Flash of Genius: The Story Behind the Tesla Coil

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So what’s the story behind the Tesla coil?

Nikola Tesla (1856-1943) was an inventor, electrical engineer, physicist and one of the true “mad scientists” of history. Following his pioneering work in the late 1880s with iconic inventors Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse on direct and alternating current electrical systems, Tesla (seen above in his own lab) dreamed of providing electricity wirelessly to everyone. To that end, his patented resonant transformer circuits — later dubbed “Tesla coils” — were used to demonstrate the possibilities of wireless electricity delivery. An eccentric and possibly deranged man, Tesla died penniless in 1943.

flash of genius 2 300x337 Flash of Genius: The Story Behind the Tesla Coil 01. Toroid
A metal donut (or sometimes a sphere) that serves as the discharge point for the coil’s high-voltage output.

02. Secondary Coil
A winding of metal wire that receives the resonating charge and multiplies the voltage.

03. Primary Coil
A circular winding of metal wire that resonates the charge created by the capacitors.

04. Spark Gap
A switch composed of electrodes that will momentarily connect the capacitors to the primary coil once a sufficient charge has been stored.

05. Capacitors
Stores electrical power for discharge.

06. Power Supply
An alternating current (AC) source, usually a high-voltage  transformer, used to charge the capacitors.

Read about what the Omega Recoil group is doing with Tesla coils today.

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