Nikola Tesla was the father of alternating current (AC), which is the most common form of electricity today. Thomas Edison favored direct current (DC), the type of electricity in batteries.
However at the beginning of the 20th century, Tesla invented and had perfected a method of transmitting electricty via the atmosphere, known as the Tesla coil. This method of distribution, would have allowed our homes, buildings, and vehicles to run without the use of fossil fuels or wires. Simply put, free energy for everyone.
Edison favored a land-line wire method of distribution and ultimately won, because there was money to be made. The people with the money obviously weren’t in the business to fund a completely free method of power distribution. Ultimately, we ended up with a monthly electric bill.
Where do you think humantiy would be today, if we had adopted this free, unteathered method of power distribution?
Ultimately Telsa *did* win the war of the currents. And in his memiors, Edison said the biggest mistake he ever made was pushing DC current instead of AC.
Being able to “transmit energy” is not the same as “free energy”. You still have to generate the energy somehow, so it isn’t free. Someone has to pay for it.
We do have the technology to wirelessly transmit energy, but it is limited in practicality. For example, it is very possible to transmit high power energy through the use of narrow microwave beams, but if the energy is too high, the beam will fry anything in it’s path. In Tesla’s day, there wasn’t much in the sky to fry, but these days a beam of deadly radiation is just too dangerous. Even Tesla recommended that wireless energy transfers should be limited to airships, like balloons and blimps. He did not see a practical use for land vehicles at all.
Only low-power applications are really viable for any kind of wireless energy transfers. For example, wirelessly transferring energy via laser beam is a much more viable method. I even have a remote controlled helicopter that is powered and controlled by the light from a laser beam.
I think a better question would be where would we be if we embraced Tesla’s ideas about wireless communication over Marconi’s. The US government postumously attribute the invention of the radio to Tesla instead of Marconi. In fact, in order to make the radio work over long distances, Marconi had to adapt no less than 17 inventions patented by Tesla. But they are still teaching that Marconi invented radio, even in American schools!
on: 20th November 10