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On Light and Other High Frequency Phenomena Nikola Tesla

On Light and Other High Frequency Phenomena

Nikola Tesla

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Scanned, proofed and corrected from the original hardcover edition for enjoyable reading. (Worth every penny spent!)***An excerpt from the beginning of Chapter 6:6. On the Light Phenomena Produced by High Frequency Currents of High Potential, andMoreScanned, proofed and corrected from the original hardcover edition for enjoyable reading. (Worth every penny spent!)***An excerpt from the beginning of Chapter 6:6. On the Light Phenomena Produced by High Frequency Currents of High Potential, and General Remarks Relating to the Subject.Returning now to the light effects, which it has been the chief object to investigate, it is thought proper to divide these effects into four classes: 1. Incandescence of a solid. 2. Phosphorescence. 3. Incandescence or phosphorescence of a rarefied gas- and, 4. Luminosity produced in a gas at ordinary pressure. The first question is, How are these luminous effects produced? In order to answer this question as satisfactorily as I am able to do in the light of accepted views, and with the experience acquired, and to add some interest to this demonstration, I shall dwell here upon a feature which I consider of great importance, inasmuch as it promises, besides, to throw a better light upon the nature of most of the phenomena produced by high frequency electric currents. I have on other occasions pointed out the great importance of the presence of the rarefied gas, or atomic medium in general, around the conductor through which alternate currents of high frequency are passed, as regards the heating of the conductor by the currents. My experiments described some time ago have shown that the higher the frequency and potential difference of the currents, the more important becomes the rarefied gas in which the conductor is immersed, as a factor of the heating. The potential difference, however, is, as I then pointed out, a more important element than the frequency. When both of these are sufficiently high, the heating may be almost entirely due to the presence of the rarefied gas. The experiments to follow will show the importance of the rarefied gas, or generally of gas at ordinary or other pressure, as regards the incandescence or other luminous effects produced by currents of this kind.I take two ordinary fifty-volt sixteen candle power lamps which are in every respect alike, with the exception that one has been opened at the top and the air has filled the bulb, while the other is at the ordinary degree of exhaustion of commercial lamps. When I attach the lamp which is exhausted to the terminal of the secondary of the coil, which I have already used, as in experiments illustrated in Fig. 15a, for instance, and turn on the current, the filament, as you have before seen, comes to high incandescence. When I attach the second lamp, which is filled with air, instead of the former, the filament still glows, but much less brightly. This experiment illustrates only in part the truth of the statements before made. The importance of the filaments being immersed in rarefied gas is plainly noticeable, but not to such a degree as might be desirable. The reason is that the secondary of this coil is wound for low tension, having only 150 turns, and the potential difference at the terminals of the lamp is therefore small. Were I to take another coil with many more turns in the secondary, the effect would be increased, since it depends partially on the potential difference, as before remarked. But since the effect likewise depends on the frequency, it may be properly stated that it depends on the time rate of the variation of the potential difference. The greater this variation, the more important becomes the gas as an element of heating. I can produce a much greater rate of variation in another way, which, besides, has the advantage of doing away with the objections which might be made in the experiment just shown, even if both the lamps were connected in series or multiple arc to the coil, namely, that in consequence of the reactions existing between the primary and secondary coil, the conclusions are rendered uncertain. This result I secure by charging from an ordinary transformer, which is fed from the alternating current supply station, a battery of condensers, and discharging the latter directly through a circuit of small self-induction, as before illustrated in Figs, 19a, 19b, 19c.In Figs. 22a, 22b and 22c, the heavy copper bars B B1, are connected to the opposite coatings of a battery of condensers, or generally in such way that the high frequency or sudden discharges are made to traverse them. I connect first an ordinary fifty-volt incandescent lamp to the bars by means of the clamps c c. The discharges being passed through the lamp, the filament is rendered incandescent, though the current through it is very small, and would not be nearly sufficient to produce a visible effect under the conditions of ordinary use of the lamp.