Category: quotes

Regular

poopdoggydogg:

drnikolatesla:

“I never have, above my signature, announced anything that I did not prove first. That is the reason why no statement of mine was ever contradicted, and I do not think it will be, because whenever I publish something I go through it first by experiment, then from experiment I calculate, and when I have the theory and practice meet I announced the results.”

–Nikola Tesla

(Tesla explaining his wireless art in a pre-hearing interview with his legal counsel in 1916 to protect his radio patents from the Guglielmo Marconi and the Marconi Company.)

“Nikola Tesla On His Works With Alternating Currents and Their Application to Wireless Telegraphy, and Transmission of Power.” Twenty First Century Books, Breckenridge, Colorado, 2002.

Facts!!!

Regular

“I never have, above my signature, announced anything that I did not prove first. That is the reason why no statement of mine was ever contradicted, and I do not think it will be, because whenever I publish something I go through it first by experiment, then from experiment I calculate, and when I have the theory and practice meet I announced the results.”

–Nikola Tesla

(Tesla explaining his wireless art in a pre-hearing interview with his legal counsel in 1916 to protect his radio patents from the Guglielmo Marconi and the Marconi Company.)

“Nikola Tesla On His Works With Alternating Currents and Their Application to Wireless Telegraphy, and Transmission of Power.” Twenty First Century Books, Breckenridge, Colorado, 2002.

Regular

Nikola Tesla was asked how long would it take for the transmission of energy, by his system, to travel around the world?

“The exact time is, according to my measurements, 43-1000 of a second, which is a speed about 50 per cent greater than that of light.

“The impulse starts from my magnifying transmitter with infinite speed, slows first rapidly and then at a lesser rate until, when it has penetrated to a distance of 6000 miles from the transmitter, it proceeds with approximately the speed of light. From there on it accelerates, first slowly and then more rapidly, and reaches the opposite point of the globe again with infinite speed only to rebound and pass through the same phases on its way back to the transmitter.

“This movement of electricity through the Earth, which takes place strictly in accordance with a mathematical law, and enables a great number of accurate measurements and determinations to be made, which are of immense practical and scientific value.”

–Nikola Tesla

“Nikola Tesla For The First Time Describes His New System For Supplying Wireless Power To Run All The Earth’s Industries.” By Marcel Roland. New York American, September 3, 1911.

Regular

Tesla Coil:

*Method of transformation of electrical energy by oscillatory condenser discharge. It was predicted that this apparatus afforded vast possibilities and would play an important part in the future.*

“This type of apparatus is identified with my name as certain as the law of gravitation is with that of Newton. I know that some have claimed that Professor Thomson also invented the so-called Tesla coil, but those feeble chirps ne’er went beyond Swampscott. Professor Thomson is an odd sort of man; very ingenious, but he never was a wireless expert; he never could be. Moreover, it is important to realize that this principle is universally employed everywhere. The greatest men of science have told me that this was my best achievement and, in connection with this apparatus I may say that a lot of liberties have been taken. For instance, a man fills this space [break D] with hydrogen; he employs all my instrumentalities, everything that is necessary, but calls it a new wireless system – the Poulsen arc. I cannot stop it. Another man puts in here [referring to space between self-inductive lines L L] a kind of gap – he gets a Nobel prize for doing it. My name is not mentioned. Still another man inserts here [conductor B] a mercury[-arc] rectifier. That is my friend Cooper Hewitt. But, as a matter of fact, those devices have nothing to do with the performance.

“If these men knew what I do, they would not touch my arrangements; they would leave my apparatus as it is. Marconi puts in here [break D] two wheels. I showed only one wheel; he shows two. And he says, “See what happens when the wheels are rotated; a wonderful thing happens!” What is the wonderful thing? Why, when the teeth of the wheels pass one another, the currents are broken and interrupted. That is the wonderful thing that happens? The Lord himself could not make anything else happen unless he broke his own laws. So, in this way, invention has been degraded, debased, prostituted, more in connection with my apparatus than in anything else. Not a vestige of invention as a creative effort is in the thousands of arrangements that you see under the name of other people – not a vestige of invention. It is exactly like in car couplings on which 6,000 patents have been taken out; but all the couplings are constructed and operated exactly the same way. The inventive effort involved is about the same as that of which a 30-year-old mule is capable. This is a fact.

“This is one of the most beautiful things ever produced in the way of apparatus: I take a generator of any kind. With the generator I charge a condensing. Then I discharged to condenser under conditions which result in the production of vibrations. Now, it was no sense Lord Kelvin that the condenser this charge would give this vibration, but I perfected my apparatus to such a degree that it became an instrument utilizable in the arts, In a much broader way than Lord Kelvin had contemplated as possible. In fact, years afterwards when Lord Kelvin honored me by presenting to the British Association one of my oscillators of a perfected form, he said that it was "a wonderful development and destined to be of great importance.”

–Nikola Tesla

(Tesla explaining his wireless art in a pre-hearing interview with his legal counsel in 1916 to protect his radio patents from the Guglielmo Marconi and the Marconi Company.)

“Nikola Tesla On His Works With Alternating Currents and Their Application to Wireless Telegraphy, and Transmission of Power.” Twenty First Century Books, Breckenridge, Colorado, 2002.

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Nikola Tesla Refuted Our Present Understanding of Radio Waves

Believed in a gaseous ether proven by experiments

“Heinrich Hertz undertook his experiments from 1887 to 1889. His object was to demonstrate a theory postulating a medium filling all space, called the ether, which was structureless, of inconceivable tenuity and yet solid and possessed of rigidity incomparably greater than that of the hardest steel. He obtained certain results and the whole world acclaimed them as an experimental verification of that cherished theory. But in reality what he observed tended to prove just its fallacy.

I had maintained for many years before that such a medium as supposed could not exist, and that we must rather accept the view that all space is filled with a gaseous substance. On repeating the Hertz experiments with much improved and very powerful apparatus, I satisfied myself that what he had observed was nothing else but effects of longitudinal waves in a gaseous medium, that is to say, waves, propagated by alternate compression and expansion. He had observed waves in the ether much of the nature of sound waves in the air.

Up to 1896, however, I did not succeed in obtaining a positive experimental proof of the existence of such a medium. But in that year I brought out a new form of vacuum tube capable of being charged to any desired potential, and operated it with effective pressures of about 4,000,000 volts. I produced cathodic and other rays of transcending intensity. The effects, according to my view, were due to minute particles of matter carrying enormous electrical charges, which, for want of a better name, I designated as matter not further decomposable. Subsequently those particles were called electrons.

One of the first striking observations made with my tubes was that a purplish glow for several feet around the end of the tube was formed, and I readily ascertained that it was due to the escape of the charges of the particles as soon as they passed out into the air; for it was only in a nearly perfect vacuum that these charges could be confined to them. The coronal discharge proved that there must be a medium besides air in the space, composed of particles immeasurably smaller than those of air, as otherwise such a discharge would not be possible. On further investigation I found that this gas was so light that a volume equal to that of the earth would weigh only about one-twentieth of a pound.

The velocity of any sound wave depends on a certain ratio between elasticity and density, and for this ether or universal gas the ratio is 800,000,000,000 times greater than for air. This means that the velocity of the sound waves propagated through the ether is about 300,000 times greater than that of the sound waves in air, which travel at approximately 1,085 feet a second. Consequently the speed in ether is 900,000 x 1,085 feet, or 186,000 miles, and that is the speed of light.

As the waves of this kind are all the more penetrative the shorter they are, I have for years urged the wireless experts to use such waves in order to get good results, but it took a long time before they settled upon this practice.

Although the world is still skeptical as to the feasibility of my undertaking, I note that some advanced experts, at least, share my views, and I hope that before long wireless power transmission will be as common as transmission by wires.“

Nikola Tesla

According to Mr. Tesla, the present broadcasting station does not propagate Hertzian waves, as has always been supposed, but acts more like an “ether whistle” – transmitting waves through the ether similar to the waves transmitted by an ordinary whistle through the air. He also expressed his disbelief in the Heaviside layer, and claimed that the reflection of waves back toward the earth was due to the change of medium encountered at the vacuous boundary of the atmosphere.

“Nikola Tesla Tells of New Radio Theories.” New York Herald Tribune, September 22, 1929.

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The mind is sharper and keener in seclusion and uninterrupted solitude. No big laboratory is needed in which to think. Originality thrives in seclusion free of outside influences beating upon us to cripple the creative mind. Be alone, that is the secret of invention; be alone, that is when ideas are born. That is why many of the earthly miracles have had their genesis in humble surroundings.”

–Nikola Tesla

“Tesla Sees Evidence Radio and Light Are Sound.” New York Times, April 8th, 1934.

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“TESLA SEES EVIDENCE RADIO AND LIGHT ARE SOUND.”

New York Times, April 8th, 1934.

An Inventor’s Seasoned Ideas

Nikola Tesla, Pointing to ‘Grievous Errors’ of the Past, Explains Radio as He Sees It at Age of 77 — He Expects Television

By Orrin E. Dunlap Jr.

A tall, lean inventor in a cut-away walked into his skyscraper parlor thirty-three floors above the sidewalks of New York, laid his black derby on the table, opened the window and then was ready to talk about radio’s past, present and future. He was Nikola Tesla, the inventor whose discovery of the rotary magnetic field made possible the alternating-current motor. He described a system of wireless transmission of energy in 1892.

Seven milestones beyond three-score and ten, this electrical wizard, who came to America in 1884, looked back across the years, recalled where theorists often chose wrong paths at the crossroads of science and then turned his thoughts to the future in which television lurks.

A Spectacle That Frightens.

There is something frightening about the universe when we consider that only our senses of sound and sight make it beautiful,” said Mr. Tesla as his furrowed brow indicated he is puzzled with its destiny. “Just think, the universe is darker than the darkest ink; colder than the coldest ice and more silent than a silent tomb, with all the bodies rushing through it at terrific speeds. What an awe-inspiring picture, isn’t it? Yet it is our brain that gives merely a physical impression. Sight and sound are the only avenues through which we can perceive it all. Often I have wondered if there is a third sense which we have failed to discover. I’m afraid not,” he said after some hesitation in thought.

Looking back to the mauve decade, to the turn of the century when the world was being thrilled with new ideas and discoveries, Mr. Tesla observes a vast change in the art of invention. Man, he finds, in this streamline era of speed, has little chance to think.

Fruits of Seclusion.

The big, modern research laboratories are but the incubators of ideas as he has watched them function. Seldom, if ever, he explains, has an original idea of any consequence been born in an elaborate laboratory. The egg of science is laid in the nest of solitude. True, it may later be incubated, hatched and nursed in the million-dollar laboratory.

It is providential that the youth or man of inventive mind is not ‘blessed’ with a million dollars,” said Mr. Tesla. “He would find it difficult to think. The mind is sharper and keener in seclusion and uninterrupted solitude. No big laboratory is needed in which to think. Originality thrives in seclusion free of outside influences beating upon us to cripple the creative mind. Be alone, that is the secret of invention; be alone, that is when ideas are born. That is why many of the earthly miracles have had their genesis in humble surroundings.”

Radio experimenters of this age are following ancient theories, Mr. Tesla believes, and he warns that progress will be more rapid when they discard the old and adopt new ideas. His directions for getting on the right track of radio, television, power transmission by wireless and sundry other branches of science follow:

“The fascination of the electro-magnetic theory of light, advanced by Maxwell and subsequently experimentally investigated by Hertz, was so great that even now, although controverted, the scientific minds are under its sway. This theory supposed the existence of a medium which was solid, yet permitted bodies to pass through it without resistance; tenuous beyond conception, and yet, according to some, one thousand times denser than platinum. According to our conceptions of mechanical principles and ages of experience, such a medium was absolutely impossible. Nevertheless, light was considered essentially a phenomenon bound up in that kind of a medium; namely, one capable of transmitting transverse vibrations lite a solid.”

A Question Tesla Asked.

It is true,” said Mr. Tesla, “that many scientific minds envisaged the theory of a gaseous ether, but it was rejected again and again because in such a medium longitudinal waves would be propagated with infinite velocity. Lord Kelvin conceived the so-called contractile ether, possessing properties which would result in a finite velocity of longitudinal waves. In 1885, however, an academic dissertation was published by Professor De Volson Wood, an American, at a Hoboken institution, which dealt with a gaseous ether in which the elasticity, density and specific heat were determined with rare academic elegance. But, so far, everything pertaining to the subject was purely theoretical.

“What, then, can light be if it is not a transverse vibration?” That was the question he asked himself and set out to find the answer.

I consider this extremely important,” said Mr. Tesla. “Light cannot be anything else but a longitudinal disturbance in the ether, involving alternate compressions and rarefactions. In other words, light can be nothing else than a sound wave in the ether.

“This appears clearly,” Mr. Tesla explained, “if it is first realized that, there being no Maxwellian ether, there can be no transverse oscillation in the medium. The Newtonian theory, he believes, is in error, because it falls entirely in not being able to explain how a small candle can project particles with the same speed as the blazing sun, which has an immensely higher temperature.”

We have made sure by experiment,” said Mr. Tesla, “that light propagates with the same velocity irrespective of the character of the source. Such constancy of velocity can only be explained by assuming that it is dependent solely on the physical properties of the medium, especially density and elastic force.“

Micro-Wave Possibilities.

Coming now to the wireless waves, it is still true that they are of the same character as light waves, only they are not transversal but longitudinal. As a matter of fact, radio transmitters emit nothing else but sound waves in the ether, and if the experts will realize this they will find it very much easier to explain the curious observations made in the application of these waves.

It being a fact that radio waves are essentially like sound waves in the air, it is evident that the shorter the waves the more penetrative they would be. In 1899 I produced electromagnetic waves from one to two millimeters long and observed their actions at a distance. There has been a great hope expressed by various workers that introduction of these waves will have a revolutionary effect, but I am not sharing the opinion. They will be used, of course, but to a very limited extent. It is manifest that applications of the very short waves will not produce any appreciable effect upon the wireless art.”

“Errors” Retard Wireless Power.

What about the possibilities of power transmission by wireless? the inquirer said.

Here again Mr. Tesla blames “a strange misconception of the experts” and “grievous errors” for retarding the idea. He believes that when it is accomplished, the power will travel on long waves and not on the wings of “uneconomically produced” short waves. He said he could vouch that the scheme of wireless power transmission is entirely practical.

The application of short waves for power purposes,” said Mr. Tesla, “involves complicated and expensive apparatus for rectification or frequency transformation, which would make any serious attempt to carry out a project of this kind much more difficult from an economical point of view.“

When will television come around the corner? he was asked.

It ought to be with us soon, and some day it will be on a par of perfection with broadcasting of music.” Then with a circular sweep of his arm and added, “There will be large pictures thrown on the wall.”

Regular

“TESLA ON MARCONI’S FEAT.”

New York World, April 13th, 1930.

“To the Editor of The World,

“The World editorial March 28 must have instilled a holy fear in the minds of some of your readers. Of course Marconi could not help astounding people, but surely it was wrong of him at this critical time to scare the United States Navy by the statement that he could halt the progress of electrically driven dreadnoughts, which would mean certain doom in an engagement with the enemy. The thought that my beautiful induction motors used in their propulsion might be consigned to Davy Jones’s locker in this easy manner caused me some anxiety until I satisfied myself by a little calculation that the maximum power transmitted — expressed in units more appropriate than the conventional — did not exceed one millionth of a “mousepower.”

“Except to the layman there was nothing remarkable in the performance, considering that sea water has only one five-hundredths of the resistance of solid ground and that there were no towering objects in the vicinity thus reducing very much the size of the plant. Marconi accomplished nothing more than was known before. The infinitesimal currents received were amplified, relayed repeatedly and made to actuate local means, as usual. This can be brought about in more than one way; but as a rule, a form of amplifying three-electrode tube is employed which I described in my experimental lecture before the Franklin Institute and National Electric Light Association early in 1893. The modern tubes embodying the same principle are marvels of workmanship, but less sensitive, because they lend themselves only to relatively small voltages. If suitable means were provided, any wireless amateur could magnify as feeble a disturbance as the patter of the feet of a fly sufficiently to precipitate a veritable earthquake at the antipodes. The shrewd Italian did not give a description of his apparatus, but from his previous records one may safely infer that it is old and well known. It is gratifying, however, that he has abandoned the ridiculous arrangement of a “beam system,” which he claimed to offer “limitless possibilities.”

"Your reference to his first announcement thirty years ago has stirred up in my memory unpleasant recollections. To the public the transmission of a weak wireless signal across the Atlantic appeared almost like a miracle, but, even if a fact, it was a paltry engineering achievement, for I had already shown by experiment over a year before that the earth may be excited like a wire of small dimensions and that the current impulse from a powerful transmitter could travel through it as much as a million miles before its energy was exhausted. But this is immaterial. I only wish to call the attention of your readers to the circumstances.

"Some time after the experiments with the classical Hertz devices conducted under the auspices of the Imperial Post Office in England, Sir William Preece, then head of the department, wrote me a letter conveying the information that the test had been abandoned as of no value, but that he believed good results possible by my system. In reply I offered to prepare two sets for trial and asked him to give me the technical particulars necessary to the design. Just then Marconi came out with the emphatic assertion that he had tried out my apparatus and that it did not work. Evidently he succeeded in his purpose, for nothing was done in regard to my proposal.

"He furthermore declared at a later date that wireless communication across the Atlantic was impossible because there was a wall of water several miles high between the two continents which rays could not traverse. But subsequent developments showed that he had used my system in secret all the time, received the plaudits of the world and accepted stolidly even my own congratulations, and it was only a long time after that he admitted it.”

–Nikola Tesla

New York, April 11.

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“How Cosmic Forces Shape Our Destines.” (Part 1)

By Nikola Tesla

New York American, February 7, 1915.

Every living being is an engine geared to the wheelwork of the universe. Though seemingly affected only by its immediate surrounding, the sphere of external influence extends to infinite distance. There is no constellation or nebula, no sun or planet, in all the depths of limitless space, no passing wanderer of the starry heaven, that does not exercise some control over its destiny – not in the vague and delusive sense of astrology, but in the rigid and positive meaning of physical science.

More than this can be said. There is no thing endowed with life – from man, who is enslaving the elements, to the humblest creature – in all this world that does not sway it in turn. Whenever action is born from force, though it be infinitesimal, the cosmic balance is upset and universal motion result.

Herbert Spencer has interpreted life as a continuous adjustment to the environment, a definition of this inconceivably complex manifestation quite in accord with advanced scientific thought, but, perhaps, not broad enough to express our present views. With each step forward in the investigation of its laws and mysteries our conceptions of nature and its phases have been gaining in depth and breadth.

In the early stages of intellectual development man was conscious of but a small part of the macrocosm. He knew nothing of the wonders of the microscopic world, of the molecules composing if of the atoms making up the molecules and of the dwindlingly small world of electrons within the atoms. To him life was synonymous with voluntary motion and action. A plant did not suggest to him what it does to us – that it lives and feels, fights for its existence, that it suffers and enjoys. Not only have we found this to be true, but we have ascertained that even matter called inorganic, believed to be dead, responds to irritants and gives unmistakable evidence of the presence of a living principle within.

Thus, everything that exists, organic or inorganic, animated or inert, is susceptible to stimulus from the outside. There is no gap between, no break of continuity, no special and distinguishing vital agent. The same law governs all matter, all the universe is alive. The momentous question of Spencer, “What is it that causes inorganic matter to run into organic forms!” has been answered. It is the sun’s heat and light. Wherever they are there is life. Only in the boundless wastes of interstellar space, in the eternal darkness and cold, is animation suspended, and, possibly, at the temperature of absolute zero all matter may die.

Man as a Machine

This realistic aspect of the perceptible universe, as a clockwork wound up and running down, dispensing with the necessity of a hypermechanical vital principle, need not be in discord with our religious and artistic aspirations – those undefinable and beautiful efforts through which the human mind endeavors to free itself from material bonds. On the contrary, the better understanding of nature, the consciousness that our knowledge is true, can only be all the more elevating and inspiring.

It was Descartes, the great French philosopher, who in the seventeenth century, laid the first foundation to the mechanistic theory of life, not a little assisted by Harvey’s epochal discovery of blood circulation. He held that animals were simply automata without consciousness and recognized that man, though possessed of a higher and distinctive quality, is incapable of action other than those characteristic of a machine. He also made the first attempt to explain the physical mechanism of memory. But in this time many functions of the human body were not as yet understood, and in this respect some of his assumptions were erroneous.

Great strides have since been made in the art of anatomy, physiology and all branches of science, and the workings of the man-machine are now perfectly clear. Yet the very fewest among us are able to trace their actions to primary external causes. lt is indispensable to the arguments I shall advance to keep in mind the main facts which I have myself established in years of close reasoning and observation and which may be summed up as follows:

1. The human being is a self-propelled automaton entirely under the control of external influences. Willful and predetermined though they appear, his actions are governed not from within, but from without. He is like a float tossed about by the waves of a turbulent sea.

2. There is no memory or retentive faculty based on lasting impression. What we designate as memory is but increased responsiveness to repeated stimuli.

3. It is not true, as Descartes taught, that the brain is an accumulator. There is no permanent record in the brain, there is no stored knowledge. Knowledge is something akin to an echo that needs a disturbance to be called into being.

4. All knowledge or form conception is evoked through the medium of the eye, either in response to disturbances directly received on the retina or to their fainter secondary effects and reverberations. Other sense organs can only call forth feelings which have no reality of existence and of which no conception can be formed.

5. Contrary to the most important tenet of Cartesian philosophy that the perceptions of the mind are illusionary, the eye transmits to it the true and accurate likeness of external things. This is because light propagates in straight lines and the image cast on the retina is an exact reproduction of the external form and one which, owing to the mechanism of the optic nerve, can not be distorted in the transmission to the brain. What is more, the process must be reversible, that in to say, a form brought to consciousness can, by reflex action, reproduce the original image on the retina just as an echo can reproduce the original disturbance If this view is borne out by experiment an immense revolution in all human relations and departments of activity will be the consequence.

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“How Cosmic Forces Shape Our Destines.” (Part 2)

By Nikola Tesla

New York American, February 7, 1915.

Natural Forces Influence Us

Accepting all this as true let us consider some of the forces and influences which act on such a wonderfully complex automatic engine with organs inconceivably sensitive and delicate, as it is carried by the spinning terrestrial globe in lightning flight through space. For the sake of simplicity we may assume that the earth’s axis is perpendicular to the ecliptic and that the human automaton is at the equator. Let his weight be one hundred and sixty pounds then, at the rotational velocity of about 1,520 feet per second with which he is whirled around, the mechanical energy stored in his body will be nearly 5,780,000 foot pounds, which is about the energy of a hundred-pound cannon ball.

This momentum is constant as well as upward centrifugal push, amounting to about fifty-five hundredth of a pound, and both will probably be without marked influence on his life functions. The sun, having a mass 332,000 times that of the earth, but being 23,000 times farther, will attract the automaton with a force of about one-tenth of one pound, alternately increasing and diminishing his normal weight by that amount.

Though not conscious of these periodic changes, he is surely affected by them.

The earth in its rotation around the sun carries him with the prodigious speed of nineteen miles per second and the mechanical energy imparted to him is over 25,160,000,000 foot pounds. The largest gun ever made in Germany hurls a projectile weighing one ton with a muzzle velocity of 3,700 feet per second, the energy being 429,000,000 foot pounds. Hence the momentum of the automaton’s body is nearly sixty times greater. It would be sufficient to develop 762,400 horse-power for one minute, and if the motion were suddenly arrested the body would be instantly exploded with a force sufficient to carry a projectile weighing over sixty tons to a distance of twenty-eight miles.

This enormous energy is, however, not constant, but varies with the position of the automaton in relation to the sun. The circumference of the earth has a speed of 1,520 feet per second, which is either added to or subtracted from the translatory velocity of nineteen miles through space. Owing to this the energy will vary from twelve to twelve hours by an amount approximately equal to 1,533,000,000 foot pounds, which means that energy streams in some unknown way into and out of the body of the automaton at the rate of about sixty-four horse-power.

But this is not all. The whole`solar system is urged towards the remote constellation Hercules at a speed which some estimate at some twenty miles per second and owing to this there should be similar annual changes in the flux of energy, which may reach the appalling figure of over one hundred billion foot pounds. All these varying and purely mechanical effects are rendered more complex through the inclination of the orbital planes and many other permanent or casual mass actions.

This automaton, is, however subjected to other forces and influences. His body is at the electric potential of two billion volts, which fluctuates violently and incessantly. The whole earth is alive with electrical vibrations in which he takes part. The atmosphere crushes him with a pressure of from sixteen to twenty tons, according, to barometric condition. He receives the energy of the sun’s rays in varying intervals at a mean rate of about forty foot pounds per second, and is subjected to periodic bombardment of the sun’s particles, which pass through his body as if it were tissue paper. The air is rent with sounds which beat on his eardrums, and he is shaken by the unceasing tremors of the earth’s crust. He is exposed to great temperature changes, to rain and wind.

What wonder then that in such a terrible turmoil, in which cast iron existence would seem impossible, this delicate human engine should act in an exceptional manner? If all automata were in every respect alike they would react in exactly the same way, but this is not the case. There is concordance in response to those disturbances only which are most frequently repeated, not to all. It is quite easy to provide two electrical systems which, when subjected to the same influence, will behave in just the opposite way.

So also two human beings, and what is true of individuals also holds good for their large aggregations. We all sleep periodically. This is not an indispensable physiological necessity any more than stoppage at intervals is a requirement for an engine. It is merely a condition gradually imposed upon us by the diurnal revolution of the globe, and this is one of the many evidences of the truth of the mechanistic theory. We note a rhythm or ebb and tide, in ideas and opinions, in financial and political movements, in every department of our intellectual activity.

How Wars Are Started

It only shows that in all this a physical system of mass inertia is involved which affords a further striking proof. If we accept the theory as a fundamental truth and, furthermore, extend the limits of our sense perceptions beyond those within which we become conscious of the external impressions, then all the states in human life, however unusual, can be plausibly explained. A few examples may be given in illustration.

The eye responds only to light vibrations through a certain rather narrow range, but the limits are not sharply defined. It is also affected by vibrations beyond, only in lesser degree. A person may thus become aware of the presence of another in darkness, or through intervening obstacles, and people laboring under illusions ascribe this to telepathy. Such transmission of thought is absurdly impossible.

The trained observer notes without difficulty that these phenomena are due to suggestion or coincidence. The same may be said of oral impressions, to which musical and imitative people are especially susceptible. A person possessing these qualities will often respond to mechanical shocks or vibrations which are inaudible.

To mention another instance of momentary interest reference may be made to dancing, which comprises certain harmonious muscular contractions and contortions of the body in response to a rhythm. How they come to be in vogue just now, can be satisfactorily explained by supposing the existence of some new periodic disturbances in the environment, which are transmitted through the air or the ground and may be of mechanical, electrical or other character.

Exactly so it is with wars, revolutions and similar exceptional states of society.

Though it may seem so, a war can never be caused by arbitrary acts of man.

It is invariably the more or less direct result of cosmic disturbance in which the sun is chiefly concerned.

In many international conflicts of historical record which were precipitated by famine, pestilence or terrestrial catastrophes the direct dependence of the sun is unmistakable. But in most cases the underlying primary causes are numerous and hard to trace.

In the present war it would be particularly difficult to show that the apparently willful acts of a few individuals were not causative. Be it so, the mechanistic theory, being founded on truth demonstrated in everyday experience, absolutely precludes the possibility of such a state being anything but the inevitable consequence of cosmic disturbance.

The question naturally presents itself as to whether there is some intimate relation between wars and terrestrial upheavals. The latter are of decided influence on temperament and disposition, and might at times be instrumental in accelerating the clash but aside from this there seems to be no mutual dependence, though both may be due to the same primary cause.

What can be asserted with perfect confidence is that the earth may be thrown into convulsions through mechanical effects such as are produced in modern warfare. This statement may be startling, but it admits of a simple explanation.

Earthquakes are principally due to two causes – subterranean explosions or structural adjustments. The former are called volcanic, involve immense energy and are hard to start. The latter are named tectonic; their energy is comparatively insignificant and they can be caused by the slightest shock or tremor. The frequent slides in the Culebra are displacements of this kind.

War and The Earthquake

Theoretically, it may be said that one might think of a tectonic earthquake and cause it to occur as a result of the thought, for just preceding the release the mass may be in the most delicate balance. There is a popular error in regard to the energy of such displacements. In a case recently reported as quite extraordinary, extending as it did over a vast territory, the energy was estimated at 65,000,000,000,000 foot tons. Assuming even that the whole work was performed in one minute it would only be equivalent to that of 7,500,000 horse-power during one year, which seems much, but is little for a terrestrial upheaval. The energy of the sun’s rays falling on the same area is a thousand times greater.

The explosions of mines, torpedoes, mortars and guns develop reactive forces on the ground which are measured in hundreds or even thousands of tons and make themselves felt all over the globe. Their effect, however, may be enormously magnified by resonance. The earth is a sphere of a rigidity slightly greater than that of steel and vibrates once in about one hour and forty-nine minutes.

If, as might well be possible, the concussions happen to be properly timed their combined action could start tectonic adjustments in any part of the earth, and the Italian calamity may thus have been the result of explosions in France. That man can produce such terrestrial convulsions is beyond any doubt, and the time may be near when it will be done for purposes good or apt.