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Re: TC Secondary Currents - was ( Experimental Help - Terry?)
Original poster: "Terry Fritz" <twftesla-at-qwest-dot-net>
At 04:20 PM 3/8/2002 +0000, you wrote:
>> I think there is some concern that because there is an equation
>> that explains something, that the equation is not "proof" of
>> underlying principles.
>Yes, I see what you mean. It is sufficient for our purposes to take
>it this way: we use Curl H = J + dD/dt because it describes nature,
>whereas Curl H = J doesn't. There are deeper reasons as you'd expect,
>and there are plenty of mature textbooks on the subject.
I think it is important that is "said" ;-) We sometimes take facts for
granted and forget to state that they are indeed facts. What is so obvious
to us may not be to all. Sometimes we need to state the obvious for their
>Have you no wish to draw a distinction between well established facts
>about nature and notions which are cranky because of their obvious
>defects? Don't we have some responsibility here to make a distiction
>between fact and fancy. I mean, suppose someone posts an item which
>is either nonsense or obviously wrong, we can either
>a) let it go through without challenge, and thus by our silence lend
>our tacit approval, thus confounding the audience which the list is
>supposed to inform. Surely learning about all the stuff needed to
>understand TCs is difficult enough without throwing in all sorts of
>imaginary and false concepts to muddle things up?
We definitely should not ignore things we know to be wrong! Many people
ask questions are inquire to things that are incorrect because they heard
them somewhere else. Often, we need to "bring them up to speed".
>b) respond to crank posts with thorough refutations and explanations.
I think we should respond to "well established" "ideas" that are wrong.
Especially ones that have endured for 100 years!!! The posters in this
case are well qualified to represent their views (which are long standing
beliefs in the field). They did not make them up 10 minutes before they
posted them. They know the subject and can present us with the details we
need to establish a theory we can all agree too. If "everyone" agreed on
the longitudinal wave matter, we would be ahead of where we are now by 50
years. Only by hearing them out and demonstrating that we can explain
their concerns with "our" idea will we ever hope to win them over. On the
other side of the coin, they will not win "us" over by saying it is true
because "Tesla believed it and wrote it in his notes" ;-)) Personally, I
could care less if the longitudinal wave thing is true are not. If
Maxwell's equations disintegrate this afternoon, I will simply study why
and go on with life. No big deal... The displacement current thing is
neat because it surprised me a bit :-)) I am glad Richard brought that up
and convinced me of a few things :-)) None of my "cherished beliefs" were
shattered ;-) Richard knew were to pick his battles in this case :-))
>c) keep posts that assume incorrect or un-established physics off the
Most "strang physics" we will never see... I could introduce you to a few
other lists..... But there are some incorrect ideas about Tesla coils that
are "well established" and go on and on. We cannot simply discount it by
saying it is wrong. You have no idea how many times I have heard that
something is true because "Tesla wrote it in his Colorado Springs Notes".
In many ways, we would have been better off without finding them. Telling
people it is wrong because it is written correctly in "Kraus and Carver"
gets you nowhere either. Saying something is wrong is useless, you also
have to show them the right way. Telling someone the 1/4 wave theory does
not work and even giving examples does not go far. However, telling them
how they can find it to 1% and fully explaining how it is done pretty much
puts the old idea to rest. Telling someone that a resonator theory is
wrong did nothing but open the door for a "new" explanation... A paper
like yours provides a "replacement" for the wrong idea that seems essential
to discard the old idea. Once that is done, ideas that endure for decades
can be ended in days... It IS hard, but we are killing BIG dinosaurs here!!
>Personally, I'm not keen on (a) at all. If folk come to this list
>expecting to be informed about TCs, then that's what they should get.
>Do you really want to see people forking out a lot of dosh for
>expensive current sensors believing that they will break the
>academic establishment's conspiracy over displacement currents? Are we
>doing folk a favour by standing by and watching them spend days
>winding a difficult coil in the hope of reproducing some non-existent
We can't stop them from experimenting in areas they want to learn about...
If they do a good job, they will arrive at the "right" answer
independently. Occasionally, they will claim the right answer as "their"
discovery :-))) "I" however, am glad I didn't spend much time looking for
the magnetic fields of displacement currents ;-)) I have learned to take a
>As for (b), it generates a huge volume of useless traffic,
>and takes up a lot of time. The spectrum of crank topics is vast - must
>we digress to revalidate every well established physical law,
>responding respectfully to every ridiculous notion put forward? In
>the long run this doesn't work - the true believers will keep on
>plugging away no matter how utterly they are refuted.
There are two factors here. First, the vast majority of such topics never
make it to the list. Those that do while maybe seeming "odd" are here
because they have endured too long and are too widespread to ignore anymore.
Second, experimental proof is king! We can argue all day and night about
"ideas". But many of us are more than capable of actually testing those
ideas. Rest assured, many people do not post things to the Tesla list in
"fear" of easily being proven wrong. There is a section of our hobby that
does not like the Tesla list because their ideas simply will be shredded
here. Far safer to boast of the great idea in a less critical list. I
think many of use here, when we have an idea, post it to see what others
think without concern if it is right or wrong. We just want to know the
true answer. Some of us have been successful and crushed too many times to
care about that little detail anymore :-)) Knowing a true answer and
moving on is a far better reward. One of the common experiments that
solves a lot of "problems" in wireless energy transmission is the two coil
experiment described in the recent science fair project. You can easily
demonstrate that a second coil connected only to ground is getting energy
from the first and even making sparks!! I usually ask them to see how far
(miles) they can transmit the energy. I rarely here back as to the
results. I always hope they were not too saddened at only getting maybe 5
to 10 feet away. If they have the tools they can plot the power vs.
distance curve and see if it fits any known theory... The discussions of
the experiments and how well it "should" demonstrate wireless energy
transmission are long. The discussions of the results are short...
>I vote for (c) because it is simple, fair, and requires no effort
>(from me at least!). Budding geniuses with revolutionary new physics
>can take their ideas to some other forum where folk are better
>qualified to deal with them, so it's better for them, and it means
>that your list members gain some assurance that the stuff coming their
>way is reliable.
General laws of physics (like Dave's C^2 idea) need to be discussed by
physics people, not us. We can't solve ideas like that which take far more
specific knowledge that "we" can supply to such a broad area. If Dave does
come up with a new principle, it's acceptance will be automatic and
unstoppable. We will learn of it soon enough. However, if an idea is
specific to Tesla coiling and is not totally unfounded, we should take a
pass at it. Of course, no one is required to take on the challenge. If
you don't want to play, just hit the good o'l delete key ;-) Others among
us are usually happy to take on a new idea (waiting like alligators in the
>> I think we all learned something
>The time would have been better spent sitting down with a textbook
>for an hour or so.
I think the recent discussions have inspired many to do just that! I have
all my electrostatics book out now. One even mentioned longitudinal waves
in passing. Don't worry, I burned it! :o))
>Lets drag the study of TCs out of the 19th century, through the 20th,
>and plonk it down firmly in the 21st. There are lots of genuine
>frontiers to tackle and if we make a policy of starting from the known
>laws of physics as an essential and firm foundation, we'll be in a
>good position to make progress. I think that every other attempt to
>gather a reliable body of knowledge about TCs has ultimately been
>brought down by the infiltration of pseudoscience, and I'm kind of
>hoping that the pupman list has reached a quorum where it can break
>through that barrier and earn a reputation as a place that carries
>good engineering based on sound science.
Tesla coiling has long been hindered by old theories and beliefs. This
list makes a habit of challenging and dispelling those inaccurate things
that seem to endure for so long. Only a few short years ago the best
theories about resonator behavior were from the Corrums. Those ideas were
15 years old!! However, with your great help we finally ended that long
(and painful) battle. However, the Corrums ideas WERE a very important
step in the process of finally resolving the matter. The secondary wire
length theory was well discarded from the beginning but still hung around
for close to 100 years!!
So WHY???? Why do these things last so long when the are so wrong?
I think it is because we all too simply ignore them instead of challenging
them. It is far easier to believe the writing of Tesla in the Colorado
Springs Notes than to pick up a fields book and learn the modern
electrostatics behind Tesla coils. Most coilers, (this one too) got their
Tesla coiling theories from the Colorado Springs Notes and a few other
sources before any electromagnetics book. I (like Tesla) carefully went
though the equations one by one to come up with the wrong answers just like
he did ;-)) You will not find Tesla coils discussed in any electrostatics
book!! That is a bazaar statement... Why don't electrostatics books
discuss Tesla coils? Because, until recently, if the author's wanted to
search for supporting information, they only found "trash". There was no
science to be found to include about them in a text book. Few authors know
enough about Tesla coils to even dare trying to "make" the science behind
them to print. You do see odd mentions here and there like the authors
ready "wanted" to include them, but they could not :-(
When the day comes that electromagnetic theory is taught by using a Tesla
coil as an example, we will have truly arrived in the 21st century!! We
are racing along well, But we are not there yet...
>If you where a high school physics teacher, could you honestly
>recommend pupman as a place for a student to find out about TCs?
I think they can (and do!) learn a lot about TC's. I don't think they will
learn electrostatics here. But they will learn why electrostatics is
important to learn ;-))
You come into our hobby with a fresh perspetive Paul. I don't think you
realize the giant inertia of old outdated ideas that this field carries
with it. Fortunately, your perspective is able to see through more than
most of us that have been "swimming" in it for too long ;-)) Want to know
how many coilers "I" think still go by wire length (including the 90- 95%
of coilers NOT on this list). I bet it is 90%!! Lots of books have been
written but none recently on Tesla coils. Do you know why? "I" think it
is because everyone is now afraid that by the time a book hits print it
will be wrong and everyone will know it thanks to the Internet. We no
longer have self proclaimed gurus with secret knowledge fighting the
conspiracy to keep the truth secret. Rest assured that the old myths of
Tesla coiling are on the run and dropping like flies. But the battle is a