Tesla’s Radiant Energy System

In the July 10, 1932 Brooklyn Eagle, Tesla claims: I have harnessed the cosmic rays and made them operate the propulsion device. Cosmic ray research is a subject very close to my heart. I was the first to invent these beams and I naturally feel that they are close to me, as if they were made of my flesh and blood. I have developed the theory of cosmic rays, and at every step of my research I have found it to be quite valid. The attraction of cosmic rays lies in their permanence. They rain down on us 24 hours a day, and if a device is developed to harness their energy, there will be no need for the energy storage devices that are necessary for devices that harness the forces of wind, tide, or sunlight.

All my research has led me to the conclusion that there are small particles, each carrying such a small charge that it is reasonable to call them neutrons. More than 25 years ago, I began my efforts to harness cosmic rays, and now I can claim to have been successful in developing a propulsion device that harnesses their energy. To put it in the most general terms, cosmic rays ionize the air, releasing many charged ions and electrons. These charges are captured by a capacitor which is discharged through the motor circuit. I had hoped to build a large-scale engine, but circumstances are not conducive to the realization of my plan.

Tesla claims to have invented a device to harness cosmic energy:

„This new power for driving machines will be derived from the energy that controls the universe, cosmic energy, of which the sun is the central source for the earth, and which is everywhere present in unlimited quantities.“

This scheme is Tesla’s first receiver of radiant energy. It collects static electricity from the air and converts it into a livable form. Tesla’s invention is a simple version of T.H. Moray’s device. Moray’s device used a unique rectifier (RE-electron) to efficiently capture static electricity from the surrounding air. Moray’s oscillating tubes (magnetron converters) used this high-voltage energy to generate an internal secondary „cold“ fusion reaction.

A rod antenna, erected in the air, the higher the better, was connected to one pin of the capacitor, its other pin was grounded. A switching device was connected in parallel to the capacitor, which periodically discharged it, resulting in an oscillating electrical output. T. H. Moray simply extended Tesla’s idea of using high voltage to create ionic oscillations.

Tesla’s concept of free energy was patented in 1901 as the „Apparatus for harnessing radiant energy“. The patent refers to „the sun, as well as other sources of radiant energy, such as cosmic rays,“ so that the apparatus works even at night when cosmic rays are available. Tesla also refers to the earth as „a vast reservoir of negative electricity.“

Tesla was fascinated by radiant energy and the possibilities of free energy. He called the Crooke radiometer – a device with blades that rotate in a vacuum when exposed to radiant energy – „a beautiful invention.“ He believed it would be possible to harness energy directly. On his 76th birthday, at the annual ritual of the press conference, Tesla announced the invention of a „motor powered by cosmic rays.“ When asked if it was more powerful than Crooke’s radiometer, he replied, „A thousand times more powerful.“

In 1901, Tesla was one of the first to recognize „radiant energy.“ Tesla says the source of this energy is our sun. He concluded that the sun emits small particles, each carrying a charge, which move at high speeds, exceeding the speed of light. Tesla further claims that these particles are neutrons. Tesla believed that these neutrons were responsible for all radioactive reactions. Radiant matter is in resonance with these particles. Radiant matter is simply a transducer of one form of energy into another.

How the radiant energy receiver worked

The electrical potential that exists between the plate placed at height (plus) and ground (minus) charges the capacitor. The energy stored in the capacitor is discharged at appropriate intervals and can do work. The capacitor, says Tesla, should have a considerable capacity, and its dielectric should be made of the highest quality mica to withstand potentials that could damage weaker dielectrics.

Tesla offers different variations of the switching device. One is a rotary switch that resembles Tesla’s control circuit, another is an electrostatic device that consists of two very lightweight membrane-like conductors placed in a vacuum. These wires are connected to a capacitor so that one has a positive potential and the other a negative potential. Due to electrostatic forces, these conductors are attracted together until the capacitor is discharged. Tesla also mentions another switching device, which consists of a small air gap or weak dielectric film that breaks through when a certain potential is reached.

Tesla received two patents for his device, „Apparatus for the Utilization of Radiant Energy“, patent number 685,957, which was filed on March 21, 1901 and granted on November 5, 1901. The second patent, which was filed and granted on the same dates as the first, was number 685,958. In these patents Tesla explains:

„The sun, as well as other sources of radiant energy, shed minute particles of positively charged matter which fall on the upper plate, which is constantly receiving an electric charge. The opposite pin of the capacitor is connected to the earth, which can be considered as a huge reservoir of negative electricity. A weak current of electricity is constantly flowing into the capacitor, and as the particles are charged to a very high potential, this charging of the capacitor can continue, as I have actually observed, almost indefinitely, even to the point of breaking through the dielectric.“

Electrostatic charge of the Earth

Tesla’s interest was to concentrate energy between the earth and the upper atmosphere and transform it into an electric current. He depicted the Sun as an immense ball of electricity, positively charged with a potential of about 200 billion volts. The Earth, on the other hand, is charged with negative electricity. The enormous electric force between these two bodies constitutes, at least in part, what we call cosmic energy. Its magnitude varies with the time of day and the season, but it is always present.

The positive particles are stopped by the ionosphere, and between it and the negative charges of the earth, over a distance of 60 miles, there is a huge potential difference of the order of 360,000 volts. With the gases of the atmosphere acting as an insulator between these two opposing „stores“ of electric charge, the region between the earth and the edge of space is a reservoir of enormous amounts of energy. Despite the large size of the planet, it behaves electrically like a capacitor, storing positive and negative charges, using air as an insulator.

The Earth has a charge of 96,000 coulombs. With a potential of 360,000 volts, the earth forms a capacitor with a capacitance of 0.25 farads (farads = coulombs/volts). If the formula for calculating the energy stored in a capacitor (E = 1/2CU^2) is applied to the earth, we find that the surrounding medium contains 1.6 x 1011 joules or 4.5 megawatt hours of electrical energy. To harness this high voltage energy, we need to do two things – create an energy drop and then figure out a way to let this energy drop oscillate.

„Zero point energy?“

We have to create a place in a lower energy state than the surrounding medium and, in order for energy to continually flow into it, energy must be continually drawn out of it. In addition, this lower energy point must be constantly maintained at this lower energy level while meeting the energy requirements of the connected load. Electrical energy, wattseconds, is the product of volts x amps x seconds. Since the oscillation period does not change, either volts or amps must be a variable in this system energy equation. Bifilar winding coils are used in the system because these coils maximize the voltage difference between the turns while the current is minimized.

The coil in our system will then be put into oscillation at its resonant frequency by an external energy source. During the „zero point“ of the cycle, the coil will appear as a single plate capacitor. As the voltage across the coil increases, the amount of charge it can draw will increase. The energy that is fed into the coil through the energy window (zero point) appears to be the key to the success of this system. It is at this zero point where the energy is split into positive and negative components of the current. When energy escapes from this drop in the magnetic field, strong magnetic oscillations are created. A properly tuned system can capture and convert radiant energy.

Energy directly from the atom

The radiant energy system is a self-oscillating capacitive system. Once put into oscillation, it uses very little energy to maintain it. Since it is an electrostatic oscillating system, it moves a very small amount of charge per cycle, that is, the amount of coulombs per second = ampere is small.

Tesla’s patent number 512,340, „Coil for Electromagnets“, is a very special coil design because, unlike an ordinary coil wound on, say, a cylinder, this one uses two wires side by side, but the end of one is connected to the beginning of the other. In this patent, Tesla explains that the double coil stores many times more energy than a conventional coil [1]. Measurements of two coils of the same size and with the same number of turns, one single, the other with bifilar windings, show different voltages. These Tesla bifilar coils can only be explained on the basis of their electrical activity. A bifilar coil is capable of holding more charge than a single-winding coil. When operating in resonance, the distributed capacitance of the bifilar coil is able to overcome the electromotive force of the coil, the inductive reactance.

Because there is no electromotive force in the bifilar coil to prevent current flow, the voltage across the coil increases rapidly. In doing so, only a small amount of work is done. Since there is only a small heat loss, the oscillations are maintained by the excess charge generated by the catalytic reactions of the atoms, and energy is drawn from the kinetic moments of these charges. The very low energy losses make it possible to supply energy to the electrical load over a fairly long period of time without an external power source. After the initial supply of energy from an external source, the electric generator will operate as a very efficient device.

Looking back in history, it is understandable why some inventions are not commercialized. It is economics, not science, that is the main factor. It is well known that in Tesla’s time there was strong opposition to alternating current from powerful financiers.

Michael Pupin writes in his autobiography:

„The captains of industry feared that they would lose their investments in direct-current machines and the factories to make them if the alternating-current system gained support. In the early 1890s (19th century), ignorance and misconceptions prevailed among most Americans because the captains of the electrical industry paid little attention to highly qualified scientists.“

Philadelphia Public Leader, November 2, 1933: Tesla ‚harnesses cosmic energy‘

Inventor announces discovery of fuel substitute for propulsion machines. He says the main source is the sun. The principle by which power for propulsion machines could be derived from cosmic energy was discovered by Nikola Tesla, the renowned physicist and inventor of scientific devices, it was announced today. Based on this principle, energy is drawn from a source he described as „present everywhere in unlimited quantities“, which can be transmitted by wires or wirelessly from central facilities to anywhere on the globe and will eliminate the need for coal, oil, gas and every other common fuel, he said. In a statement at his hotel today, Dr. Tesla indicated that the time is not far off when this principle will be ready for commercial use. Asked if the sudden introduction of his principle would upend the current economic system, Tesla replied, „It is already badly upended.“ He added that now, as never before, is a time ripe for the development of new sources. „While theory today calls for the production of energy in central facilities that require huge machines, I am able to develop a plan for its use by individuals. The central source of cosmic energy for the Earth is the sun, Dr. Tesla said, but „night will not interrupt the flow of new energy.“

It’s clear that Tesla wasn’t talking about a nuclear reactor. He was directly converting ionized particles generated by radiant matter. that’s not nuclear power as we know it today. Radiant energy is directly converted into electrical energy! Tesla believed that the sun generates highly charged particles and that radiant matter merely mediates the transfer of energy; it is this transfer of energy that can be used for practical purposes.


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