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Old 11-29-2016, 05:00 PM
tswift tswift is offline
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Tesla's Experiments, the Faraday Cage, and Don Smith

(apologies: long post)

In between time experimenting and all the other things in life that seem to occupy one's time, I am finally getting around to reading all of Thomas Martin's 1894 book, "The Inventions, Researches, and Writings of Nikola Tesla". I assume most here are familiar with it: if you aren't, it's old enough to be out of copyright and therefore available for free download although you can buy paper copies from various publishers. Here's a link to the digital version:

https://archive.org/details/inventionsresear00martiala

Some time ago I found a paragraph that stopped me in my tracks: Tesla describes a simple experiment whose result clearly contravenes conventional physics. Here it is, on page 136:


Another fact recognized, which is of some consequence, is, that in similar investigations the general considerations of static screening are not applicable when a gaseous medium is present. This is evident from the following experiment:-- A short and wide glass tube is taken and covered with a substantial coating of bronze powder, barely allowing the light to shine a little through. The tube is highly exhausted and suspended on a metallic clasp from the end of a wire. When the wire is connected with one of the terminals of the coil, the gas inside of the tube is lighted in spite of the metal coating. Here the metal evidently does not screen the gas inside as it ought to, even if it be very thin and poorly conducting. Yet in a condition of rest the metal coating, however thin, screens the inside perfectly.


Did you get that? A glass tube completely covered by metal is, by definition, a Faraday Cage; and yet, Tesla says that the residual gas inside such a tube will be excited into glowing by a high-frequency induction coil. In most of the experiments described in this part of the book, the induction coil described is being driven by a mechanical alternator with essentially sine-wave currents and no harmonics. When capacitor discharge is used (as in the now-familiar Tesla coil arrangement) many frequencies are excited simultaneously. At these low frequencies (a few kilohertz to a few tens of kilohertz) the electrical wavelength is so long that no appreciable difference in potential would be possible over the dimensions of a glass tube only a few inches or even a few feet in size.

There is actually a textbook exercise in most college freshman physics books to prove that the electrical field inside a conducting shell of any shape is zero. I could dig out one of my physics books to prove the point, but you get the idea. The shell doesn't even have to conduct very well: think about your microwave oven and the perforated screen. As long as the perforations are much smaller than a wavelength it just acts like metal of a lower conductivity but still screens quite well. And it certainly does at DC, in the static case. But as the frequency rises something unusual apparently happens. Even in a region with NO ELECTRIC FIELD, an electrical phenomenon is observed. So what isn't zero in this region? The scalar potential. This is also completely conventional physics, but a regular physicist will argue with you that the fields and the potentials are two different but equivalent ways to treat electrodynamics.

However, some of you might be familiar with the Aharonov-Bohm effect. This was demonstrated in 1959 and shows that even regions of space where a magnetic field is zero can still affect things (in the experiment, it was the quantum phase of electrons passing through a double slit apparatus). Excerpting from the Wikipedia article:

The Aharonov–Bohm effect shows that the local E and B fields do not contain full information about the electromagnetic field, and the electromagnetic four-potential, (Φ,A), must be used instead. By Stokes' theorem, the magnitude of the Aharonov–Bohm effect can be calculated using the electromagnetic fields alone, or using the four-potential alone. But when using just the electromagnetic fields, the effect depends on the field values in a region from which the test particle is excluded. In contrast, when using just the electromagnetic four-potential, the effect only depends on the potential in the region where the test particle is allowed. Therefore, one must either abandon the principle of locality, which most physicists are reluctant to do, or accept that the electromagnetic four-potential offers a more complete description of electromagnetism than the electric and magnetic fields can.

As it turns out, there is also an electric AB effect. Again quoting the Wikipedia article:

Just as the phase of the wave function depends upon the magnetic vector potential, it also depends upon the scalar electric potential. By constructing a situation in which the electrostatic potential varies for two paths of a particle, through regions of zero electric field, an observable Aharonov–Bohm interference phenomenon from the phase shift has been predicted; again, the absence of an electric field means that, classically, there would be no effect.


This effect was experimentally proved in 1998. So now we have a basis for understanding what's happening in Tesla's tube: I conjecture that it is due to the electric Aharonov-Bohm effect. Even though the electric field inside the tube is provably zero, this does not stop there from being some types of effects caused by the fluctuating scalar potential.

Now think about the metal cases of the capacitors in the Don Smith device. They aren't grounded, so the potential on the case will vary in accordance with the electric field around and outside of it. Inside the case it's much like a Faraday cage: a complete metal shell. Therefore no electric field right? Can you see where I'm going with this conjecture? Now with the electric A-B effect being known and accepted physics, even a university physicist would have to admit that there could be SOME unusual effect going on inside there. Think of it as regauging, or engineering the virtual photon vacuum flux as Bearden would call it. It will certainly change at least the phase of the quantum wave function of the electrons going into and out of the capacitor, we know this from the A-B effect. Could this be how Don was engineering overunity? I don't know either but I intend to keep attacking on both the theoretical and experimental fronts until we eventually get to the bottom of this mystery.
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Last edited by tswift; 11-29-2016 at 05:03 PM.
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