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Tesla's Inventions

Show Archive
Date: Tuesday - July 16, 2013
Host: George Noory
Guests: W. Bernard Carlson, Dr. David Hanscom

Professor at the University of Virginia, W. Bernard Carlson discussed how Nikola Tesla was a major contributor to the electrical revolution at the turn of the 20th century, and one of America's first celebrity scientists. Though Tesla is currently in vogue, he was largely forgotten about for a number of decades after his death in 1943. Born in what is now Croatia in 1856, Tesla initially worked for Thomas Edison's branch in Paris, before coming to the US. Compared to Edison, Tesla was more of a thinker, while Edison was a tinkerer. Tesla "would visualize inventions in his mind...he had a three dimensional imagination," and was able to work out a lot of the details in his head, Carlson explained.

Tesla and Edison had a falling out, and Tesla took his arc-lighting system for streetlights elsewhere. One of his most impressive inventions was a motor that ran off AC, and he sold his patent for it to George Westinghouse in 1888, which set the stage for how we produce and consume electricity today. Tesla also worked with Westinghouse on the construction of the hydroelectric power plant at Niagara Falls. "Before Tesla there was only electric lighting, after Tesla you have electric light and power," Carlson noted.

In the mid 1890s, Tesla was as admired as Edison, and got a lot of press coverage and attention. During this time he developed the Tesla Coil, a high frequency high voltage transformer used to produce electricity. He also contemplated wireless power in this period, with the idea that electrical energy could be pumped into the earth to make the earth resonate, and serve as a power source by putting a pipe or wire into the ground as a conduit for the energy. He worked on the wireless concept up until 1905, when he had a nervous breakdown, Carlson detailed. Toward the end of the his life in the 1930s, Tesla began to talk about a particle beam weapon or "death ray" that could shoot down planes, and it was later revealed he'd created a preliminary design for it.

Chronic Pain Issues

First hour guest, orthopedic spinal surgeon Dr. David Hanscom talked about the problem of chronic pain. He's found that it's linked to rage developed around the feeling of being trapped by the pain. Chronic pain can be alleviated by building up or stimulating alternate pathways in the brain that can bypass the path the pain travels in, he suggested. Hanscom also commented on a report that hospital admissions for pediatric chronic pain is up 831% over the last 7 years, with teenagers especially affected.

News segment guest: Jerome Corsi

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Bumper Music

Bumper music from Tuesday July 16, 2013

  • 1979
    Smashing Pumpkins