At the turn of the century Tesla was in the process of devising a means of wireless power transmission. The transmission involved the generation of longitudinal ether waves.
Whether Tesla accomplished this is not known, but the idea was considered by other notables such as Kelvin and Maxwell. Kelvin* considered it possible to generate "longitudinal waves in the luminiferous ether" thru the phenomena of displacement current (capacity current dD/dt). He goes on to indicate his feeling that these waves must be faster than light, as the longitudinal waves in a steel rod move with much greater velocity than the transverse waves. Tesla claims that the waves from his transformer propagate at π/2 the velocity of Light.
It is interesting to note that the velocity measured on the Tesla coil is also π/2 greater than the velocity of Light but this does appear to be a phase velocity rather than a group velocity.
In his writings Tesla indicates some seemingly impossible phenomena surround the em nations from the spherical terminal capacity, and I have determined these to be true by experiment.
One is that the power gradient (poynting vector) is in the same axis as the dielectric flux gradient. The other is the slow formation of a conductive area surrounding the sphere that is not ionic in nature (in other words is not a spark or glow discharge).
Contrary to popular relief, the Tesla transformer is not a
*See reference 6.
steady state device but is a magnifier of transient phenomena.
Also it does not behave like a L. C. network nor a transmission line, but more like a unique type of wave guide. If all parts of the system are designed properly the EMF and hence dielectric flux jumps from zero to an enormous value almost instantaneously, thereby producing an almost inconceivable displacement current into space. The transformer is then basically a device for rapidly discharging the capacitor bank nearly instantly into free space, producing an enormous dielectric shock wave similar to a sonic boom.
Because the dissipation of the transformer is for all practical purposes negligible, the energy keeps increasing at a linear rate per cycle of oscillation, thereby accumulating a gigantic quantity of electrical energy. (A form of laser action may be possible.)
In order for the transformer to resonate with the planet the energy storage in the active region that grows around the sphere terminal must equal the conjugate energy storage of the earth, a stiff requirement.
It is interesting to note that dielectric breakdown in this active region grow into a log periodic form based on X2-X=1 as the log base. This will be recognised as the trancendental PHI or the Golden Ratio. In glow discharges the ions of metallic elements form stable spheres of diameter inverse to the atomic weight of the element involved.
The transformer's principals of operation are as follows:
The first requirement is the sudden collapse of an energy field thereby producing a sudden impulse of energy, second is the
transforming properties of the odd harmonic ordered single wire delay line (coil) which allow for the production of enormous E.M.F. and M.M.F., and third, the dielectric phenomena surrounding the free space capacity terminal.