic induction (Witricity), and conduction. Tesla was looking into the latter, which is what Wardenclyffe Tower was going to be for. (He did of course work with the other two technologies, this was just what he felt was the most promising.) Basically, he wanted to use the earth as a conductor, with the sky as a return conductor... It sounds a little far fetched, but it sort of works. The tower, I believe, was going to be his way of testing it at full scale. I think he claimed that the major inefficiency was keeping the earth resonating, which he claimed would take around 75 kw (I think). So if you had a hell of a lot more generating capacity than that, the losses would be minimal.

I think the conduction method has been replicated to differing degrees, although I don't think any full scale like that. It's something I'll have to look into again, but I'm not sure how well it would work in this day and age or how much interference with normal radio could be controlled.

On another note, if anyone's somewhat electronics savvy and interested in wireless power, it's not terribly difficult to make resonant inductive wireless work. In fact, there are Youtube videos. Basically, you have two LC circuits tuned to the same frequency. Then you can put AC (or just pulsed DC) in one at the resonant frequency, and pull it out from the other. Making one that's very effective and gives good range is difficult, but lighting a light bulb wirelessly isn't too bad.

This isn't the greatest picture, but I have gotten it working:
home.whatsmykarma.com
 
2012-08-16 10:11:43 PM  

This text is now purple: AntonChigger: Frankly, if anyone could ever make wireless power work it would be Tesla, though I'm pretty sure in the last few decades some small advances have been made in this area

It can be made to work. Just on a massive scale, it means saying good bye to radio communications, basically.


Maybe, if the spectrum emission is broad. But a narrow-band emission shouldn't produce interference outside its own spectrum masque.
 
2012-08-16 10:27:29 PM  

linuxpyro: Sylvia_Bandersnatch: AntonChigger: Gabrielmot: "J.P. Morgan, you there? One hundred years ago you believed in Tesla and backed him financially. Honor his legacy and help him out again!"

"Backed him financially?"... more like "stabbed him the back". Come on Oatmeal, do a little research about the man's life before you give one of his greatest nemeses credit for helping him...

He's not lying, and neither are you. J.P. Morgan did give Tesla funding, but he also loved his money, so when Tesla's ideas became really expensive he refused to write him a blank check, even though he probably could have afforded it. Frankly, if anyone could ever make wireless power work it would be Tesla, though I'm pretty sure in the last few decades some small advances have been made in this area

/I know, citation needed

My understanding is that wi-pi has been demonstrated to work for many years, but only at low power levels.

It depends on the technology used. You can transfer power using radio waves like microwaves (which I believe NASA has demonstrated at high power with reasonable efficiency), electromagnetic induction (Witricity), and conduction. Tesla was looking into the latter, which is what Wardenclyffe Tower was going to be for. (He did of course work with the other two technologies, this was just what he felt was the most promising.) Basically, he wanted to use the earth as a conductor, with the sky as a return conductor... It sounds a little far fetched, but it sort of works. The tower, I believe, was going to be his way of testing it at full scale. I think he claimed that the major inefficiency was keeping the earth resonating, which he claimed would take around 75 kw (I think). So if you had a hell of a lot more generating capacity than that, the losses would be minimal.

I think the conduction method has been replicated to differing degrees, although I don't think any full scale like that. It's something I'll have to look into again, but I'm not sure how well it ...


Neat!
 
2012-08-16 10:29:36 PM  

jaytkay: I contributed in memory of the Topsy, the elephant Thomas Edison electrocuted.

Asshole *

/ * OK mostly Edison was not an asshole but fark you Edison for electrocuting Topsy


No, you were right the first time. Edison was most definitely an asshole:

i42.photobucket.com
 
2012-08-16 11:14:53 PM  

Sylvia_Bandersnatch: Neat!


Thanks! And in case you were curious, that setup I had does drive the circuit with pulsed DC, basically square waves. So the interference would be pretty bad... But it could be reduced a lot. It's neat because a lot of that could probably be condensed to a single chip, and someday that might actually be cheaper than adding power jacks to devices.
 
2012-08-17 06:57:41 AM  

Max Awesome: jaytkay: I contributed in memory of the Topsy, the elephant Thomas Edison electrocuted.

Asshole *

/ * OK mostly Edison was not an asshole but fark you Edison for electrocuting Topsy

No, you were right the first time. Edison was most definitely an asshole:

[i42.photobucket.com image 771x429]


According to Ira Flatow's book, 'The All Laughed,' though this was done with Edison's knowledge and blessing, the don kept his own hands clean. The nefarious decimation by electrocution of West Orange's pets was directly conducted by Edison's AC hit man, H.P. Brown (who styled himself as a professor but was apparently not), and his chief engineer, Arthur Kennelly. They were the ones who paid neighbourhood kids a quarter per fur-covered head, and secretly tortured and killed the animals by night, keeping careful records of their gruesome deeds. The first public demonstration killed a 76-pound Newfoundland with increasing voltages in a wire cage. SPCA delegates arrived too late to save the dog.

About fifty pets were killed over the summer of 1888. That was the year that Tesla delivered to Westinghouse the AC motor, the tool he needed to take on Edison. Tesla also devised the AC distribution system for all of New York that Westinghouse used to challenge Edison's hegemony there. Brown's scheme was to terrify the public into believing that AC was inherently dangerous at any voltage, at least much more so than DC. He tried to have mains levels over 300V banned from New York -- understanding full well that this would obviate AC's advantages at higher power. It was Brown's idea to promote AC for use in electrocution, as a most dramatic demonstration of its monstrous peril that the public could not ignore or forgot. He personally electrocuted two 230-pound calves before New York reporters to demonstrate its efficacy in killing human-size animals. And it was a lawyer of his acquaintance, Eugene Lewis, who proposed 'westinghouse' as the formal term for execution by electricity (AC, naturally).

In practice, however, the first public use of AC for electrocution of a human didn't go so well. It took nearly two full minutes for William Kemmler to die, and reporters found it gruesome and horrifying -- to their sights, much crueller than hanging, which it replaced.

In the end, though, engineers prevailed, recognising AC's inherent advantages, giving us the grid we have today. (Edison's would have required countless small generators, located much closer to end users, with an inherent limit to potential efficiencies and savings.)

What were their motivations? Edison and Brown both held patents on DC technologies. Kennelly's livelihood depended on Edison's success. AC threatened their monopoly on urban power systems. So, it was all about the money, at every step. Not about what was right or true or what was good for people. And THAT's what makes Edison an asshole: less that he did evil things, than that he did them because in the end, the only person he cared about was himself. Tesla, by contrast, was fully prepared to bankrupt himself *and* Westinghouse *and* Edison, in order to deliver real benefits for people, to the world as a whole. That kind of humanitarian vision and magnanimity was entirely alien to a self-interested twat like Edison.
 
2012-08-17 09:54:26 AM  

linuxpyro: Sylvia_Bandersnatch: AntonChigger: Gabrielmot: "J.P. Morgan, you there? One hundred years ago you believed in Tesla and backed him financially. Honor his legacy and help him out again!"

"Backed him financially?"... more like "stabbed him the back". Come on Oatmeal, do a little research about the man's life before you give one of his greatest nemeses credit for helping him...

He's not lying, and neither are you. J.P. Morgan did give Tesla funding, but he also loved his money, so when Tesla's ideas became really expensive he refused to write him a blank check, even though he probably could have afforded it. Frankly, if anyone could ever make wireless power work it would be Tesla, though I'm pretty sure in the last few decades some small advances have been made in this area

/I know, citation needed

My understanding is that wi-pi has been demonstrated to work for many years, but only at low power levels.

It depends on the technology used. You can transfer power using radio waves like microwaves (which I believe NASA has demonstrated at high power with reasonable efficiency), electromagnetic induction (Witricity), and conduction. Tesla was looking into the latter, which is what Wardenclyffe Tower was going to be for. (He did of course work with the other two technologies, this was just what he felt was the most promising.) Basically, he wanted to use the earth as a conductor, with the sky as a return conductor... It sounds a little far fetched, but it sort of works. The tower, I believe, was going to be his way of testing it at full scale. I think he claimed that the major inefficiency was keeping the earth resonating, which he claimed would take around 75 kw (I think). So if you had a hell of a lot more generating capacity than that, the losses would be minimal.

I think the conduction method has been replicated to differing degrees, although I don't think any full scale like that. It's something I'll have to look into again, but I'm not sure how well it ...


Ya can also try the ole Flourescent bulb under massive power lines and it's faint bubbling glow will let you know there is a lot of juice above ya :) Thank goodness not everyone lives around high voltage power lines, though. Another fun one (that is DC) is the wireless headphone trick where you leave a headphone line plugged in with bare ends and repeat the procedure on the receiver/amp. put them less than 3' away from each other and you have wireless audio (barely) :)
 
2012-08-17 05:48:18 PM  

Sylvia_Bandersnatch: In the end, though, engineers prevailed, recognising AC's inherent advantages, giving us the grid we have today. (Edison's would have required countless small generators, located much closer to end users, with an inherent limit to potential efficiencies and savings.)


The irony is that at higher voltages, DC is in general more dangerous than AC. This is because the voltage is constant, and inductances in the wire can cause it to spike making a DC arc hard to extinguish, and short circuit protection difficult. Also, DC is arguably better for long-distance transmission. AC made sense at the time, however, because stepping the voltage up is easier and required only a transformer. Nowadays, however, power electronics makes dealing with high voltage DC easier. In fact, there are several HVDC lines in use.

I consider Edison to be more of an inventor/tinkerer type, whereas Tesla was an actual engineer. I could have a lot more respect for Edison for his business sense and mindset if it weren't for the whole electrocuting animals thing and general assholishness.

kimmygibblershomework: Ya can also try the ole Flourescent bulb under massive power lines and it's faint bubbling glow will let you know there is a lot of juice above ya :) Thank goodness not everyone lives around high voltage power lines, though. Another fun one (that is DC) is the wireless headphone trick where you leave a headphone line plugged in with bare ends and repeat the procedure on the receiver/amp. put them less than 3' away from each other and you have wireless audio (barely) :)


I've never tried the fluorescent light trick, but I'd like to. As for the headphone trick, I never thought of that, but you could consider that a crude form of radio :).
 
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