V. The Magnifying Transmitter
這是特斯拉所設計的放大發射機（The Magnifying Transmitter；又稱Tesla Tower）
在紐約長島（Long Island）完成後的規劃圖。（資料來源：The Tesla Collaction）
As I review the events of my past life I realize how subtle are the influences that shape our destinies. An incident of my youth may serve to illustrate. One winter's day I managed to climb a steep mountain, in company with other boys. The snow was quite deep and a warm southerly wind made it just suitable for our purpose. We amused ourselves by throwing balls which would roll down a certain distance, gathering more or less snow, and we tried to outdo one another in this exciting sport. Suddenly a ball was seen to go beyond the limit, swelling to enormous proportions until it became as big as a house and plunged thundering into the valley below with a force that made the ground tremble. I looked on spellbound, incapable of understanding what had happened. For weeks afterward the picture of the avalanche was before my eyes and I wondered how anything so small could grow to such an immense size. Ever since that time the magnification of feeble actions fascinated me, and when, years later, I took up the experimental study of mechanical and electrical resonance, I was keenly interested from the very start. Possibly, had it not been for that early powerful impression, I might not have followed up the little spark I obtained with my coil and never developed my best invention, the true history of which I'll tell here for the first time.
"Lionhunters" have often asked me which of my discoveries I prize most. This depends on the point of view. Not a few technical men, very able in their special departments, but dominated by a pedantic spirit and nearsighted, have asserted that excepting the induction motor I have given to the world little of practical use. This is a grievous mistake. A new idea must not be judged by its immediate results. My alternating system of power transmission came at a psychological moment, as a long-sought answer to pressing industrial questions, and altho considerable resistance had to be overcome and opposing interests reconciled, as usual, the commercial introduction could not be long delayed. Now, compare this situation with that confronting my turbine, for example. One should think that so simple and beautiful an invention, possessing many features of an ideal motor, should be adopted at once and, undoubtedly, it would under similar conditions. But the prospective effect of the rotating field was not to render worthless existing machinery; on the contrary, it was to give it additional value. The system lent itself to new enterprise as well as to improvement of the old. My turbine is an advance of a character entirely different. It is a radical departure in the sense that its success would mean the abandonment of the antiquated types of prime movers on which billions of dollars have been spent. Under such circumstances the progress must needs be slow and perhaps the greatest impediment is encountered in the prejudicial opinions created in the minds of experts by organized opposition.
Only the other day I had a disheartening experience when I met my friend and former assistant, Charles F. Scott, now professor of Electrical Engineering at Yale. I had not seen him for a long time and was glad to have an opportunity for a little chat at my office. Our conversation naturally enough drifted on my turbine and I became heated to a high degree. "Scott," I exclaimed, carried away by the vision of a glorious future, "my turbine will scrap all the heat-engines in the world." Scott stroked his chin and looked away thoughtfully, as though making a mental calculation. "That will make quite a pile of scrap," he said, and left without another word!
就在前些日子，發生了一件令人沮喪的事情。我的一位朋友査爾斯．斯科特（Charles F. Scott）來到我的辦公室。他曾經是我的助手，現在是耶魯大學（Yale）電子工程系教授。我們好長時間沒有見面了，所以我很想和他盡情地聊一聊。很快，話題扯到了渦輪機上，我開始變得非常激動。“斯科特。”我大聲說道，仿佛看到了輝煌的未來，“我的渦輪機將讓世界上所有的熱力發電機成為廢銅爛鐵。”斯科特用手撫摸著下巴，若有所思地把臉轉了過去，仿佛在盤算著什麼。“那會出現如山的廢料。”他說道，並且沒再多說一句話就離開了！
These and other inventions of mine, however, were nothing more than steps forward in certain directions. In evolving them I simply followed the inborn sense to improve the present devices without any special thought of our far more imperative necessities. The "Magnifying Transmitter" was the product of labors extending through years, having for their chief object the solution of problems which are infinitely more important to mankind than mere industrial development.
If my memory serves me right, it was in November, 1890, that I performed a laboratory experiment which was one of the most extraordinary and spectacular ever recorded in the annals of science. In investigating the behaviour of high frequency currents I had satisfied myself that an electric field of sufficient intensity could be produced in a room to light up electrodeless vacuum tubes. Accordingly, a transformer was built to test the theory and the first trial proved a marvelous success. It is difficult to appreciate what those strange phenomena meant at that time. We crave for new sensations but soon become indifferent to them. The wonders of yesterday are today common occurrences. When my tubes were first publicly exhibited they were viewed with amazement impossible to describe. From all parts of the world I received urgent invitations and numerous honors and other flattering inducements were offered to me, which I declined. But in 1892 the demands became irresistible and I went to London where I delivered a lecture before the Institution of Electrical Engineers.
It had been my intention to leave immediately for Paris in compliance with a similar obligation, but Sir James Dewar insisted on my appearing before the Royal Institution. I was a man of firm resolve but succumbed easily to the forceful arguments of the great Scotsman. He pushed me into a chair and poured out half a glass of a wonderful brown fluid which sparkled in all sorts of iridescent colors and tasted like nectar. "Now," said he. "you are sitting in Faraday's chair and you are enjoying whiskey he used to drink." In both aspects it was an enviable experience. The next evening I gave a demonstration before that Institution, at the termination of which Lord Rayleigh addressed the audience and his generous words gave me the first start in these endeavors. I fled from London and later from Paris to escape favors showered upon me, and journeyed to my home where I passed through a most painful ordeal and illness. Upon regaining my health I began to formulate plans for the resumption of work in America. Up to that time I never realized that I possessed any particular gift of discovery but Lord Rayleigh, whom I always considered as an ideal man of science, had said so and if that was the case I felt that I should concentrate on some big idea.
演講結束後，我本打算立即趕往巴黎再進行一次類似的演講。但是，詹姆斯．杜瓦爵士（Sir James De-war）堅持要求我去皇家學會（Royal Institution）作報告。我是個意志堅定的人，但在這位偉大的蘇格蘭人苦口婆心的勸說下，我屈服了。他把我推到一把椅子裡，給我倒了半杯奇妙的褐色飲料。那種飲料閃爍著五彩斑斕的光芒，品嘗起來如瓊漿玉液一般。“現在。”詹姆斯說道，“你正坐在法拉第（Faraday）曾經坐過的椅子上，喝著他愛喝的威士卡。”（我對此並不十分感興趣，因為我已經不喜歡烈酒了。)於是，第二天晚上，我在皇家學會做了演講。結束的時候，瑞利勳爵（Lord Rayleigh）向聽眾們致辭，他的慷慨陳詞給了我極大的動力。我從倫敦“逃”到了巴黎，為了躲避人們的追捧，又從巴黎回到了家鄉。在家鄉的那段時間，我飽受了痛苦的考驗和疾病的折磨。
One day, as I was roaming in the mountains, I sought shelter from an approaching storm. The sky became overhung with heavy clouds but somehow the rain was delayed until, all of a sudden, there was a lightning flash and a few moments after a deluge. This observation set me thinking. It was manifest that the two phenomena were closely related, as cause and effect, and a little reflection led me to the conclusion that the electrical energy involved in the precipitation of the water was inconsiderable, the function of lightning being much like that of a sensitive trigger.
Here was a stupendous possibility of achievement. If we could produce electric effects of the required quality, this whole planet and the conditions of existence on it could be transformed. The sun raises the water of the oceans and winds drive it to distant regions where it remains in a state of most delicate balance. If it were in our power to upset it when and wherever desired, this mighty life-sustaining stream could be at will controlled. We could irrigate arid deserts, create lakes and rivers and provide motive power in unlimited amounts. This would be the most efficient way of harnessing the sun to the uses of man. The consummation depended on our ability to develop electric forces of the order of those in nature. It seemed a hopeless undertaking, but I made up my mind to try it and immediately on my return to the United States, in the Summer of 1892, work was begun which was to me all the more attractive, because a means of the same kind was necessary for the successful transmission of energy without wires.
The first gratifying result was obtained in the spring of the succeeding year when I reached tensions of about 1,000,000 volts with my conical coil. That was not much in the light of the present art, but it was then considered a feat. Steady progress was made until the destruction of my laboratory by fire in 1895, as may be judged from an article by T. C. Martin which appeared in the April number of the Century Magazine. This calamity set me back in many ways and most of that year had to be devoted to planning and reconstruction. However, as soon as circumstances permitted, I returned to the task.
在第二年的春天，我取得了第一個可喜的成就。我利用我的圓錐形線圈製造出了100萬伏電壓，我認為這是發生閃電所需要的電壓。我的研究進展一直都很順利。但是，1895年，我的實驗室在火災中毀於一旦。讀者可以從《世紀雜誌》（Centuiy Magazine）同年4月份刊載的T.C.馬丁（T.C. Martin）的一篇文章中獲得相關資訊。這場災難給我在許多方面帶來了慘重損失，那年的大部分時間我都用來重新規劃和重建實驗室。不管怎樣，條件具備以後，我又馬上投入了工作。
Although I knew that higher electro-motive forces were attainable with apparatus of larger dimensions, I had an instinctive perception that the object could be accomplished by the proper design of a comparatively small and compact transformer. In carrying on tests with a secondary in the form of a flat spiral, as illustrated in my patents, the absence of streamers surprised me, and it was not long before I discovered that this was due to the position of the turns and their mutual action. Profiting from this observation I resorted to the use of a high tension conductor with turns of considerable diameter sufficiently separated to keep down the distributed capacity, while at the same time preventing undue accumulation of the charge at any point. The application of this principle enabled me to produce pressures of 4,000,000 volts, which was about the limit obtainable in my new laboratory at Houston Street, as the discharges extended through a distance of 16 feet. A photograph of this transmitter was published in the Electrical Review of November, 1898.
儘管我知道，用大尺寸設備可以獲得更高的電動勢，但我本能地認為，通過對一個體積相對較小、結構緊湊的變壓器進行適當設計同樣可以達到這一目標。在使用平螺旋（flat spiral）繞組次級線圈進行實驗時，正如我在專利中說明的那樣，電子束沒有出現，這使我非常震驚。不久，我便發現，造成這一現象的原因是線圈II的位置及匝與匝之間的相互作用。根據這一發現，我重新使用了直徑較大的髙壓導體，保證匝間距充分抑制分佈電容，同時儘量防止任何位置出現電荷過分堆積。運用這一原理，我獲得了4百萬伏的電壓，這是在確保安全的前提下所能獲得的極限值。1898年11月份的《電氣評論》（Electrical Review）刊登了一張我在休士頓街（Houston Street）實驗室製造的發射器照片。（下圖）
In order to advance further along this line I had to go into the open, and in the spring of 1899, having completed preparations for the erection of a wireless plant, I went to Colorado where I remained for more than one year. Here I introduced other improvements and refinements which made it possible to generate currents of any tension that may be desired. Those who are interested will find some information in regard to the experiments I conducted there in my article, "The Problem of Increasing Human Energy" in the Century Magazine of June, 1900, to which I have referred on a previous occasion.
之後，我必須到戶外開闊空間進一步試驗。1899年春，在完成無線裝置建造準備工作之後，我去了科羅拉多（Colorado）並且在那裡逗留了一年多的時間。在那裡，我又進行了一些修改和完善，從而可以根據需要讓它產生任何強度的電流。1900年6月，《世紀雜誌》（Century Magazine）刊登了我的一篇文章 — 《關於不斷增加的人類能量的問題》（The Problem of Increasing Human Energy），此前我已經提到過它。如果讀者對我在科羅拉多所做的試驗感興趣的話，可以參考這篇文章。
I have been asked by the ELECTRICAL EXPERIMENTER to be quite explicit on this subject so that my young friends among the readers of the magazine will clearly understand the construction and operation of my "Magnifying Transmitter" and the purposes for which it is intended. Well, then, in the first place, it is a resonant transformer with a secondary in which the parts, charged to a high potential, are of considerable area and arranged in space along ideal enveloping surfaces of very large radii of curvature, and at proper distances from one another thereby insuring a small electric surface density everywhere so that no leak can occur even if the conductor is bare. It is suitable for any frequency, from a few to many thousands of cycles per second, and can be used in the production of currents of tremendous volume and moderate pressure, or of smaller amperage and immense electromotive force. The maximum electric tension is merely dependent on the curvature of the surfaces on which the charged elements are situated and the area of the latter.
由於《電氣實驗者》（ELECTRICAL EXPERIMENTER）雜誌的要求，要我在這個問題上明確說明，我將詳細介紹一下我的「放大變壓器」（Magnifying Transmitter），以便讀者能夠有個較為淸晰的認識。首先，它是一種帶有次級電路的諧振變壓器（resonant transformer）。次級電路中的元件具有很高的電勢，它們面積較大，沿著理想的、曲率半徑極大的包絡面（enveloping surfaces）依次排列，彼此之間保持著適當的距離，從而可以確保任何地方具有很小的表面電荷密度。這樣，即使導體處於裸露狀態，也不會產生漏電現象。這個放大變壓器適用於從每秒幾周到上萬周的任何頻率，可以用於生產電流量極大而電壓適中的電流，或者較小安培而電動勢極大的電流。電壓的最大限度完全取決於充電元件所在的曲面曲率以及元件面積。
Judging from my past experience, as much as 100,000,000 volts are perfectly practicable. On the other hand currents of many thousands of amperes may be obtained in the antenna. A plant of but very moderate dimensions is required for such performances. Theoretically, a terminal of less than 90 feet in diameter is sufficient to develop an electromotive force of that magnitude while for antenna currents of from 2,000-4,000 amperes at the usual frequencies it need not be larger than 30 feet in diameter.
In a more restricted meaning this wireless transmitter is one in which the Hertz-wave radiation is an entirely negligible quantity as compared with the whole energy, under which condition the damping factor is extremely small and an enormous charge is stored in the elevated capacity. Such a circuit may then be excited with impulses of any kind, even of low frequency and it will yield sinusoidal and continuous oscillations like those of an alternator.
Taken in the narrowest significance of the term, however, it is a resonant transformer which, besides possessing these qualities, is accurately proportioned to fit the globe and its electrical constants and properties, by virtue of which design it becomes highly efficient and effective in the wireless transmission of energy. Distance is then absolutely eliminated, there being no diminution in the intensity of the transmitted impulses. It is even possible to make the actions increase with the distance from the plant according to an exact mathematical law.
This invention was one of a number comprised in my "World-System" of wireless transmission which I undertook to commercialize on my return to New York in 1900. As to the immediate purposes of my enterprise, they were clearly outlined in a technical statement of that period from which I quote:
"The 'World-System' has resulted from a combination of several original discoveries made by the inventor in the course of long continued research and experimentation. It makes possible not only the instantaneous and precise wireless transmission of any kind of signals, messages or characters, to all parts of the world, but also the inter-connection of the existing telegraph, telephone, and other signal stations without any change in their present equipment. By its means, for instance, a telephone subscriber here may call up and talk to any other subscriber on the Globe. An inexpensive receiver, not bigger than a watch, will enable him to listen anywhere, on land or sea, to a speech delivered or music played in some other place, however distant. These examples are cited merely to give an idea of the possibilities of this great scientific advance, which annihilates distance and makes that perfect natural conductor, the Earth, available for all the innumerable purposes which human ingenuity has found for a line-wire. One far-reaching result of this is that any device capable of being operated thru one or more wires (at a distance obviously restricted) can likewise be actuated, without artificial conductors and with the same facility and accuracy, at distances to which there are no limits other than those imposed by the physical dimensions of the Globe. Thus, not only will entirely new fields for commercial exploitation be opened up by this ideal method of transmission but the old ones vastly extended.
The 'World-System' is based on the application of the following important inventions and discoveries:
1. The 'Tesla Transformer.' This apparatus is in the production of electrical vibrations as revolutionary as gunpowder was in warfare. Currents many times stronger than any ever generated in the usual ways, and sparks over one hundred feet long, have been produced by the inventor with an instrument of this kind.
2. The 'Magnifying Transmitter.' This is Tesla's best invention, a peculiar transformer specially adapted to excite the Earth, which is in the transmission of electrical energy what the telescope is in astronomical observation. By the use of this marvelous device he has already set up electrical movements of greater intensity than those of lightning and passed a current, sufficient to light more than two hundred incandescent lamps, around the Globe.
3. The 'Tesla Wireless System.' This system comprises a number of improvements and is the only means known for transmitting economically electrical energy to a distance without wires. Careful tests and measurements in connection with an experimental station of great activity, erected by the inventor in Colorado, have demonstrated that power in any desired amount can be conveyed, clear across the Globe if necessary, with a loss not exceeding a few per cent.
4. The 'Art of Individualization.' This invention of Tesla's is to primitive 'tuning' what refined language is to unarticulated expression. It makes possible the transmission of signals or messages absolutely secret and exclusive both in the active and passive aspect, that is, non-interfering as well as non-interferable. Each signal is like an individual of unmistakable identity and there is virtually no limit to the number of stations or instruments which can be simultaneously operated without the slightest mutual disturbance.
5. 'The Terrestrial Stationary Waves.' This wonderful discovery, popularly explained, means that the Earth is responsive to electrical vibrations of definite pitch just as a tuning fork to certain waves of sound. These particular electrical vibrations, capable of powerfully exciting the Globe, lend themselves to innumerable uses of great importance commercially and in many other respects.
The first 'World-System' power plant can be put in operation in nine months. With this power plant it will be practicable to attain electrical activities up to ten million horsepower and it is designed to serve for as many technical achievements as are possible without due expense. Among these the following may be mentioned:
(1) The inter-connection of the existing telegraph exchanges or offices all over the world;
(2) The establishment of a secret and non-interferable government telegraph service;
(3) The inter-connection of all the present telephone exchanges or offices on the Globe;
(4) The universal distribution of general news, by telegraph or telephone, in connection with the Press;
(5) The establishment of such a 'World-System' of intelligence transmission for exclusive private use;
(6) The inter-connection and operation of all stock tickers of the world;
(7) The establishment of a 'World-System' of musical distribution, etc.;
(8) The universal registration of time by cheap clocks indicating the hour with astronomical precision and requiring no attention whatever;
(9) The world transmission of typed or handwritten characters, letters, checks, etc.;
(10) The establishment of a universal marine service enabling the navigators of all ships to steer perfectly without compass, to determine the exact location, hour and speed, to prevent collisions and disasters, etc.;
(11) The inauguration of a system of world-printing on land and sea;
(12) The world reproduction of photographic pictures and all kinds of drawings or records."
I also proposed to make demonstrations in the wireless transmission of power on a small scale but sufficient to carry conviction. Besides these I referred to other and incomparably more important applications of my discoveries which will be disclosed at some future date.
A plant was built on Long Island with a tower 187 feet high, having a spherical terminal about 68 feet in diameter. These dimensions were adequate for the transmission of virtually any amount of energy. Originally only from 200 to 300 K.W. were provided but I intended to employ later several thousand horsepower. The transmitter was to emit a wave complex of special characteristics and I had devised a unique method of telephonic control of any amount of energy.
The tower was destroyed two years ago but my projects are being developed and another one, improved in some features, will be constructed. On this occasion I would contradict the widely circulated report that the structure was demolished by the Government which owing to war conditions, might have created prejudice in the minds of those who may not know that the papers, which thirty years ago conferred upon me the honor of American citizenship, are always kept in a safe, while my orders, diplomas, degrees, gold medals and other distinctions are packed away in old trunks. If this report had a foundation I would have been refunded a large sum of money which I expended in the construction of the tower. On the contrary it was in the interest of the Government to preserve it, particularly as it would have made possible—to mention just one valuable result—the location of a submarine in any part of the world. My plant, services, and all my improvements have always been at the disposal of the officials and ever since the outbreak of the European conflict I have been working at a sacrifice on several inventions of mine relating to aerial navigation, ship propulsion and wireless transmission which are of the greatest importance to the country. Those who are well informed know that my ideas have revolutionized the industries of the United States and I am not aware that there lives an inventor who has been, in this respect, as fortunate as myself especially as regards the use of his improvements in the war. I have refrained from publicly expressing myself on this subject before as it seemed improper to dwell on personal matters while all the world was in dire trouble.
在此，我希望澄清一個事實，此前廣泛流傳著一個謠言，說出於備戰考慮，政府拆毀了我的試驗塔。這一謠言會進一步加重某些人頭腦中的偏見，他們不知道政府授予我的美國公民檔三十年來一直被鎖在保險櫃裡。同時，政府為我頒發的嘉獎令、證書、學位、金質獎章和其他榮譽證明都被鎖在舊箱子裡。如果這個傳聞屬實的話，我將獲得一筆巨額賠償，因為為了建造這座試驗塔我投人了很多資金。正好相反，保護這個試驗塔，能更好地維護政府的利益。僅舉一例說明它的重要價值 — 利用它，政府可以確定一艘潛艇在世界任何地方的位置。一直以來，官方都在利用我的設備、服務、所有發明改造。歐洲爆發戰爭以來，為了國家利益，我犧牲了這一項目的研究時間，全身心地投入了航空導航、輪船動力、無線傳輸等發明工作中，所有這些對於美國來說都是至關重要的。消息靈通的人士都知道，我的發明促進了美國眾多行業的革命性發展。在此方面來看，我還不知道有哪一位發明家能夠像我如此幸運，尤其是我的發明在美國國防事業中獲得了十分廣泛的應用。此前，我一直克制自己，不希望在這一問題上發表意見。當整個世界正面對嚴重危機時，如果過分關注個人利益，我認為是不合適的。
I would add further, in view of various rumors which have reached me, that Mr. J. Pierpont Morgan did not interest himself with me in a business way but in the same large spirit in which he has assisted many other pioneers. He carried out his generous promise to the letter and it would have been most unreasonable to expect from him anything more. He had the highest regard for my attainments and gave me every evidence of his complete faith in my ability to ultimately achieve what I had set out to do. I am unwilling to accord to some smallminded and jealous individuals the satisfaction of having thwarted my efforts. These men are to me nothing more than microbes of a nasty disease. My project was retarded by laws of nature. The world was not prepared for it. It was too far ahead of time. But the same laws will prevail in the end and make it a triumphal success.
關於針對我的眾多謠言，我還要再多說兩句。有人說，約翰．摩根先生（Mr. J. Pierpont Morgan）對資助我的研究活動不感興趣，而是幫助了很多其他專家。事實上，他非常慷慨地履行了所有對我資助的承諾。在這種情況下，如果對他提出更多要求，是不合情理的。他對我的發明成就表現出了極大的尊重，對我計畫中的發明專案也表現出了絕對的信任。我不會讓那些思想狹隘、充滿嫉妒心的人阻礙我的工作，絕不會讓他們的陰謀得逞。對於我來說，這些人就如導致可怕疾病的細菌那樣令人厭惡。我的專案只是在自然法則的作用下暫時推遲了，目前的世界還沒有做好迎接它的準備。它遠遠超過了當前的時代，但是自然法則終將獲勝，我的項目終將成功。