In this fourth and final installment of the Tesla Presents Series, Nikola Tesla
describes his accomplishments in the areas of particle-beam production and
In the 1930s the
unorthodox inventor Nikola Tesla announced to the world two astonishing
new inventions. The first was a particle-beam projector that Tesla
intended to be used as an instrument of national defense. He called his
system "teleforce." With this machine he declared that a nation could
bring wholesale destruction upon invading armies and shoot down fleets
of incoming aircraft when they were 200 miles away. While the basic
beam weapon concept was first revealed in 1934, on Tesla's 78th birthday,
specific details about the actual device have been difficult to obtain.
One year later, during his
annual birthday press conference on July 10, 1935, Tesla claimed a method
to transmit mechanical energy with minimal loss over any terrestrial
distance, allowing for a new means of communication and a technique for
the location of subterranean mineral deposits. Tesla's mechanical power
transmission system, he dubbed it the "art of telegeodynamics," was based primarily
upon his reciprocating engine invention, patented in 1894. While the
fundamental operating principles of Tesla's mechanical oscillator are well
understood, little has been said about how the machine would have been
used for underground prospecting.
In Leland Anderson's
newest book Nikola Tesla's Teleforce & Telegeodynamics Proposals these
two important papers, hidden for more than 60 years, are presented for the
first time. The principles behind teleforce—the particle-beam weapon,
and telegeodynamics—the mechanical earth-resonance concept for seismic
exploration, are fully addressed. In addition to copies of the original
documents, typed on Tesla's official stationery, this work also includes
two Reader's Aid sections that guide the reader through the more technical
aspects of each paper. The papers are followed by Commentary sections
which provide historical background and functional explanations of the two
devices. Significant newspaper articles and headline accounts are provided
to document the first mention of these proposals. A large Appendix
provides a wealth of related material and background information, followed
by a Bibliography section and Index.
Note: No further printings of this Limited
Edition are planned at this time.
This book contains the original texts of two unique proposals that Nikola Tesla offered up during his later years.
In both cases, the technologies described trace their roots back to an earlier and tremendously productive decade in Tesla's life beginning in the early 1890s.
At the time of the proposals' unveiling, "teleforce," the particle beam concept, and "telegeodynamics," the mechanical earth-resonance concept, received significant press coverage.
The teleforce death-beam weapon was first divulged on Tesla's 78th birthday, July 10, 1934 in the New York
Sun. With this machine, he claimed, a nation could deal out wholesale slaughter upon invading armies and shoot down fleets of approaching aircraft 250 miles away.
Based on Tesla's own statements it is believed that by 1937 a working model of the device had been constructed.
What appears to have been the inspiration for teleforce was described in a piece which showed up in the July 11, 1934
New York Herald Tribune. Tesla recalled an event that would occasionally take place while experimenting with his single-electrode vacuum tubes in which a minute particle would break off the cathode, pass out of the tube, and physically strike him.
"He said he could feel a sharp stinging pain where it entered his body, and again at the place where it passed out."
In comparing these small fragments with the bits of metal projected by his "electric gun" Tesla said, "The particles in the beam of force . . . will travel much faster than such particles . . . and they will travel in concentrations."
Just one year later, on the occasion of his annual birthday celebration interview by the press on July 10, 1935 in his suite at the Hotel New Yorker, Tesla announced a method of transmitting mechanical energy accurately with minimal loss over any terrestrial distance, including a related new means of communication and a method, he claimed, which would facilitate the unerring location of underground mineral deposits.
At that time he recalled the earth-trembling
"quake" that brought police and ambulances rushing to the scene of his Houston Street laboratory while an experiment was in progress with one of his mechanical oscillators.
Tesla's mechanical power transmission system, he dubbed it the "art of telegeodynamics," was based upon his Reciprocating Engine invention, U.S. Patent No. 514,169, February 6, 1894.
The earthquake story also appeared in John O'Neill's biography of Tesla,
Prodigal Genius. The account tells of Tesla causing a minor earth trembler in lower Manhattan, where he had established his laboratory, by clamping a small engine of this type to an I-beam and letting it find its own sympathetic resonance.
In the article "Nikola Tesla, Dreamer" (Allan L. Benson,
World Today, Feb. 1912), an artist's illustration appears showing the entire earth cracking in half with the caption, "Tesla claims that in a few weeks he could set the earth's crust into such a state of vibration that it would rise and fall hundreds of feet and practically destroy civilization.
A continuation of this process would, he says, eventually split the earth in two."
The advances described are the result of my research carried on for many years with the chief object of transmitting electrical energy to great distances.
The first important practical realization of these efforts was the alternating current power system now in universal use.
I then turned my attention to wireless transmission and was fortunate enough to achieve similar success in this fruitful field, my discoveries and inventions being employed throughout the world.
In the course of this work, I mastered the technique of high potentials sufficiently for enabling me to construct and operate, in 1899, a wireless transmitter developing up to twenty million volts.
Some time before I contemplated the possibility of transmitting such high tension currents over a narrow beam of radiant energy ionizing the air and rendering it, in measure, conductive.
After preliminary laboratory experiments, I made tests on a large scale with the transmitter referred to and a beam of ultra-violet rays of great energy in an attempt to conduct the current to the high rarefied strata of the air and thus create an auroral display such as might be
utilized for illumination, especially of oceans at night. I found that there was some virtue in the principal but the results did not justify the hope of important practical applications although, some years later, several inventors claimed to have produced a "death ray" in this manner.
While the published reports to this effect were entirely unfounded, I believe that with the
new transmitter to be built, many wonders will be achieved.
REACTIVE FORCES OBTAINABLE BY TESLA'S ISOCHRONOUS OSCILLATORS—These are generated by Tele-Geo-Dynamic transmitters which are reciprocating engines of extreme simplicity adapted to impress isochronous vibrations upon the earth, thereby causing the propagation of corresponding rhythmical disturbances through the same which are, essentially, sound waves like those conveyed through the air and ether. . . . With a machine of this kind it will be practicable, in the differentiation of densities and aggregate states of subterranean strata and tracing their outlines on the earth's surface, to reach a precision approximating that which is secured in the investigation of the internal structure of bodies by penetrative rays.
For just as the vacuum tube projects Roentgen shadows on a fluorescent screen, so the transmitter produces on the earth's surface shadows which can be detected by acoustic devices or rendered visible by optical instruments.
The receiver can be made so sensitive that prospecting may be accomplished while riding in a car and without limit of distance from the transmitter.
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Nikola Tesla's Teleforce Proposal
New Art of Projecting Concentrated Non-Dispersive Energy Through
Natural Media. By Nikola Tesla
New York Times, September 22, 1940, "'Death Ray' for
Nikola Tesla's Telegeodynamics Proposal
Relative Merits of the Lucas Method of Prospecting by Detonations
of Explosive Compounds and of The Tesla Method of Prospecting by Isochronous Oscillations
Theoretically Considered. By Nikola Tesla
Tesla correspondence from George Scherff, June 17, 1937
New York Times, July 11, 1935, "Tesla, 79, Promises to
Possibilities of Electrostatic Generators. By Nikola Tesla
Tesla Correspondence to J. P. Morgan, Jr., November 29, 1934
Tesla correspondence from George Scherff, April 19, 1918
Address Before The New York Electrical Society, "Mechanical
and Electrical Oscillators" by Nikola Tesla
Electric Generator —
U.S. Patent No. 511,916
Reciprocating Engine — U.S. Patent No. 514,169
Steam Engine — U.S. Patent No. 517,900
Mechanical Therapy by Nikola Tesla
Detroit Free Press, Jan. 18, 1896, "Tesla's Health
"On Roentgen Rays," Electrical
Review, New York, March 11, 1896.
"Tesla Hints at Surprises,"
The Detroit News (noon edition) November 11, 1932.
Scientific American, March 1934.
"Nikola Tesla Writes," Scientific American, April 1934.
"Tesla Invents Peace Ray,"
New York Sun, July 10, 1934.
"Discovery of Force Rays to Surround Nations and Smash Attacker,"
Minneapolis Tribune, July 11, 1934.
"Death-Ray Machine Described,"
New York Sun, July 11, 1934.
"Tesla Has Beam to 'Destroy' Armies, Planes, at 200 Miles,"
Brooklyn Eagle, July 11, 1934.
"Tesla Bares New Death-Beam,"
New York Times July 11, 1934.
"Tesla Gives World Death Beam to End War Forever,"
New York Post, July 11, 1934.
"Beam to Kill Army at 200 Miles, Tesla's Claim on 78th Birthday,"
New York Herald Tribune, July 11, 1934.
"Tesla at 78," New York World
Telegram, July 12, 1934.
"Scientists Doubt Death Ray Effect,"
New York World Telegram, July 13, 1934.
"Tesla Calls 'Death Beam' Boon to Industry,"
The Detroit News, July 15, 1934.
"Scores of Death Ray Inventors Still Await Future,"
New York Herald Tribune, July 15, 1934.
"Tesla's Death Ray," Detroit Free
Press, July 16, 1934, p. 6.
"Tesla: Inventor has Scheme for Dealing Out Death Wholesale," Newsweek, July 21, 1934.
"The Death Ray Bobs Up Again,"
Chicago Tribune, July 22, 1934.
"Tesla's Ray," Time, July 23, 1934.
"Tesla on Power Development and Future Marvels,"
New York World Telegram, July 24, 1934.
"Why "Death Rays" Do Not Work, Tho Many Have Been Invented,"
Literary Digest, July 26, 1934, p. 18.
"Scientific Prophet - Nikola Tesla - The Death Ray,"
Scientific Progress, September 1934.
"The End of Aircraft in War,"
The Pittsburgh Press, October 21, 1934, (Sunday Mag.) p. 1.
"Dr. Tesla Visions the End of Aircraft In War,"
Every Week Magazine, October 21, 1934.
"A Machine To End War," by Nikola Tesla as told to George Sylvester
Viereck, Liberty, February 1935.
"Tesla Predicts Ships Powered By Shore Beam,"
New York Herald Tribune, June 5, 1935.
"Nikola Tesla Explains his
'Death Beam'," New York Journal, August 10, 1935.
"Tesla Devises Vacuum Tube Atom-Smasher,"
New York Herald Tribune, July 9, 1937.
"Tesla Promises to light Dark Spot on Moon,"
New York Herald Tribune, July 11, 1937.
"Sending Messages to Planets Predicted by Tesla,"
New York Times, July 11, 1937.
"Tesla Looks Forward to Sending Waves to the Moon,"
New York Herald Tribune, August 22, 1937.
"Aerial Defense 'Death Beam' Offered to U. S. By Tesla,"
Baltimore Sun, July 12, 1940.
"'Death Ray' For Planes," New York
Times, September 22, 1940.
"'Death Ray' for Defense,"
Philadelphia Inquirer, October 20, 1940.
"Tesla to Reveal New Invention,"
New York Sun, July 9, 1941.
"Tesla - 85th Birthday," New York
Sun, July 11, 1941.
Robinson, C., "Soviet Push for a Beam Weapon,"
Aviation Week, May 2, 1977, pp. 16-27.
"Charged Debate Over Russian Beam Weapons,"
Science, May 1977, pp. 957-959.
Are Soviets testing Wireless Electric Power?,
Washington Star, January 1, 1977, 1:5.
Corum, J.F. & K.L. Corum, "Critical Speculations Concerning Tesla's Invention and
Application of Single Electrode X-Ray Directed Discharges for Power Processing, Terrestrial
Resonances and Particle Beam Weapons," special presentation, Colorado Springs, 1986.
Corum, J.F., K.L. Corum, and J.F.X. Daum, "Some Thoughts on Tesla's Death Beam,"
Corum & Associates, 1991.
"Nikola Tesla, Dreamer," World
Today, Feb. 12, 1912.
"New Apparatus Transmits Energy - Tesla Announces Method of Remote Control,"
New York Sun, July 10, 1935.
Sparling, Earl, "Nikola Tesla, at 79, Uses Earth to Transmit Signals: Expects to Have
$100,000,000 Within Two Years," New York World-Telegram, July 11, 1935.
"Tesla's Controlled Earthquake - Power Through Earth - A Startling Discovery,"
New York American, July 11, 1935, Section 2.
"Tesla, at 79, Discovers New Message Wave - At Birthday Luncheon He Announces Machine
for 1-Way Communication," New York Herald Tribune, July 11, 1935, pp. 1, 8.
"Nikola Tesla Describes New Invention -
'art of tele-geodynamics'," New York Sun, July 11, 1935.
"Tesla, 79, Promises to Transmit Force - Transmission of Energy Over World,"
New York Times, July 11, 1935, p. 23, col. 8.