Tesla Transformer

About Nikola Tesla

This year saw the 156th anniversary of Nicola Tesla’s birth on July 10. Son of a priest and an inventor, this Serbian studied at the University of Prague, worked for the Continental¬† Edison Company in France and relocated to New York City in 1884.

Less than ten years later, the Tesla Coil had been invented.

Tesla coils can send electrons wirelessly to nearby conductors.
Tesla coils can send electrons wirelessly to nearby conductors.

Tesla Coils and Electrical Energy

Tesla coils are step-up transformers that can transmit electricity wirelessly over short distances.

A coil of many turns is surrounded by another coil of wire. These coils don’t touch. The coil on the outside, the primary one let’s say, has a wide enough diameter to go around the other. This primary coil just has a few turns in it. The other coil running down the middle, the secondary coil, has many turns and is not coiled around anything, so it just has air in it.

If a low-voltage alternating current (AC) is connected to the primary coil, the back-and-forth movement of electrons in the primary coil “resonates” with the secondary coil. What happens is that during this back-and-forth movement of electrons, some are lost and jump to the secondary coil. But the electrons in the primary coil are constantly being replenished, because it’s connected to an AC power source. So electrons continue to jump from the primary coil to the secondary coil. This results in an extremely high relative voltage in the secondary coil. And an electromagnetic field is produced that can transmit electricity wirelessly.

Here’s a demonstration of a Tesla Coil at Science World.

The electromagnetic field that is being created can now wirelessly send electrons, essentially transmitting electricity, to nearby conductors. (Put your phones away if you’re in the front row!)

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