The Tesla Coil Demonstration might not be the most interactive E-Days event or the most attended, but it is undeniably the most awe inspiring event. During the Tesla Coil Demonstration, arcs of purple and blue lightning filled the room and even made music.
A Tesla Coil is composed of several sets of rings of metal coiled together, hence the name, Tesla Coil. Nikola Tesla invented the Tesla Coil around 1891. They were originally invented to be a replacement for power lines because they allow electricity to flow through the air. However, they were never used for that purpose due to their incredibly low efficiency. Rather than removing cables from power exchange, Tesla figured out alternating currents (AC), power that was a far more efficient for than the direct current (DC) that was being used at the time.
Tesla was originally set on the task that led him to discover the Tesla Coil by Thomas Edison. Tesla was born in Croatia but was Serbian and came to America looking for more opportunities. It was then that he began to work for Edison. Edison promised Tesla fifty thousand dollars if Tesla could come up with a more efficient form of energy transfer than with a direct current, which was a really impressive amount of money for the time period. When Tesla did this, with his discovery of alternating currents, and returned to Edison for his money, Edison claimed that Tesla ‘just didn’t understand American humor’ and refused to pay him. Despite all of this, Tesla went on to be a quite successful and well known scientist. However, he is probably best known for his invention of the Tesla Coil, which has no real convenient uses; it is simply fun to play with.
At the E-Days Tesla Coil Demonstration, which was hosted by campus’ branch of IEEE, viewers got to watch two different types of Tesla coil. The first was the smaller of the two. It did not make large arcs of electricity, as most people picture with Tesla Coils, instead it produced a small about 2 inch long arc that glowed brightly. However, along with this small arc of lightning was the truly impressive part. The Tesla coil was able to perfectly play music from an ipod, functioning just like speakers do. The crowd got to listen to several songs played by the Tesla coil, each more impressive than the last.
The second Tesla coil was much larger and looked more like a typical Tesla coil. This one did shoot of large arcing beams of electricity that seemed to form trees and webs of lightning all around the Tesla coil. This Tesla coil also played music, but it wasn’t nearly as clear and could only play a few notes. However, despite that, the Tesla coil’s music was incredible and some of it even sent physical shudders down spines in the audience. Whether the shudders were from the music or from the electricity humming around the room, there is no way to tell, but either way, it was a truly awe inspiring experience that everyone could enjoy. Look out next E-Days for the Tesla Coil Demonstration because it isn’t something to be missed.