The Tesla method began with the “disruptive discharge”. This disruptive discharge was more like an explosive charge, a blast whose effects lasted for a controllable time increment. Successions of these blasts were possible only when sufficient disruption was maintained. The Tesla magnetic arc disrupter was the chief tool of this process, a heavy duty discharge device which yet finds its use in military power applications. This gap could be adjusted, and was held apart at a distance of several inches. The large polished spheres were often made of steel. Other models featured heavy curved horns, often bimetallic. With one made of carbon and the other of copper, the bimetallic combination maintained a rectified condition in the applied current. This effectively blocked any possible backrush possibly induced by the capacitor discharge. Tesla originally used atmospheric pressure to resist the instantaneous formation of arcs across the heavy gap space of this component. He later experimented with various high pressures and different gases. Each experiment provided new and unexpected disruption effects.
Victorian researchers such as Sir John Rayleigh discovered the truly strange behavior of nitrogen gas when electrified. Tubes filled with nitrogen retained their electrified state for a long time after the current source had been removed. Glowing with a strange peach colored light, many wondered whether this might not be a natural aetheric process in action. Tesla investigated nitrogen gas as an atmosphere for his disrupter because it seemed to contain an essential secret. Perhaps it would release a more uncontaminated aetheric current for his primaries. The extraordinary efficiency of the magnetic arc disrupter in developing aetheric currents derived from several principles. Tesla saw that electrical current was really a complex combination of aether and electrons. When electricity was applied to the disrupter a primary fractioning process took place. Electrons were forcibly expelled from the gap by the strong magnetic influence. The aether streams, neutral in charge, remained flowing through the circuit however. The magnetic disrupter was his primary means for fractionating the electrons from the aether particles.
In his later developments, Tesla described arc radiopower devices which employed pure nitrogen plasmas. Electrified with the power of a high voltage DC generator, these magnetic ducted devices fired explosive blasts of nitrogen plasma. To this day, no vacuum tube radiogenerator can ever approach the pure power obtained through such high powered nitrogen arc disrupters. Applying this kind of “blast” to circuitry produced a host of unexpected effects. When the blast was applied to thick copper strapping, stray electrons were apparently thrust out of the current flow. These plasma blasts often leaped up to a height of twenty feet, a violent and totally unexpected response. In some cases this disrupter produced bluewhite lightning like discharges, an action which proved the expulsion of electronic currents from the primary circuit (Lehr). Yet, within the gap could be seen a dense stream of whitefire; a stream of purified aether gas.
There was a reason why nitrogen worked best in this capacity. It was an electron “absorber”. Electronic charge was best absorbed and carried out of the current when nitrogen gas was employed. Magnetic thrusting drove the electronic charge away, the cause of bluish lightning-like bolts, Copper produced far too much electronic charge, the discharges difficult to restrain. There had to be a material which would pass aether without adding electrons through bombardment. Tesla found that the use of carbon was well-suited to this purpose. Carbon proved to have the greatest effect in maintaining a purified aether state in the “cleansed” streams. Tesla replaced all the copper with carbon, finding that the unmanageable lightning bolts were substantially reduced in size. This potent device utilized two large ball-shaped carbon electrodes which were highly polished (Lehr).
Magnetically cleansed of their accompanying electron populations, Tesla began to discover the phenomena accompanying aetheric currents. Here was renewed evidence that electrical current was indeed a complex mixture of particles. Once a well expressed and well endorsed theory, the notion of current as a complex combination of streaming particles, was not limited to electrons. In fact, no one knew exactly what electrical carriers were. In this lack of definition, many anomalous such discoveries ensued; a study absolutely required for those who would claim to be qualitative researchers.
Furthermore, this view explained all “action at a distance”. The “tension” in space between electrostatically charged objects was viewed as a literal streaming flow of aether particles from positive to negative. The static charges themselves were thought to be “constrictions” through which space flowing aether could be automatically directed. Electrostatic charge was equated with aether pressures. Electrostatic fields were viewed as rectified streams of aether. The “dielectric field”, the “dielectricity” of which so many now speak, was once held to be a streaming of aether particles among charged bodies. But no one knew how to release that aether stream from the adhesive electron sheaths in which aether remained naturally imprisoned. Luigi Galvani had intimated the “atmosphere” or “aura” of metals when, in 1620, he found that large metal plates could exert powerfully penetrating effects on the heart and respiration, as well as induce sleep or vitality. These effects were greatly magnified when grounded or elevated above ground. In these early discoveries, there remained new mysteries.
Being that aether streams flowed do powerfully between strong electrostatic charges, some posited the possibility of deriving energy from the flow. All attempts however at interrupting and sufficiently resisting such directed streams proved hopeless. Aether was very obviously able to be stopped by no natural material! Tesla began to believe that it was only the lack of appropriate materials and systems which prevented the pure use of this momentum stream; a puzzle which baffled Dr. Joseph Henry and Michael Faraday. Because their available materials, metals, were capable only of operating on the more gross electrons, technology had been shaped and limited.
Magneto-induction was the result of limits imposed by existing technology. Magneto-induction used electrons and not aether to effect force exchanges. Because electrons were not ultimate particles, not the ultimate particles generated in Nature, they could not supply an endless source of momentum. These induction devices had to be moved to produce motion! Tesla already saw the directions in which his technology could move. The elimination of electrons from aether currents already provided him with uncommon activities. Uncommon at least from the standpoint of pure “electric” or “electrical” phenomena, here were effects which could find no resolution in electrical science. This was aether physics, the foundation of an unknown and unexplored realm. Tesla knew that the resultant technology from this realm would change the world in more ways than even he could yet realize.
- PROLOGUE — Symbols and Models
- CHAPTER 2