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Tesla's Experiments, the Faraday Cage, and Don Smith

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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:

    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.
    Last edited by tswift; 11-29-2016, 05:03 PM.

  • #2
    Professor Dr.-Ing. Konstantin Meyl, amongst others, has done some extensive investigation regarding this phenom and, in fact, has published numerous papers and articles on the subject.

    He also developed a "kit" of sorts to demonstrate and experiment with what he terms "scalar waves or longitudinal waves."

    Meyl - Scalarwave-Technology - The european website of

    Link to some of Meyl's papers: Meyl - Scalarwave-Technology - The european website of

    and his "kit": Meyl - Scalarwave-Technology - The european website of

    A very interesting research area indeed!
    Last edited by Solarlab; 11-30-2016, 07:43 PM. Reason: add links


    • #3
      No, forget Meyl and his childish incompetence.
      I think you have to view Tesla's experiments in conjunction with his theories. Tesla found that electricity is caused by a gaseous medium pervading all space (like the ether, but not the same!). Inside his exhausted tube there is still some of this medium present which is no longer obstructed by air molecules. This makes it an even better conductor than the metal screen for high frequency currents. Imagine the tube being very large and you are standing near one wall and can not see the other walls. Then if an electric potential is suddenly applied to that wall, the medium surrounding the wall will respond to adjust to the new situation (different potential). This rearranging will expand through the gas and through the wall. In modern terms it is a change in static (phi) potential, in Tesla's terms it is a change in electron-gas-pressure. We know that high frequency electric currents are subject to the skin effect, meaning that only the outside will conduct. But standing near that wall and not being able to see the other walls, how do you know what the outside is. It could be a metal wall shielding the gas, or a gas surrounding the metal. You do not know until you have reached the other side, meaning that some electric effect will travel through the gas. Koen van Vlaenderen calls this a phi-wave (if you are interested I will find his latest article for you). The pressure of a gas (I am talking about electron-gas now) is determined by its quantity, volume and temperature. In this case the volume is constant, so we only need to consider quantity and temperature. As similar charges repel, excess charge will only show on the outside of a conductor, thus in the inside the electron-temperature determines the pressure. This is not the temperature that you feel, which is the result of the kinetic energy of the gas nuclei. This concerns the kinetic energy of the electrons, which constantly changes due to the HF potential and this constant changing causes gas molecules to ionize and recombine. The latter can be seen because of the light that is emitted.

      I do not know how this relates to Don Smith and Bearden and frankly, I am not interested.



      • #4

        Thank you! I think I understand your explanation, it is very good. I had previously read your whole document and there was much that seemed difficult to understand for me at the time but I think I am gaining a better grasp on this electron gas temperature-pressure idea. I think I will go back and read the document again and maybe more will sink in this time. If you have any additional source material, I would also be very interested.


        • #5
          You may be right, we probably should forget Meyl, and many others like Maxwell, Faraday, Ampere, Volta, and so on. Heck, it's too much work studying their silly theories; and all their childish incompetence anyway...

          Hey, the next time we sit down to design an advanced radar transponder or ultra-wideband secure radio all we really need to know is that electricity is a gaseous medium pervading all space. Besides, we've all read the Colorado notes, patents and newspaper articles and we're now experts who know everything there is to know; right?

          But you know what! In reality, there's a whole hell of a lot more to it; then again, your likely not interested, and it probably doesn't relate anyway.

          Have a nice day...


          • #6
            Thanks, Solarlab,
            and have a nice day, too.



            • #7
              Ernst is right. Just because someone is telling you what you want to hear, doesn't mean they are right. Anyone who can take two pieces of information and compare them can clearly see that Meyl is spreading false information. We don't need networks of people "spreading the word" to tell us that. Each person can figure it out for themselves on the basis that Meyl's message opposes Tesla's. At least, each one who is paying attention to the details.

              Not to mention:

              Originally posted by Eric Dollard
              Let us turn to the Heaviside Equation which is the most fundamental equation in all of Electrical Engineering:

              (RG + XB) + j (XG – RB) = propagation constant squared


              R resistance in Ohms
              G conductance in Siemens
              X reactance in Henrys per second
              B susceptance in Farads per second


              RG is the scalar or DC component that is NOT A WAVE,
              XB is the longitudinal or AC component and is an alternating electric wave

              XG is the transverse or OC component and is a forward moving oscillating electric wave. RB is the transverse or OC component and is a reverse moving oscillating electric wave

              This equation allows for all electrical conditions in time and or space and combinations thereof. The example equation is the dimensions of time (see: Steinmetz Theory of Transient Electric Waves and Phenomenon and also my paper: Symbolic Representation of the Generalized Electric Wave.)


              The air in the room; the room is filled with air and has atmospheric pressure of 2998 mB, your stereo is blasting away, the speakers are creating longitudinal waves having length and frequency and exert a oscillating force centered on 2998 mB (+ or – 10 mB)

              RG is the air pressure, a scalar
              XB is the sound of the stereo, a longitudinal wave

              XG = RB, thus no transverse waves exist (XG – RB) = ZERO

              Hence (RG + XB) is what is going on in the room, the disinformers have convinced you that this whole quantity (RB + XB) is scalar, RG is the only scalar component. It is DC and has NO FREQUENCY, no WAVELENGTH and thus NO WAVE! SCALAR = NO WAVE - GET IT???

              "Knowledge is cosmic. It does not evolve or unfold in man. Man unfolds to an awareness of it. He gradually discovers it." - Walter Russell

              "Once men died for Truth, but now Truth dies at the hands of men." - Manly P. Hall


              • #8
                my apologies..

                My apologies for the earlier sarcasm, it was surely uncalled for; hope some of the following will help amend and forgive!

                First, a short bit of insight into the early (and apparently, never ending) "battle of theory's!"
                The Ampère Angular Force And the Newton Hoax by Laurence Hecht April 13, 2007:
                The Ampère Angular Force and the Newton Hoax

                Tesla's Magnifying Amplifier in terms of an EDQ model:
                THE SECRET OF THE TESLA’S COILS Author Goran Marjanovic year of publication unknown:
                TESLA METAMORPHOSIS , Tesla Healing Metamorphosis, Tesla Light Body Metamorphosis, Anya Petrovic, Nikola Tesla, free energy, Anja Petrovic, Tesla metamorfoza zdravlja, Tesla metamorfoza svetlosnog tela

                ... Dr.Meyl's theories and, more importantly, his "test device." See recent post links."

                There are many so called "rebuttals" to Meyl's postulation; but under closer scrutiny most fall short of refuting his approach upon closer examination. These remind us of the proverbial claims of "this thing can't work, it doesn't follow convention nor orthodoxy, there's a hidden battery somewhere, I just know it." As we may soon see however, it is possible and it can be explained by conventional engineering practice and technique. For example:

                Electric Scalar Waves - Review to MEYL’s Experiment André Waser June 28,2000:
      's%20Experiment%20%282000%29. pdf
                Commentary on three almost identical articles by K. Meyl

                An attempt to apply CAE (Ansoft HFSS) to a Tesla Tower simulation:
                Examining the Working Principle of the Tesla Tower, S. Plekhanov and L. Plekhanov, 2012
                Examining the Working Principle of Tesla Tower

                Website containing some excellent "conventional" approaches and discussion regarding the design of Tesla Coils and related "over-unity" methods:
                and Tesla Coil synthesis (as an example):

                Extremely frustrating when experimental evidence is before your eyes and you are unable to optimize it, let alone successfully repeat it, due to the lack of theory and mathematics required for a full understanding...

                It's been over a 150 years - what the hell is going on!


                • #9
                  I know the thing works because I have built it myself. So has Ernst. I've seen no evidence of "over-unity" but that's not the part that's in question. It just doesn't work the way Meyl says it works. It works like Tesla says it works.

                  For instance: The transmission is through the earth, not the air. Then Meyl goes on to talk about shielding the receiver (as he put his hand near the capacitance terminal) and observes as the reception diminishes (since his hand is adjusting the capacitance thus the tuning) which he calls "shielding", while the same is connected via a wire thus is immune from "shielding". He claims that a Faraday cage (and his hand which wouldn't stop any radio transmission anyway) should stop the transmission, while failing to recognise that the power is going UNDER the Faraday cage via the wire that he has connecting the transmitter to the receiver. There's no logic to his false information.

                  "Knowledge is cosmic. It does not evolve or unfold in man. Man unfolds to an awareness of it. He gradually discovers it." - Walter Russell

                  "Once men died for Truth, but now Truth dies at the hands of men." - Manly P. Hall


                  • #10
                    Dead End?

                    I'm impressed - it's a great skill being able to speed read with comprehension! Well done.

                    In closing, let me also recommend "Theoldscientist" material, both on his web page and youtube:

                    TheOldScientist | Powered by Vortices Dynamics


                    in particular the Tesla Coil matching videos and the dual Tesla Coil stuff.

                    Also; try this scenario (let it run until stable). Although a mathematical simulation; it does provide evidence that a Tesla Coil (TT) can indeed have gain (or however you choose to define it):


                    Take care and have good week...


                    • #11
                      It is sad to see the level of mathematical understanding today. If you read Meyls work and you can not identify the obvious errors he makes (as a Prof. Dr. Ing. !) then you will not be able to appreciate the work of Koen van Vlaenderen which is mathematically correct.
                      You can find his latest article here
                      Now, if you are looking for a correct and generalized version of the Maxwell equations you can find it here.

                      I will not comment on all the other nonsense as it seems to fall outside of the scope of this thread. Instead, again I would like to stress that if you want to understand what Tesla was doing, READ HIS WORK and READ IT AGAIN.



                      • #12
                        Dead End?

                        Ernst, you're kidding of course, right!

                        Koen van Vlaenderen (Institute for Basic Research, Palm Harbour, Florida), paper published/reviewed by "Universal Journal of Physics and Application."

                        First - the "Universal Journal of Physics and Application" are known/proven Science Spammers. They solicit (usually by email) review invitations (for money) and publish in dodgy journals/monographs. Some information at: entitled "Science Spammers." [see the bottom entry].

                        Second - Koen van Vlaenderen himself promotes, and attempts to mathematically prove, Longitudinal Waves; even though his math is simply flawed; he doesn't just simply add a missing component to Maxwell's equations as Meyl does, he screws the whole thing up!

                        A couple of the critical reviews of Koen van Vlaenderen, among the many:

                        "Summary: In my first review [2] of van Vlaenderen's article [1] I stated that his theory is not compatible with the Maxwell theory. Van Vlaenderen replied in [3] that he intended a modification of the Maxwell equations consciously. Therefore in the following this modification is checked. It turns out that van Vlaenderen modifies the inhomogenities of two Maxwell equations, the charge density ρ and the current density J. We obtain the following result: While ρ and J - as is well-known - fulfil the conservation law of charges, the same is not true for van Vlaenderen's modifications, which makes the physical relevance of van Vlaenderen's theory questionable.

                        "Summary: Recently Koen van Vlaenderen has introduced a "seventh field component" by generalizing the so-called Lorentz gauge condition with the aim of reviving Tesla's longitudinal electromagnetic waves. However, as we shall show below, that "seventh field component" is not appropriate for generating new solutions E, B of the Maxwell equations. It is completely superfluous. More, Van Vlaenderen's basic equations (1), (2), (3) contradict his equations (4), (5), (6) and (9) in general. Hence Van Vlaenderen's derived "Tesla"-results are not correct."

                        Your comment:
                        " I will not comment on all the other nonsense as it seems to fall outside of the scope of this thread. Instead, again I would like to stress that if you want to understand what Tesla was doing, READ HIS WORK and READ IT AGAIN."

                        Check your FACTS and SOURCES before attempting to inject your opinion as if your some kind of guru with "EXPERT KNOWLEDGE"...

                        You can let it go or keep digging, your choice, but this is certainly a waste of my time.


                        • #13
                          {detailed analysis of K. Meyl's demonstration apparatus and postulation}

                          The study of electromagnetic processes in the experiments of Tesla
                          Sacco and Tomilin, RAI, Center for Research and Technological Innovation (Turin, Italy), National Research Tomsk Polytechnic University (Tomsk, Russian Federation):


                          "In conclusion, we can say that the miniature experimental model of Meyl, cannot reproduce the whole experimental conditions of the original Tesla experiment. Obviously, those processes that take place at high voltage (high frequency), including those involving high slew-rates, cannot be reproduced. However, the simplified, down-scaled Meyl set-up revealed some interesting and unusual aspects .

                          Most of the phenomena reported by K. Meyl have been observed and confirmed by us. The only exception is the claim of superluminal propagation velocity of electroscalar waves. This hypothesis has not found theoretical nor experimental confirmation.

                          We performed many additional experiments that revealed interesting new facts, namely:

                          • the independence of attenuation of the distance between the transmitter and the receiver (at least at the main resonance in the experiment). This could open interesting perspectives for communication and power transmission;

                          • the conditions under which a Faraday cage does not screen the electromagnetic waves emitted by a spherical antenna.

                          The hypothesis that the signal is transmitted from the Faraday cage with the help of transverse electromagnetic waves (TM), which spread along the ground wire is not considered satisfactory, due to the lack of any observed TM mode impedance mismatch loss, through the Faraday cage.

                          The electroscalar waves model is a good theoretical tool with which explains the observed phenomena. A theory based on the generalized electrodynamics equations, adequately explains the mechanism of propagation of electromagnetic radiation and scalar waves. The processes occurring in the Tesla transformer, is well explained on the basis of representations of the vortex and potential electromagnetic processes. In particular, it is worth to be emphasized the role of the scalar magnetic field in the Tesla helical coils. ...."

                          Let me re-quote your quote: "again I would like to stress that if you want to understand what Tesla [Meyl] was doing, READ HIS WORK and READ IT AGAIN."

                          Since you already have built this device you might want to replicate the experiments contained in the above mentioned paper and then re-think your conclusions regarding Meyl and, in your words, his "childish incompetence."
                          Attached Files
                          Last edited by Solarlab; 12-05-2016, 07:02 PM.


                          • #14
                            The fact remains that Meyl is not doing what Tesla did.

                            Meyl doesn't give any account of length or distance, so how do you propose to measure any propagation velocity? Velocity along what?

                            A "spherical antenna" by its very geometry is a poor radiator of energy. That's precisely the reason that Tesla used it. That's precisely the reason why all radio transmitters employ a linear antenna sticking up in the air. It effectively radiates energy. Spheres do not.

                            The Faraday cage becomes part of the transmission line. That is why "the old scientist" can receive the signal on his AM radio inside a metal tin. The metal tin is what makes the reception possible.

                            Anyone who says that Meyl = Tesla obviously doesn't understand Tesla's work. And as I have already said, Meyl contradicts himself apparently without even noticing it. If you want to understand what Tesla was doing, read what Tesla said he was doing. Meyl is writing about what Meyl is doing.

                            "Knowledge is cosmic. It does not evolve or unfold in man. Man unfolds to an awareness of it. He gradually discovers it." - Walter Russell

                            "Once men died for Truth, but now Truth dies at the hands of men." - Manly P. Hall


                            • #15
                              Quote: "If you want to understand what Tesla was doing, read what Tesla said he was doing. Meyl is writing about what Meyl is doing." Profound indeed!

                              So; Ampere wrote about what Ampere was doing; Volta wrote about what Volta was doing; Faraday wrote about what Faraday was doing; Weber wrote about what Weber was doing; Maxwell wrote about what Maxwell was doing... and that's it?

                              Since Tesla left us with little theory and did not subscribe to conventional mathematics to any extent, Meyl and many others are merely trying to explain (codify) Tesla's genius so we might better understand and optimize his developments.

                              If Maxwell's equations in their original form, or their Heavyside reduced form, or by additional modification such as Meyl, and others, are attempting to formulate can assist then I welcome the effort. Slightly flawed or not.

                              Let's face it, Maxwell's equations do not correctly describe Capacitor functionality without the displacement current fudge nor the Dipole Antenna. However we still use them and his equations remain the accepted norm for electromagnetic understanding and design.

                              Sorry, but I don't get what all the fuss and opposition is. Has Meyl cheated or harmed you in some way?

                              Maybe you would be willing to explain, in detail (mathematically would be preferred) how all this Tesla stuff works. Heck I'm all ears...

                              BTW, longitudinal (scalar) velocity may well (appear to) be beyond the speed of light - possibly instantaneous - hard to measure with our instruments or techniques but the fellows at CERN are working on it!
                              Last edited by Solarlab; 12-05-2016, 09:47 PM.