Nikola Tesla, the Obscure Genius


Myself By T.V. Antony Raj


“When I saw this wonderful man [Thomas Alva Edison], who had had no training at all, no advantages, and who did it all himself, and saw the great results by virtue of his industry and application – you see, I had studied a dozen languages … and had spent the best years of my life ruminating through libraries. I thought to myself what a terrible thing it was to have wasted my life on those useless things, and if I had only come to America right then and there and devoted all of my brain power and inventiveness to my work, what could I not have done?” (Nikola Tesla, in My inventions: My early life. Electrical Experimenter; February 1919)

Nikola Tesla

Nikola Tesla

Nikola Tesla, a Serbian-American, was born in what is now Croatia on July 10, 1856. He was a physicist, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, an inventor, and futurist. He is best known for his contributions to the design of the modern alternating current (AC) electricity supply system.

During his lifetime, Tesla obtained about 300 patents for his inventions. Today, we take many of his inventions for granted today. For example, we owe Tesla for the flip switch when we turn on the light.

Tesla was one of the few inventors who contributed to advances in science and engineering in the early 20th century. As one of the fathers of Electricity, Nikola Tesla did pioneering work on alternating current (AC) power system, electromagnetism, hydroelectric power, radio, radar etc.

Tesla gained experience in telephony and electrical engineering before he immigrated to the United States in 1884.

In 1882, Nikola Tesla started working for two years at the Continental Edison Company in France designing and making improvements to electrical equipment. In June 1884, Tesla relocated to New York City. During his trip across the Atlantic, his ticket, money, and some of his luggage were stolen. Then, mutiny broke out on the ship and he was nearly thrown overboard. When he landed in the United States he had only four cents in his pocket, a letter of recommendation from Charles Batchelor, the English engineer who managed the Continental Edison Company in Europe.

Thomas Alva Edison

Thomas Alva Edison

Tesla met Edison. Knowing the famous American inventor had a hearing problem spoke up and introduced himself. He produced the brief message from Batchelor.

Edison snorted after glancing at the brief message. “I know two great men and you are one of them,” Batchelor had written. “The other is this young man!

A rumpled, weary, and deeply skeptical Edison asked Tesla what he could do.

Tesla humbly described the engineering work he had done in France, and spoke of his designs for induction motors that could run smoothly and powerfully on alternating current. Edison, however, knew very little about alternating current and believed it to be the work of the devil. Edison was a man with bigot, who in the past had waged a propaganda war against the gas companies stating the use of gas as a source of power would endanger humans due to possible explosions.

Eventually, Edison hired Tesla to work at the Edison Machine Works in New York.

One year later after a disagreement over emoluments, Tesla struck out on his own. With financial backers, he set up laboratories and companies to develop a range of electrical devices that sparked the long-running, and bitter “War of the Currents.”

Laboratory where TEsla and Westinghouse engineers developed apparatus for AC systems.

Laboratory where Tesla and Westinghouse engineers developed apparatus for AC systems.

George Westinghouse used Tesla’s patented AC induction motor and transformer under license and hired him as a consultant to help develop a power system using alternating current.

Tesla is also known for his high-voltage, high-frequency power experiments in New York and Colorado Springs. His patented devices and theoretical work were used in the invention of radio communication, and in his X-ray experiments.

At that time, James S. Warden, a western lawyer and banker had purchased land in Shoreham, Long Island, about 60 miles from Manhattan. Here, he built a resort community known as Wardenclyffe-On-Sound. Warden believed that with the implementation of Nikola Tesla’s “world system” a “Radio City” would arise in the area. He offered Tesla 200 acres (81 ha) of land close to a railway line on which to build his wireless telecommunications tower and laboratory facility. In 1901, Tesla designed the Wardenclyffe Tower also known as the Tesla Tower, an early wireless transmission tower intended for commercial trans-Atlantic wireless telephony, broadcasting, and proof-of-concept demonstrations of wireless power transmission. It never became fully operational and the tower was demolished in 1917.

Tesla with his achievements and his seemingly miraculous inventions and his abilities as a showman became world-famous. Though he reaped much money from his patents, he also spent a lot on numerous experiments. For most of his life he lived in New York hotels. Finally, the end of his patent income and eventual bankruptcy led him to live in diminished circumstances. Even then, Tesla continued to invite the press to parties he held on his birthday to announce new inventions he was working on. Due to his pronouncements and the nature of his work over the years, Tesla gained a reputation as the archetypal “mad scientist”.

Though Nikola Tesla was one of the world’s greatest inventors, as fate would have it, he died penniless and in obscurity on January 7, 1943 in room 3327 of the New Yorker Hotel.

Monument for f Nikola Tesla at the entrance to the “Cave of the Winds” at Niagara Falls.

This monument to honour Nikola Tesla near the entrance to the “Cave of the Winds” on Goat Island (Niagara Falls State Park), New York, USA, the work of famous Croatian sculptor Krsinic was the gift of Yugoslavia to the United States, 1976. (Photo: T.V. Antony Raj – August 3, 2012)





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What Do You See?

Myself . By T.V. Antony Raj

Wake up, wake up … Your privacy is compromised.

What Do You See?

A mosquito?

NO! You are absolutely wrong.

On close scrutiny you will notice that this is something else – an “INSECT SPY DRONE”.

This tiny drone can be controlled from a great distance. It is equipped with a camera and microphone. It can land on you, and if needed, use it’s needle to take a DNA sample of you. The priclk, and the subsequent pain will be akin to that of a mosquito bite. Also, it is possible to inject into you, under your skin, a micro RFID tracking device.

It can enter your home by landing on you, attach on to your clothing until you take it inside your home; or it can fly into your home through a window.

This is already in production, funded by the US Government. Now, who is the real enemy?



This renaissance is just a fairy tale

English: Internationally recognized symbol. De... Nuclear power plant symbol Fukushima *

Reproduced from 

Author: Nityanand Jayaraman

June 15, 2012

The unpredictable financial implications of constructing, running, decommissioning plants and handling risks are causing a global rethink on nuclear energy

For a professed proponent of liberalisation and free trade, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s penchant for a technology that cannot float without subsidies is telling. Nuclear power’s unfavourable economics are not lost on Dr. Singh.

Recently, Westinghouse Electric and Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to negotiate the setting up of AP1000 reactors in Gujarat, ending a slump in interest from the Toshiba subsidiary in India’s nuclear market. For Toshiba’s Westinghouse and other nuclear equipment suppliers, the Civil Nuclear Liability Act’s clause on supplier liability was the key hurdle to investing in India. The companies wanted the Indian government to insulate them from the financial fallouts of any potential disaster caused by their technology by spreading that liability among taxpayers. The recent MoU suggests some progress in moving towards this goal.

More obstacles remain, though. Nuclear projects are un-bankable. The government may deploy mental health specialists to deal with the fears of Kudankulam protestors. But those shrinks are unlikely to be able to allay the fears of financiers or nuclear equipment suppliers.

According to nuclear energy expert Peter Bradford, “The most implacable enemy of nuclear power in the past 30 years has been the risk not to public health but to investors’ wallets. No nuclear power project has ever bid successfully in a competitive energy market anywhere in the world.” Mr. Bradford was member of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and chair of the New York and Maine electricity regulatory commissions. He teaches a course on nuclear power at the Vermont Law School.

Second thoughts

Unpredictable financial implications associated with constructing, running, decommissioning plants and handling nuclear risks are causing a rethink on nuclear energy worldwide. But these developments seem to slip by India without so much as causing a ripple.

Germany and Switzerland have decided to phase out nuclear power, despite their substantial dependence on it. Israel abandoned its year-old civilian nuclear programme after Fukushima. Belgium revived a pre-Fukushima decision to phase out nuclear power, using the Japanese disaster as a reminder. Italy and Kuwait gave up their nuclear debut by abandoning plans for 10 and four plants respectively. Mexico dropped plans for constructing 10 plants. All of Japan’s 54 reactors are now closed, and plans for 14 new reactors killed.

The story of nuclear energy’s unviability is told not just by the actions of naysayers, but also by the experiences of those — like Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iran, Turkey, Vietnam and South Africa — pursuing nuclear programmes. All of them want the nuclear option, but have no idea how they will finance it.

If the U.S. is Dr. Singh’s inspiration, then the so-called nuclear renaissance’s trajectory in that country gives even more cause for despair. In 2009, the U.S. declared a nuclear revival with promises of more than 30 new reactors. Today, most of these projects are doomed. Even candidates for federal loan guarantees such as the South Texas project, and the Calvert Cliffs-3 project in Maryland, have been mothballed.

State governments in the U.S. do not seem to share the Federal Government‘s enthusiasm for nukes. Bills to reverse moratoria on nuclear plants in Minnesota, Kentucky and Wisconsin failed last year. In Missouri, North Carolina and Iowa, legislators defeated bills to charge electricity consumers in advance to finance reactors.

“At the time of Fukushima, only four countries — China, Russia, India and South Korea — were building more than two reactors. In these four nations, citizens pay for the new reactors the government chooses to build through direct subsidies or energy price hikes,” Bradford notes.

Finland was among the few that reiterated its commitment to nuclear power after the Fukushima disaster. The 1,600 MW Olkiluoto nuclear plant uses French company Areva‘s technology. Areva’s modular design was expected to make it faster and cheaper to build. But 11 years later, the project is behind schedule and its $4.2 billion budget is up now by 50 per cent. After Fukushima, Areva admits that the same plant would cost $8 billion. Even Areva’s home project, in Flamanville, France, has suffered a $4 billion cost overrun and a four year delay. Indeed, 31 out of 45 reactors that were being constructed globally around 2009 were either delayed or did not have official dates for commissioning, says a report for the German Government by consultant Mycle Schneider.

In India

In Kalpakkam, meanwhile, the Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor was slotted to contribute to the grid in March 2012. In 2005, Baldev Raj, Director of the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research, Kalpakkam, boasted that the 500 MW unit will be completed in 2010, 18 months before schedule. Till date, there is no sign of this happening. The Kudankulam plant, which is now 23 years old since conception, lost only eight months due to protestors.

In Jaitapur too, the government has more to worry about than local protestors. Areva, the technology supplier, is in trouble. Last year, it announced losses of €1.6 billion, and the sacking of 1,200 workers in Germany. Last June, it decided to suspend production at a Virginia reactor component plant due to declining market prospects. Its expansion plans in France, the United Kingdom, and the U.S. may never materialise. Areva expected to sell 50 nuclear reactors this decade. It has not received a single order since 2007.

Now, with a socialist president at the helm in France, Areva’s future looks even more uncertain. French President François Hollande had promised voters a reduction in nuclear dependence from 75 to 50 per cent, and shutdown of an aging reactor in Fessenheim. Whether or not he carries through with these promises, it appears certain that no new plants will be built or planned during his term. Both conservative-led Germany and socialist France will make up the shortfall from the nuclear phase-out, by investing in renewables for electricity and new jobs. In replacing nuclear with renewables, these nations are declaring that despite its carbon dividend, nuclear is too risky — financially, politically and environmentally — to pursue.

(Nityanand Jayaraman is an independent writer and volunteer with the Chennai Solidarity Group for Kudankulam Struggle.)

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Dear Prime Minister, Your Advisors on Nuclear Energy Are Lying to You !!

 Reproduced from

Antinuclear logo


Dr. Manmohan Singh
The Prime Minister of India,

Dear Prime Minister,

As per some press reports (The Hindu May 16, 2012) you told the Parliament on Wednesday 16/05 that,

“Germany, which had announced that it would close down all its all nuclear plants by 2022, bought electricity from France, a country that relied heavily on atomic energy.”

But this is just the opposite of the truth!

Since 2004, France has always been a net importer of electricity from Germany. The quantity of electricity purchased by France from Germany every year has been between the equivalent production of one or two nuclear reactors.

2004 : 8,7 TWh

2005 : 9,6 TWh

2006 : 5,6 TWh

2007 : 8,2 TWh

2008 : 12,6 TWh

2009 : 11,9 TWh

2010 : 6,7 Twh

You can find this information here (and use internet translation from French to English if required):

And you can further verify the information from the original source (RTE, the French government-owned power distribution company) in the links quoted in the article.

Please note that, although some sources in the previous French government had predicted that Germany would start becoming a net importer of electricity from France after they decided in 2011 to shut down in a planned manner their oldest nuclear plants, this prediction did not happen, and during the last winter, Germany was not only self-sufficient after closing 8 nuclear reactors, but was even capable to help “Atomic France”.

The information is in the same website as above, and the original data can be also verified.

Dear Prime Minister, I don’t know from where you get information on nuclear energy, but from now on, please connect yourself to the internet and personally check the facts about nuclear energy. You may object that as Prime Minister you are too busy to get educated on nuclear energy.  But in the present situation, it is possible that there may be no other way for taking wise decisions on this issue which is so crucial, not only for the economy but for the future of us all on this earth.

It took me 10 minutes of internet search to find the details above!

There are plenty of serious websites, in all languages, from where the information can be cross-checked and verified.

Respectfully Yours,

Laurent Fournier
1/22-E Chittaranjan Colony
Jadavpur, Kolkata-32

For the record, this is the press report from where I read your
statement in Parliament.

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An Open Letter to the People of Russia from Millions of Indian Citizens.

An Open Letter to the People of Russia

Dear Sisters and Brothers of Russia:


We, several millions of people from the southernmost tip of India, are writing to you to send our love and seek your support for the peaceful and nonviolent struggle that we have been waging for the past nine months against the Koodankulam nuclear power project (KKNPP). This mega nuclear power park is being built with Russian loan and technology against the will and wishes of the local people.

The Indian authorities have not conducted any public hearing to seek our permission or consent for this project. They have not shared the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Report, the Site Evaluation Study, and the Safety Analysis Report with our people. After a long and hard struggle of more than 22 years, we have just obtained a copy of the EIA report which is outdated and so full of inaccuracies and incomplete information.

After two years of application and appeal, we have just got an order from the Center Information Commission (CIC) of India that we must have copies of the Site Evaluation Study, and the Safety Analysis Report to ensure and enhance public safety. The Site Evaluation Study is very important because there are some undisclosed secrets about the siting of the reactors 1 and 2. The Russian scientists and engineers had strong objections over the Indian engineers’ and scientists’ shifting the sites from the ones that the former had chosen for the reactors 1 and 2. It was reported here in the local newspapers that the Russians had left the project site in disgust but the entire episode was covered up by the officials here. And they have refused to divulge any information until now.

Similarly, the authorities refuse to give us a copy of the Safety Analysis Report saying that it contains proprietary information of the Russian company, Atomstroyexport (ASE). Please understand that we are not interested in any such information but the rest of the report is important for our safety and security. The Indian authorities refuse to give this report also.

Our people have no information about the Koodankulam project and whatever little information we have is in English which most people in our area do not understand. Moreover, the authorities have not given us any disaster training or evacuation exercise to safeguard our families in case of an accident at the Koodankulam site. With high and dense population in our area, we desperately need complete safety and evacuation drills.

Our expert team claims that there are serious hydrology, geology, oceanography and seismology issues involved in the Koodankulam nuclear project and hence we demand a complete and thorough probe into all these issues. After all, this area has been hit by the 2004 tsunami, and there have been several small to big earthquakes in the Indian Ocean rendering the Koodankulam site vulnerable. But the Indian authorities summarily reject our legitimate demand to study these concerns. Similarly, both the Indian and the Russian governments have signed a secret Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) on liability and they refuse to share a copy of that with us. Our officials are silent about the amount and management of the nuclear waste from the Koodankulam project also.

There are credible reports that the Indian Intelligence Bureau (IB) chief is making frequent visits to Moscow and taking orders from the KGB. Already the Russian Ambassador to India has been interfering in the internal affairs of India by making unwanted statements about our energy policy issues and other related subjects.

Please do understand that we want your country to prosper and become strong. We also like our country to do business with Russia at the bilateral level and through multilateral institutions such as RIC, BRICS etc. But we certainly do not want any business in the dangerous nuclear sector. Would you please request your lawmakers not to support the Koodankulam nuclear power project or more reactors in India. We desperately need your kind cooperation and help to safeguard the right to life and livelihood of millions of our fisherfolks, farmers, workers, women, youth and children.

Let us together secure the interests of our children and grandchildren and leave a clean, green and safe Earth for them all. Looking forward to your support and solidarity, we send you our best regards and all peaceful wishes.


Millions of Indian Citizens

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Video: Pendulum Waves

Harvard students built a device with a series of 15 uncoupled simple pendulums of monotonically increasing lengths. They then set them in motion and the result is the pendulums dancing together to produce visual traveling waves, standing waves, beating, and (seemingly) random motion.

The period of one complete cycle of the dance is 60 seconds. The length of the longest pendulum has been adjusted so that it executes 51 oscillations in this 60 second period. The length of each successive shorter pendulum is carefully adjusted so that it executes one additional oscillation in this period. Thus, the 15th pendulum (shortest) undergoes 65 oscillations.

This apparatus was built from a design published by Richard Berg [Am J Phys 59(2), 186-187 (1991)] at the University of Maryland. The particular apparatus shown here was built by Nils Sorensen.

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