blank blank
blank blank blank
Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
Tesla Dr. Dennis Papadopoulos blank
Home Life and Legacy Inside the Lab Tesla for Teachers Discussions Resources
stripes
blank blank blank blank
blank
blank Dr. Dennis Papadopoulos blank Selections from interview with
Dr. Dennis Papadopoulos
Professor of Physics, University of Maryland
Senior Science Advisor, H.A.A.R.P
(High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program)
blank
blank
paper top
paper left

Tesla's Importance

Tesla was a genius because way before anybody knew or even understood the earth and what we call today the ionosphere, which is a layer of ionized particles about 80 kilometers above the earth, he conceived it, and he tried to use it to produce a variety of new concepts.

Tesla is extremely underrated. I mean, there are a lot of people that don't know Tesla today. And that includes physicists, I would say. Although the Tesla unit is extensively used, and the Tesla coil which is one of his most ingenious inventions, it's also extensively used.

Wireless Transmission

We have wireless transmission of energy all the time. The people that are listening to your TV station are listening to wireless transmission of power. The issue is, how much power can you transmit through empty space. And how can you channel it, because... if you think of a lake and you drop a pebble, what you are going to see is that this disturbance you make dies as you go around because it moves in two dimensions. If you make it into a channel, then it lasts longer and longer. So the wireless transmission of energy is to try and find the channel, so that the energy doesn't spread all over the place, but it goes in a particular direction. Tesla understood, before knowing — before satellites and the other discoveries — realized that there was a conductor above the earth because the sun creates a set of ionized particles so we have the ground which is a conductor, and above that we have another conductor at about 80 kilometers and if you send radio waves of low frequency they get combined in that channel and they can propogate, and this is called the earth ionospheric wave guide. Without any knowledge he visualized that. And he said, since I have this wave guide, I can repeat what I am doing in the laboratory.

His major defect was that he was dreaming but he was doing very few calculations on paper. Because on paper he could have realized that because the dimensions of the wave guide, are so enormous, you can transmit power, but not very much power. You can transfer power to hear the radio, or for television, or for a telephone. But once you want to start turning on lights in which you really need high currents, the power gets diluted because the space is very large. It's a standard defect of dreamers, geniuses, not like Einstein, the other type of geniuses, the inventors, who visualize things, but have difficulty putting numbers [on paper]. And actually, I think that was his downfall.

Propogating Current

There are two ways of propogating. One is by bouncing between the earth and the ionosphere, which means that you create a current on the earth, and a current in the ionosphere, and that's what carries it. So you get two charges positive and negative and they move along.

The second one is, you forget the ionosphere, and the current is carried only by the earth... Both modes of propagation have been very fine, we know that. The problem with both modes in terms of really sending a lot of energy, is they attenuate a lot. When you have current, if the earth and the ionosphere were superconductors, wonderful, we'd be able to do it. But they are poor conductors. So what happens is a lot of energy goes into heating the ground or heating the ionosphere. So when I'm going to send energy from Long Island to Paris, I'm going to loose a lot.

(Tesla's) idea of propagation is perfectly valid... Tesla's intuition was absolutely unbelievable. Because we had problems really persuading people about this concept in the 70s... And Tesla, without knowledge of satellites or solar UV radiation, all those things, he could really visualize the correct mode of propagation. Stunning.

HAARP

HAARP is the latest ionospheric modification facility, ionospheric heater. It's nothing more than a radio station, which sends power at 10 megahertz — television, for example PBS, is at 100 megahertz. HAARP sends power at between 3 and 10 megahertz, and sends it up in the ionosphere. What happens is it operates like a microwave oven. As soon as it finds ionized particles, charged particles which start existing at 70 kilometers, this electric field shakes them up and down. When they shake up and down they collide with a lot of neutral particles and it makes them hotter. So, the region where you are focusing your energy... becomes hotter than the rest of the region. That changes the property of the medium.

There are three things I can think about Tesla when I'm talking about this particular project. The first ... we should think of Tesla every time we look at a microwave oven; again the radiation frequency of the microwave oven and the concept of the microwave oven was Tesla's.

The second thing is, it is a frequency transformer. Tesla, with the Tesla coil, changes one frequency to another frequency. What we are doing up there, we're taking at 5 megahertz a frequency which radiates in the ground and we transform it into 1 hertz, 5 hertz, 10 hertz, or whatever it is. So we have really a frequency transformer similar to what Tesla was thinking. Third, and most important, once we create the waves they propagate exactly the way Tesla conceived it through the earth ionosphere waveguide.

Changing the Weather

Tesla proposed that it might be possible to modify the weather, by using radio waves. I believe that this is impossible. I mean if I take really the most powerful facility, in the world, which is actually the Voice of America, and I look at the power that it sends, it's about one billionth of the power in a tornado. So it is the equivalent of trying to have a fly stop a tank. It's impossible, energetically, with radio waves. There is another reason: radio waves do not couple to the neutral atmosphere, they go straight through. So it's impossible in terms of energy, it's impossible in terms of physics.

It's pure nonsense that any radio facility even a million times stronger than HAARP would be able to change the weather.

Inspiration

I have been inspired by Tesla. The man thought big, he had revolutionary ideas. He was a risk taker, he had high risk, high payoff ideas. You expect, if you're lucky, to have one percent of these ideas be true, then you've made a tremendous contribution. Tesla had much more than one percent of his ideas being true. I would be lucky if I had one percent of my ideas being utilized, even one hundredth of what Tesla has succeeded.

blank
Discussions Index
paper right
paper top
blank stripes Screensaver Stripes Production Overview Boutique Stripes blank
Promotional support provided by: