Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Tesla's New York Laboratory Up For Sale

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the shocking-positively-shocking dept.

Power 183

Ziest points us to NY Times piece on the battle over the site of Nicola Tesla's last failed experiment. Tesla's laboratory, called Wardenclyffe, located on Long Island, has been put up for sale by its current owner, Agfa Corp. Local residents and Tesla followers were alarmed by a real estate agent's promise that the land, listed at $1.6 million, could "be delivered fully cleared and level." Preservationists want to create a Tesla museum and education center at Wardenclyffe, anchored by the laboratory designed by Tesla's friend, Stanford White, a celebrated architect. "In 1901, Nikola Tesla began work on a global system of giant towers meant to relay through the air not only news, stock reports and even pictures but also, unbeknown to investors such as J. Pierpont Morgan, free electricity for one and all. It was the inventor's biggest project, and his most audacious. The first tower rose on rural Long Island and, by 1903, stood more than 18 stories tall. ... But the system failed for want of money, and at least partly for scientific viability. Tesla never finished his prototype tower and was forced to abandon its adjoining laboratory."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

If past performance is a current indicator... (5, Interesting)

zifr (1467429) | more than 5 years ago | (#27839711)

We'll level the place. We still can't figure out how some of his projects worked and much of his work was seized after his death, according to the History channel. Might as well level it and trash any chance at learning his knowledge while we're at it. Brilliant man.

Re:If past performance is a current indicator... (4, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#27839765)

Also, a loon.

Nothing there anymore except the poisoned ground.
There really isn't anything to learn there anymore.
It's not like there going to level the building and store rooms full of stuff.
OTOH, a pool of people that wanted to turn it into a museum could probably be brought together for some fund Raisers.

Hell, you do it. Contact the real estate agent and find out what kind of time you have. Get some on line organization going and hit all the Tesla Forums.

You would be the first person to do this type of thing successfully. If you really want to save it, there is no reason you can't give it a good effort. None.

Re:If past performance is a current indicator... (4, Insightful)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 5 years ago | (#27840257)

Well, if the damage hasn't already been done, there's a price tag on preservation: $1.6 million. Not much more than an equivalently sized residential property in the area.

What's the issue again?

Re:If past performance is a current indicator... (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#27840405)

Elon Musk should snap it up.

Re:If past performance is a current indicator... (4, Informative)

carlzum (832868) | more than 5 years ago | (#27841179)

I'm familiar with the area from my childhood, but couldn't recall anything on the site other than dead grass and a dilapidated parking lot. I read through the article and searched the web looking for remnants of the tower or something and found one article [nytimes.com] on what may be of value there. According to the 2002 article the 94x94 ft. lab is still in good condition. I would like to see Agfa sublet the property and at least donate that building. After all, they did poison the groundwater (well, the company they acquired did), it seems like a reasonable goodwill gesture to the community.

Re:If past performance is a current indicator... (4, Funny)

meepzorb (61992) | more than 5 years ago | (#27841231)

You would be the first person to do this type of thing successfully. If you really want to save it, there is no reason you can't give it a good effort. None.

Ah, I love the smell of hipster nihilism in the morning. It smells like... defeat!

Re:If past performance is a current indicator... (2, Insightful)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 5 years ago | (#27840157)

We still can't figure out how some of his projects worked

Uhuh. I see this kind of claim all the time from creators of perpetual motion machines:

"Well, of course those 'scientists' can't replicate my results! It's because they don't understand my genius!"

Uhh ... no. If we're unable to get it to work, chances are it never worked in the first place.

and much of his work was seized after his death, according to the History channel

Yeah, seized by the Stonemasons! Just ask Homer ...

Re:If past performance is a current ReCOIL? (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 5 years ago | (#27840371)

Well, if the fans of that facility want to generate some sizzle and buzz, they can just become angry enough and recoil from the light of speed to the speed of light, put some copper and argon in the air, and zap the naysayers. Buzz and hype will drive the media into a shock frenzy.

Re:If past performance is a current indicator... (5, Insightful)

MeatBag PussRocket (1475317) | more than 5 years ago | (#27840927)

you do realize that many of the technologies mentioned in the article do exist today (like wireless video transmission, stock quotes etc.) but in 1903 few people if any could explain how to make that work. and the other ideas, about providing wireless electricity? those arent so far fetched either

2008: Intel reproduces Nikola Tesla's 1894 implementation and Prof. John Boys group's 1988's experiments by wirelessly powering a light bulb with 75% efficiency. wikipedia.org (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wireless_power_transmission)

just because you and 99% of people dont understand something dosent make it a hoax. i mean hell look at how many people dont realise the internet isint some kind of truck.

Re:If past performance is a current indicator... (4, Insightful)

mangu (126918) | more than 5 years ago | (#27841187)

Intel reproduces Nikola Tesla's 1894 implementation and Prof. John Boys group's 1988's experiments by wirelessly powering a light bulb with 75% efficiency

The problem is 75% of which power?

Unfortunately, it was 75% of received power, not transmitted power.

About 99.99% of the transmitted power went to other directions, it heated neighboring rocks and nothing else.

Unless you have a directional antenna, any sort of wireless power transmission will waste a lot of power. And, to have a directional antenna, you need to know in which direction your receiver will be. Then it starts to look pretty much like a wired power transmission setup...

Re:If past performance is a current indicator... (1)

MeatBag PussRocket (1475317) | more than 5 years ago | (#27841249)

i'm not saying that it necessarily would have worked i'm saying that his ideas werent taht far-fetched. sure he didnt get everything right, but he was definitely on to some good stuff. good pointing out though about the 2008 intel experiment, i think they used a directional antennae, IIRC.

Re:If past performance is a current indicator... (5, Insightful)

ae1294 (1547521) | more than 5 years ago | (#27841471)

What the heck is your point?
The guy came up with the idea way back in 1894 so who really cares about its efficacy..

Everything we plug in today has Nikola Tesla's I.P. in it. AC transmission won the current war over the DC method.

Anyone who try's to belittle Tesla's work really has no idea what they are talking about. But yeah he had lots of crazy ideas but it was 1894 for god sake! Everyone who has ever invented something useful also probably had at least 100 bad ideas as well..

ae

Re:If past performance is a current indicator... (1)

sillybilly (668960) | more than 5 years ago | (#27841847)

Tesla must have been on some shit. Like mushrooms or some other psychotic food additives. It would help creativity, but gets one a bit loony too. Like, he did not only dream of powering light bulbs from a few meters, but providing free electricity to all the farmers in the whole world from his towers on Long Island. That's kinda loony, don't you agree? It's like microwaving everyone in NY just so you can send a decent power output to Texas from Long Island?

Re:If past performance is a current indicator... (4, Funny)

Amazing Quantum Man (458715) | more than 5 years ago | (#27842253)

It's like microwaving everyone in NY just so you can send a decent power output to Texas from Long Island?

You say that like it's a bad thing.

Re:If past performance is a current indicator... (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 5 years ago | (#27842131)

you do realize that many of the technologies mentioned in the article do exist today (like wireless video transmission, stock quotes etc.) but in 1903 few people if any could explain how to make that work. and the other ideas, about providing wireless electricity? those arent so far fetched either

Jules Verne also published a lot of technology ideas with no practical details on how to make them a reality. Back then these ideas were considered fantastical fictional works. Today they're considered the basis of science fiction. We also have working examples of many of these ideas. But it doesn't mean at any point real science was involved.

That doesn't mean Nikola Tesla was not a scientist. But it does point out that making predictions that one can later find functional examples of holds little weight when talking about scientific achievement.

Re:If past performance is a current indicator... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27841049)

Well, seized yes, but not the Stonemasons. Many items were seized by the FBI and many of his patents, to this day, remain classified.

Re:If past performance is a current indicator... (3, Informative)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 5 years ago | (#27840187)

Umm. He was a loon and we do know how his projects worked and didn't.
They where all interesting but as with many brilliant but crazy people most where not practical and none of them are past our understanding today.
His lab is still there as are the foundations of the tower. Simple answer declare it a historical site and it becomes just about impossible to destroy no matter who owns it.

Re:If past performance is a current indicator... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27840403)

who are u to call him a loon?? u know nothing of him or his "projects" if u did you wouldnt refer to him as a loon...you sir are a complete jackass. now fuck off and go fucking read you complete waste of a post.

Re:If past performance is a current indicator... (4, Informative)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 5 years ago | (#27840467)

I suggest you read more about his latter life. He was a loon. Actually I know a lot about his projects. My favorite is the Telsla turbine. It is a terrible turbine for air. It makes a great pump for solid-fluid mixtures but as a turbine it is no where near what more traditional turbines can do.
His power transmission also just doesn't work. His work on AC power transmission and his AC electric motor. Brilliant.
Time travel, death beams, free power... Loonie.
It is a shame that so many of his fans do him a disservice by pushing his fantasy achievements.
They are as loonie as was in his later life. His decline into mental illness should be forgotten and his real achivments should be remembered.

Re:If past performance is a current indicator... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27840613)

Both should be remembered. It's important to remember that no matter how brilliant some humans are, they're still human. Genius in a specific pursuit does not imply genius in all pursuits.

Re:If past performance is a current indicator... (1)

MeatBag PussRocket (1475317) | more than 5 years ago | (#27841093)

it surprises me that people cant envision wireless power transfer, and free at that. its as though you've never seen lightning. just because you or i dont have the vision or ability to make it work dosent mean it cant be done!

Re:If past performance is a current indicator... (2, Insightful)

Jeremi (14640) | more than 5 years ago | (#27841883)

it surprises me that people cant envision wireless power transfer, and free at that.

I can certainly envision it -- but I can't see how it would be free. After all, that power has to be generated somehow before it can be transferred, and generating power costs money.

It's also not clear how to broadcast power efficiently over long distances. (I'm not saying it's impossible, just that I don't know how you would do it. Narrowcasting power might be done efficiently with a laser, but broadcasting it to everyone? Hmmm)

Re:If past performance is a current indicator... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27841113)

I suggest you read more about his latter life. He was a loon.

Like many innovators. Clinically speaking, he was obsessive-compulsive, and this had some very specific effects on his activities but did not prevent him from inventing a dozen things in the room I'm in right now (including radio and flourescent lighting, of course). Edison, by contrast, was a mild meglomaniac and paranoid.

Actually I know a lot about his projects.

Well, let's see about that....

My favorite is the Telsla turbine. It is a terrible turbine for air.

The one I built works rather well as a air-powered motor. Oddly enough, it works like Tesla said it does (not like the modern Tesla worshippers claim, though - it won't power a spaceship to mars).

It makes a great pump for solid-fluid mixtures but as a turbine it is no where near what more traditional turbines can do.

I'm not sure you know what you're talking about here. You can pump mud with a "Tesla turbine" type pump, but Tesla had some other pump designs that worked better. Also, what do you consider a "traditional turbine"? There is no single accepted turbine design, nor was there in Tesla's time. (I'm partial to the Loeffel Francis myself, but it's not all that popular outside the hydropower field.)

His power transmission also just doesn't work.

"Just doesn't work?" Since he was not able to complete his work, yet was able to light up lamps from a quarter mile away and throw mile-long lightning bolts, I think "just doesn't work" is a bit of a facile dismissal from an Internet naysayer.

His work on AC power transmission and his AC electric motor. Brilliant.

AC power is a doddle, but yes, the universal brushless motor is indeed brilliant.

Time travel, death beams, free power... Loonie.

Time travel? Never heard that one. And of course, being killed by a beam of coherent energy will never happen (oh, wait, it did? Never mind).

Here's all you need to know about Tesla's insight: In 1915 he tried to convince everyone that burning petroleum was wasteful and foolish, and that we should develop sources of energy that relied on the great movements of the cosmos - spinning planets, cycling winds, geothermal, solar radiation, etc... and people said "what a loonie!"

It is a shame that so many of his fans do him a disservice by pushing his fantasy achievements.
They are as loonie as was in his later life. His decline into mental illness should be forgotten and his real achivments should be remembered.

We got no disagreements there, bud. But he was never any more subject to mental illness than the inventor of Bittorrent - his madness did not significantly affect his work, and may have helped him to focus on the insights that others blithely dismiss as insanity.

Re:If past performance is a current indicator... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27841193)

>We got no disagreements there, bud. But he was never any more subject to mental illness than the
>inventor of Bittorrent - his madness did not significantly affect his work, and may have helped him
>to focus on the insights that others blithely dismiss as insanity.

At least, until he got obsessed with pigeons.

Re:If past performance is a current indicator... (2, Interesting)

evanbd (210358) | more than 5 years ago | (#27841651)

The Tesla turbine is a really interesting idea. It may be inefficient for most applications, but in others it is the only design in serious use -- pumping live fish, for example.

Re:If past performance is a current indicator... (4, Insightful)

RevWaldo (1186281) | more than 5 years ago | (#27840829)

A loon who understood how alternating current works.

Unlike some other loon inventors back then.

Lookin' at you, Thomas Alva.

(Topsy the Elephant, RIP) [youtube.com]

Re:If past performance is a current indicator... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27841151)

Simple answer declare it a historical site and it becomes just about impossible to destroy no matter who owns it.

Unfortunately not so simple. Owners, unless they are government entities, have a right to refuse listing on the National Historic Register.

Re:If past performance is a current indicator... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27841709)

Nope, we're still pretty unsure how he did quite a few of his experiments, I guess you're unfamiliar with him transporting energy to a field MILES away and lighting up hundreds of bulbs with it, while modern scientists get excited at energy transfers of a few feet.

Re:If past performance is a current indicator... (3, Insightful)

mazarin5 (309432) | more than 5 years ago | (#27840249)

My take on it was:

REALTOR: We'll sell this historic land for $1.6 million dollars
CONDO BUILDER: I'll buy that
REALTOR: Do you want us to demolish this historic site also?
MUSEUM BUILDER: Oh hell no! $2 million!

Re:If past performance is a current indicator... (3, Funny)

Foobar of Borg (690622) | more than 5 years ago | (#27840795)

REALTOR: We'll sell this historic land for $1.6 million dollars
CONDO BUILDER: I'll buy that
REALTOR: Do you want us to demolish this historic site also?
MUSEUM BUILDER: Oh hell no! $2 million!

Well, shit! Dr. Evil doesn't even get a say in this kind of real estate market!

TVTropes (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27839731)

BigNo goes here.

Secrets stashed in building? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27839769)

I wonder if.

Destroy it and we might never know.

Re:Secrets stashed in building? (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 5 years ago | (#27840083)

"Destroy it and we might never know."

Disassemble it thoroughly during demolition, dig up any interesting areas, then level the place afterwards.

There is nothing architecturally compelling about the site.

I hear ol' Nicky liked Lesbian Strapon PORNO. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27839771)

Who else likes it? Raise your hands, plz

Someone with electrical knowledge explain this (2, Interesting)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 5 years ago | (#27839775)

How would these towers effectively transmit electricity? I'm having trouble seeing how this would work effectively given the inverse square law. Either the towers would only be able to cover a small amount of area or the area directly around the tower would be really unpleasant. Either way, this wouldn't be as efficient as wire transmission. Or am I missing something?

Re:Someone with electrical knowledge explain this (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27839865)

Imagine the upper layer of the atmosphere as a copper shell. Any high voltage alternated current deposited there could be harnessed by a sufficiently high tower that could "touch" the copper shell.

Square law doesn't apply because its a conductor that captures the wave and prevents it from spreading in 3 dimensions just like it doesn't apply in wires.

All the viability is in how closely ionized upper atmosphere resembles a copper shell and also in how hard it is to effectively "touch" this layer with lots of air in between you and it.

Re:Someone with electrical knowledge explain this (1)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 5 years ago | (#27840233)

Ah, I see, the free electricity was to have been *collected* by the towers, but still distributed by wire; is that what you're saying? I think the GP post thought that Tesla was suggesting that the towers would broadcast the electricity through the air.

Re:Someone with electrical knowledge explain this (1)

MeatBag PussRocket (1475317) | more than 5 years ago | (#27840969)

wiki wireless power transmission.
2008: Intel reproduces Nikola Tesla's 1894 implementation and Prof. John Boys group's 1988's experiments by wirelessly powering a light bulb with 75% efficiency.

very. cool. stuff.

Re:Someone with electrical knowledge explain this (4, Informative)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 5 years ago | (#27840301)

    I think the better example is how ham radio, or UHF stations can bounce in the atmosphere to reach long distances.

    For example when I was a kid in West central Florida, if the weather was right, we could watch TV from Texas with a regular mast mounted antenna (50' tall). We required the same antenna to pick up UHF and VHF stations in the next major city, approximately 100 miles away.

    I'm familiar with Tesla's work. It's all really interesting stuff.

    There really isn't anything left at the site, which is a terrible shame. It could be recreated, but would cost a fortune, and without Tesla there to make it work (or work out the bugs), it's seriously doubtful the casual hobbyist could make a working replica.

    His wireless power on a global scale idea would require much more than just the Wardenclyffe site. The plans indicated many transmitters globally. This would never happen, as it takes the control away from too many huge money making industries. No government would allow it either. During a military operation, one of the first strategic moves is to disable the infrastructure (power, communications, water, and transportation). Once an enemy is blinded, the aggressive forces have a significant advantage.

    I was always curious about long term effects. Non-ionizing radiation is proven to cause various illnesses. For example, some schools were built on cheap property in close proximity to large power transmission lines. That caused an unusually high rate of leukemia in the students. Prolonged exposure (living or going to school) at 200 meters raised the chance of getting leukemia by 70%. 200 meters to 500 meters raised it by 20%. Obviously, no research was done with Tesla's unfinished work. And for those asking for citations, search Google for "power lines leukemia" .

    Some of Tesla's earlier work in Colorado Springs caused sparks to jump out of water faucets and from peoples feet as they were walking. It would have been interesting to see, but I'm sure quite unnerving after a while. I don't know the Wardenclyffe facility would have caused the same effect, or if he corrected it by possibly changing the frequency that he worked at.

    The only people with enough documentation to know are the US Government, who seized all of his work materials when he died.

Re:Someone with electrical knowledge explain this (4, Insightful)

ProfessionalCookie (673314) | more than 5 years ago | (#27841957)

Google for "power lines leukemia"

There's a big difference between searching google [google.com]

...and searching google scholar [google.com] . Have a look ;)

Re:Someone with electrical knowledge explain this (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#27839915)

They don't. Or rather, you get to choose between "not transmitting enough power" and "nontrivial risk of setting things on fire".

This is why we have a cellphone on every hip and wifi in random $100 consumer electronics, while point-to-point transmissions of a couple hundred watts, with lousy efficiency, tuned directional antennas, and an EE to man the thing, are still in the realm of laboratory/trade show curiosity.

Re:Someone with electrical knowledge explain this (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27840213)

while point-to-point transmissions of a couple hundred watts, with lousy efficiency, tuned directional antennas, and an EE to man the thing, are still in the realm of laboratory/trade show curiosity.

Did and done back in 1975. [youtube.com]

34 kilowatts, 1.5 kilometers with an efficency of over 82%. That's hardy "a couple hundred watts, with lousy efficiency".

Re:Someone with electrical knowledge explain this (3, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#27839965)

Magic.

He did a lot of incredibly smart things, but some of his stuff was just loony.
That might not be fair, perhaps experimentally ignorant. But with that time period and electricity, everyone was.

Re:Someone with electrical knowledge explain this (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27839989)

Well I do believe he was toying with using Earth's resonant frequency to essentially generate electricity using the atmosphere (by putting in a small amount he could receive a lot back and I think there was a story about him blowing up some power plant's generators doing this). Just some of the crazy things he did...

Re:Someone with electrical knowledge explain this (1)

Kagura (843695) | more than 5 years ago | (#27841655)

Well I do believe he was toying with using Earth's resonant frequency to essentially generate electricity using the atmosphere (by putting in a small amount he could receive a lot back and I think there was a story about him blowing up some power plant's generators doing this). Just some of the crazy things he did...

+4 informative? Let me try... I heard he was tapping into the sub-ether (which normally cancels out the regular ether, see Michelson-Morley experiment) which can start a cascade reaction to generate electricity. I think there was a story about him blowing up some power station's transformers doing this. Just some of the crazy things he did...

Radio principle (1)

ArchieBunker (132337) | more than 5 years ago | (#27840133)

He was basing this experiment on how radio works. Does the radio station see any difference in power if 10 people listen? How about 100,000 people? The station outputs the same power no matter who is receiving.

Re:Radio principle (4, Informative)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#27840205)

What? yes, every person that listens takes power. It's a minute amount of power but it does. In this case it weakens the range of the broadcast.

Do you even think about what you are saying? If that where true we would all be powering our devices from radio signal. You are saying 50K watts of power can power infinite devices, ir be broad cast to an infinite amount of radios with degrading the signal.

THINK!

these were popular (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27840685)

These were popular back when I was a kid. Listened to mine for like..dunno, hundreds if not thousands of hours probably, back in the 50s. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crystal_radio [wikipedia.org]

Re:Radio principle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27841429)

Yes, please, exactly, think
if i speak, whats the difference between 1 person listening and 10?
does that one person listening take away from the other nine?
i think not.

Re:Radio principle (1)

Voyager529 (1363959) | more than 5 years ago | (#27842177)

That's what the RIAA has been trying to tell us for the past decade!

Re:Radio principle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27840367)

Yes, it does. Not much in the case of a radio station as the amount of power taken out by a given receiver is extremely small compared to the station's output.

You *could* concievably do a point-to-point with microwaves, but I suspect it would be technically difficult to transmit a large amount of power, not to mention expensive and likely with lower efficiency than wires. Not to mention the safety issues.

Re:Someone with electrical knowledge explain this (1)

skine (1524819) | more than 5 years ago | (#27840141)

Basically, his idea was to create a giant Tesla coil that would transmit electricity, which would make the ground resonate and carry the electricity as far as the resonation would go. He even claimed to make 200 incandescent light bulbs glow from 26 miles away, but it's unverified obviously.

His principles for thinking that this would work is that a moderate sized Tesla coil can make a fluorescent bulb light up remotely, though it's limited to a few feet.

http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/934/whats-up-with-broadcast-power [straightdope.com]

I think the idea was to couple to the ionosphere.. (4, Interesting)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 5 years ago | (#27840143)

How would these towers effectively transmit electricity? I'm having trouble seeing how this would work effectively given the inverse square law.

I'm not Tesla but I can take a guess.

I think the idea was to couple to the ionosphere - treating the conductive ground and one of the layers of the conductive ionosphere as the two walls of a resonant cavity and pumping one of its resonances. The energy would not propagate away into space but would stay in the cavity until removed by a load or resistive losses due to the imperfect conduction of the cavity walls and its contents (dirt, buildings, birds, people, ...). It would be an extremely high impedance - enormous voltage (because of a nontrivial voltage gradient - in the ballpark of the atmospheric DC bias - multiplied by an enormous height) combined with minuscule currents through the tiny (though physically large) apacitances.

At the relatively low (compared to radio) frequencies involved you wouldn't have appreciable currents in anything that wasn't also a resonator and strongly coupled to the cavity (by being tall and broad at the top), i.e. a "raised capacitance" (Tesla's term for that big sphere-ish conductive shape on the top of the structure) and a big coil between it and ground, forming a tank circuit tuned to the carrier frequency and cavity resonance.

Buildings and metal towers might have nontrivial unintentional currents. But they'd be reactive currents because of the low resistance of the buildings' structural members. So they wouldn't suck out much power - just shift the phase of the power carrier signal in the area near them.

But a resonant circuit between a big raised conductor and ground would be able to efficiently power out of the cavity and couple it to a secondary coil around the main coil - shifting the voltage/current ratio from the extraordinarily high impedance of the transmission system to a lower impedance more convenient for use (though still at the carrier frequency so probably in need of rectification or other frequency conversion).

At least I think that may be what he intended. Whether it would work or not is still "up in the air", pun intended.

One nice thing: At the frequency involved you shouldn't be interfering with any existing information services. If the losses are low enough for it to be practical for power transmission it would be constantly "ringing" from lighting excitation. (Or maybe that's the ELF band where the US is talking to submerged submarines...)

(Heh. Thinking about this I just recognized the details of the broadcast power that was a throwaway background item in Eric Frank Russel's novel _Wasp_. Cars were "dinos" with the car body for "raised capacitance" and a dynamotor for frequency conversion. Disconnecting the "intake lead" and striking it against an "earth terminal" would produce a thin thread of arc if the distant power transmitter was on. And the energy density necessary to operate an automobile on this was completely ignored, of course. B-) )

Re:I think the idea was to couple to the ionospher (1)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 5 years ago | (#27840247)

A thing to remember is that Tesla was working when the concept of an electromagnetic wave was just being developed. He did a lot of stuff with resonance phenomenon, transformers, and low-pressure gas plasmas and so was probably thinking in terms of circuit components even when he invented radio - ahead of Helmholtz/Hertz/Maxwell/etc. who had the theory of transverse electromagnetic waves in free space.

Then again he was a math whiz and he might have been quite aware of this work and trying to use longitudinal waves in a cavity or the ionospheric plasma rather than the transverse electromagnetic waves of free space. (These CAN exist in these places, though not in free space.)

Or he might have just been hacking, back when the theories were still being developed.

Re:I think the idea was to couple to the ionospher (1)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 5 years ago | (#27840267)

Thanks for the interesting summary. My question is, doesn't the charge that defines the ionosphere help protect us from solar radiation and who-knows-what-else? Even if this did work, I shudder to think what would happen if we started removing gigawatts from the ionosphere to power our doo-dads.

Re:I think the idea was to couple to the ionospher (1)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 5 years ago | (#27840355)

My question is, doesn't the charge that defines the ionosphere help protect us from solar radiation and who-knows-what-else?

I don't think so. It's more a byproduct of the processes that DO protect us (mainly the magnetic field deflecting and/or trapping the charged particles of the solar wind.)

Even if this did work, I shudder to think what would happen if we started removing gigawatts from the ionosphere to power our doo-dads.

Why not if we put the gigawatts up there first?

We're not talking about removing and eating the charge (DC) of the ionospheric layers. We're talking about using their conduction (or pressure waves within their sea of charged particles) to carry AC around without radiating it away into space - or having to string wires when there's already a planet-sized "wire" hanging up there in the sky.

Re:I think the idea was to couple to the ionospher (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27840765)

Thanks for the interesting summary. My question is, doesn't the charge that defines the ionosphere help protect us from solar radiation and who-knows-what-else? Even if this did work, I shudder to think what would happen if we started removing gigawatts from the ionosphere to power our doo-dads.

The siphoning off of the EM shield on the planet would have a number of changes. Chiefly, the decrease of deflection of "hot" particles. As a result, more "hot" particles would strike the earth, slightly increasing its temperature. Over time it would have resulted in a horrible climate change, leading to the melting of the ice caps, first in the North, then in the south.

Sort of like global warming, but without the extra plant growth from CO2 :p

Keep in mind, much like Republicans other than Ron Paul, I pulled those facts out of my ass.

Re:Someone with electrical knowledge explain this (2, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 5 years ago | (#27840199)

It couldn't and your not missing a thing.

Re:Someone with electrical knowledge explain this (3, Insightful)

darkstar949 (697933) | more than 5 years ago | (#27840353)

I am not an electrical engineer (IANAEE) but I have a read a couple of books on Tesla and struggled through some of the papers he wrote and one thing that seems to be constant is that he was way ahead of his time. However, reading through some of the annotated papers something that stands out is that he was actually working with some stuff that we didn't even have the correct terminology for and that Tesla seems to be a lot more of an intuitive experimentalist than someone that worked with electrical theory. Thus, this tends to mean two things, to me at least, in regards to Wardenclyffe, namely that the only person that would likely know what Tesla was planning on doing is Tesla and there is a pretty good chance that people might also be assuming that Wardenclyffe was intended to do more than it was meant for.

I would have to get the books out, but I seem to recall that Wardenclyffe was partly a proof-of-concept demonstration based upon his Colorado Springs, CO experiments so I find it hard to believe that it wouldn't work like he intended. Also, one of his papers on the wireless transmission of electricity explained that a series of towers similar to Wardenclyffe would be needed throughout the world in order to achieve his goals.

However, I am willing to concede that the plans might not have worked out as Tesla had hoped for even if he did not encounter the financial issues due to a lack of full understanding of electrical theory. All told though, it would be a shame to have museums dedicated to Edison here in the US, but you have to the Tesla Museum [tesla-museum.org] in Serbia if you want to learn about him outside of books.

Re:Someone with electrical knowledge explain this (1)

moj0joj0 (1119977) | more than 5 years ago | (#27842557)

I read a few books on his theories many years ago, the thing that stuck with me the most was his concept on the transmission frequency. He postulated that it would actually be healthful. I don't that frequency was ever mentioned, but I also recall that it was supposedly at the "resonant frequency of the earth." His concept was to give out free electrical power, that had health benefits. Most importantly, to me, is that he honestly believed he could do it. A recent History Channel show mentioned that his lab was still intact, used as a storage facility and that the tower was gone, destroyed by the people who owned the property at one time or another, although, the foundation of the tower was still intact.

Re:Someone with electrical knowledge explain this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27842139)

He probably just was thinking of using plasma clouds, this is possible and would make sense in the context of the know, but the main problem is to keep such a cloud stable, it costs a lot of energy, hence traditional wires are cheaper!

Can you cut down on the long words, please? (0, Troll)

redcaboodle (622288) | more than 5 years ago | (#27839777)

I read lavatory.

Just call it a lab, will you. It's half past one in the night over here.

Re:Can you cut down on the long words, please? (5, Funny)

uberjack (1311219) | more than 5 years ago | (#27839861)

Then someone will assume it's a Labrador Retriever, and PETA will get involved.

Re:Can you cut down on the long words, please? (1)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 5 years ago | (#27840179)

and PETA will get involved.

As long as they send Eva Mendes to kick my ass, BRING IT.

Please?

Re:Can you cut down on the long words, please? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27839993)

You really want a site that often covers technical issues to avoid polysyllabic words? Okay, I'll try:

Your post makes me sad.

Re:Can you cut down on the long words, please? (1)

ProfessionalCookie (673314) | more than 5 years ago | (#27841967)

polysyllabic

I don't get it.

Article text (5, Informative)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 5 years ago | (#27839811)

Subscription-free, minus the pictures and maps.

A Battle to Preserve a Visionary's Bold Failure

By WILLIAM J. BROAD
Published: May 4, 2009

In 1901, Nikola Tesla began work on a global system of giant towers meant to relay through the air not only news, stock reports and even pictures but also, unbeknown to investors such as J. Pierpont Morgan, free electricity for one and all.

It was the inventor's biggest project, and his most audacious.

The first tower rose on rural Long Island and, by 1903, stood more than 18 stories tall. One midsummer night, it emitted a dull rumble and proceeded to hurl bolts of electricity into the sky. The blinding flashes, The New York Sun reported, "seemed to shoot off into the darkness on some mysterious errand."

But the system failed for want of money, and at least partly for scientific viability. Tesla never finished his prototype tower and was forced to abandon its adjoining laboratory.

Today, a fight is looming over the ghostly remains of that site, called Wardenclyffe - what Tesla authorities call the only surviving workplace of the eccentric genius who dreamed countless big dreams while pioneering wireless communication and alternating current. The disagreement began recently after the property went up for sale in Shoreham, N.Y.

A science group on Long Island wants to turn the 16-acre site into a Tesla museum and education center, and hopes to get the land donated to that end. But the owner, the Agfa Corporation, says it must sell the property to raise money in hard economic times. The company's real estate broker says the land, listed at $1.6 million, can "be delivered fully cleared and level," a statement that has thrown the preservationists into action.

The ruins of Wardenclyffe include the tower's foundation and the large brick laboratory, designed by Tesla's friend Stanford White, the celebrated architect.

"It's hugely important to protect this site," said Marc J. Seifer, author of "Wizard," a Tesla biography. "He's an icon. He stands for what humans are supposed to do - honor nature while using high technology to harness its powers."

Recently, New York State echoed that judgment. The commissioner of historic preservation wrote Dr. Seifer on behalf of Gov. David A. Paterson to back Wardenclyffe's preservation and listing in the National Register of Historic Places.

On Long Island, Tesla enthusiasts vow to obtain the land one way or another, saying that saving a symbol of Tesla's accomplishments would help restore the visionary to his rightful place as an architect of the modern age.

"A lot of his work was way ahead of his time," said Jane Alcorn, president of the Tesla Science Center, a private group in Shoreham that is seeking to acquire Wardenclyffe.

Dr. Ljubo Vujovic, president of the Tesla Memorial Society of New York, said destroying the old lab "would be a terrible thing for the United States and the world. It's a piece of history."

Tesla, who lived from 1856 to 1943, made bitter enemies who dismissed some of his claims as exaggerated, helping tarnish his reputation in his lifetime. He was part recluse, part showman. He issued publicity photos (actually double exposures) showing him reading quietly in his laboratory amid deadly flashes.

Today, his work tends to be poorly known among scientists, though some call him an intuitive genius far ahead of his peers. Socially, his popularity has soared, elevating him to cult status.

Books and Web sites abound. Wikipedia says the inventor obtained at least 700 patents. YouTube has several Tesla videos, including one of a break-in at Wardenclyffe. A rock band calls itself Tesla. An electric car company backed by Google's founders calls itself Tesla Motors.

Larry Page, Google's co-founder, sees the creator's life as a cautionary tale. "It's a sad, sad story," Mr. Page told Fortune magazine last year. The inventor "couldn't commercialize anything. He could barely fund his own research."

Wardenclyffe epitomized that kind of visionary impracticality.

Tesla seized on the colossal project at the age of 44 while living in New York City. An impeccably dressed bon vivant of Serbian birth, he was widely celebrated for his inventions of motors and power distribution systems that used the form of electricity known as alternating current, which beat out direct current (and Thomas Edison) to electrify the world.

His patents made him a rich man, at least for a while. He lived at the Waldorf-Astoria and loved to hobnob with the famous at Delmonico's and the Players Club.

Around 1900, as Tesla planned what would become Wardenclyffe, inventors around the world were racing for what was considered the next big thing - wireless communication. His own plan was to turn alternating current into electromagnetic waves that flashed from antennas to distant receivers. This is essentially what radio transmission is. The scale of his vision was gargantuan, however, eclipsing that of any rival.

Investors, given Tesla's electrical achievements, paid heed. The biggest was J. Pierpont Morgan, a top financier. He sank $150,000 (today more than $3 million) into Tesla's global wireless venture.

Work on the prototype tower began in mid-1901 on the North Shore of Long Island at a site Tesla named after a patron and the nearby cliffs. "The proposed plant at Wardenclyffe," The New York Times reported, "will be the first of a number that the electrician proposes to establish in this and other countries."

The shock wave hit Dec. 12, 1901. That day, Marconi succeeded in sending radio signals across the Atlantic, crushing Tesla's hopes for pioneering glory.

Still, Wardenclyffe grew, with guards under strict orders to keep visitors away. The wooden tower rose 187 feet over a wide shaft that descended 120 feet to deeply anchor the antenna. Villagers told The Times that the ground beneath the tower was "honeycombed with subterranean passages."

The nearby laboratory of red brick, with arched windows and a tall chimney, held tools, generators, a machine shop, electrical transformers, glass-blowing equipment, a library and an office.

But Morgan was disenchanted. He refused Tesla's request for more money.

Desperate, the inventor pulled out what he considered his ace. The towers would transmit not only information around the globe, he wrote the financier in July 1903, but also electric power.

"I should not feel disposed," Morgan replied coolly, "to make any further advances."

Margaret Cheney, a Tesla biographer, observed that Tesla had seriously misjudged his wealthy patron, a man deeply committed to the profit motive. "The prospect of beaming electricity to penniless Zulus or Pygmies," she wrote, must have left the financier less than enthusiastic.

It was then that Tesla, reeling financially and emotionally, fired up the tower for the first and last time. He eventually sold Wardenclyffe to satisfy $20,000 (today about $400,000) in bills at the Waldorf. In 1917, the new owners had the giant tower blown up and sold for scrap.

Today, Tesla's exact plan for the site remains a mystery even as scientists agree on the impracticality of his overall vision. The tower could have succeeded in broadcasting information, but not power.

"He was an absolute genius," Dennis Papadopoulos, a physicist at the University of Maryland, said in an interview. "He conceived of things in 1900 that it took us 50 or 60 years to understand. But he did not appreciate dissipation. You can't start putting a lot of power" into an antenna and expect the energy to travel long distances without great diminution.

Wardenclyffe passed through many hands, ending with Agfa, which is based in Ridgefield Park, N.J. The imaging giant used it from 1969 to 1992, and then shuttered the property. Silver and cadmium, a serious poison, had contaminated the site, and the company says it spent some $5 million on studies and remediation. The cleanup ended in September, and the site was put up for sale in late February.

Real estate agents said they had shown Wardenclyffe to four or five prospective buyers.

Last month, Agfa opened the heavily wooded site to a reporter. "NO TRESPASSING," warned a faded sign at a front gate, which was topped with barbed wire.

Tesla's red brick building stood intact, an elegant wind vane atop its chimney. But Agfa had recently covered the big windows with plywood to deter vandals and intruders, who had stolen much of the building's wiring for its copper.

The building's dark interior was littered with beer cans and broken bottles. Flashlights revealed no trace of the original equipment, except for a surprise on the second floor. There in the darkness loomed four enormous tanks, each the size of a small car. Their sides were made of thick metal and their seams heavily riveted, like those of an old destroyer or battleship. The Agfa consultant leading the tour called them giant batteries.

"Look up there," said the consultant, Ralph Passantino, signaling with his flashlight. "There's a hatch up there. It was used to get into the tanks to service them."

Tesla authorities appear to know little of the big tanks, making them potential clues to the inventor's original plans.

After the tour, Christopher M. Santomassimo, Agfa's general counsel, explained his company's position: no donation of the site for a museum, and no action that would rule out the building's destruction.

"Agfa is in a difficult economic position given what's going on in the global marketplace," he said. "It needs to maximize its potential recovery from the sale of that site."

He added that the company would entertain "any reasonable offer," including ones from groups interested in preserving Wardenclyffe because of its historical significance. "We're simply not in a position," he emphasized, "to donate the property outright."

Ms. Alcorn of the Tesla Science Center, who has sought to stir interest in Wardenclyffe for more than a decade, seemed confident that a solution would be worked out. Suffolk County might buy the site, she said, or a campaign might raise the funds for its purchase, restoration and conversion into a science museum and education center. She said the local community was strongly backing the preservation idea.

"Once the sign went up, I started getting so many calls," she remarked. "People said: âThey're not really going to sell it, are they? It's got to be a museum, right?' "

Sitting at a reading table at the North Shore Public Library, where she works as a children's librarian, Ms. Alcorn gestured across a map of Wardenclyffe to show how the abandoned site might be transformed with not only a Tesla museum but also a playground, a cafeteria and a bookshop.

"That's critical," she said.

Ms. Alcorn said the investigation and restoration of the old site promised to solve one of the big mysteries: the extent and nature of the tunnels said to honeycomb the area around the tower.

"I'd love to see if they really existed," she said. "The stories abound, but not the proof."

Cats, hats, and wolverines... (4, Funny)

denzacar (181829) | more than 5 years ago | (#27840151)

The building's dark interior was littered with beer cans and broken bottles. Flashlights revealed no trace of the original equipment, except for a surprise on the second floor. There in the darkness loomed four enormous tanks, each the size of a small car. Their sides were made of thick metal and their seams heavily riveted, like those of an old destroyer or battleship. The Agfa consultant leading the tour called them giant batteries.

"Look up there," said the consultant, Ralph Passantino, signaling with his flashlight. "There's a hatch up there. It was used to get into the tanks to service them."

Tesla authorities appear to know little of the big tanks, making them potential clues to the inventor's original plans.

Boy are they going to be surprised when they open them and find hundreds of hats, dead cats and human corpses with huge bone claws on their hands crammed in there.

Re:Cats, hats, and wolverines... (2, Informative)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#27840241)

I had to read that twice before I realized they weren't talking about 'tanks' the vehicles.

Re:Cats, hats, and wolverines... (1)

TheGothicGuardian (1138155) | more than 5 years ago | (#27840583)

I thought it was going to be a Dalek joke...

Re:Cats, hats, and wolverines... (0, Offtopic)

PiSkyHi (1049584) | more than 5 years ago | (#27840807)

Tesla is Ziggy Stardust.

Re:Article text (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27840897)

Today, his work tends to be poorly known among scientists,

I was fairly well introduced to his work in my electrical engineering program.

Later as power engineer I saw that what he did was fairly well known. After all we are using his induction motors and transformers. So I don't think you can say his is poorly known among scientists. It just depends on what type of "scientist" you're talking about.

Re:Article text (1)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 5 years ago | (#27841263)

"He was an absolute genius," Dennis Papadopoulos, a physicist at the University of Maryland, said in an interview. "He conceived of things in 1900 that it took us 50 or 60 years to understand. But he did not appreciate dissipation. You can't start putting a lot of power" into an antenna and expect the energy to travel long distances without great diminution.

"It is absolute folly to imagine a rocket working in outer space, with no air to push against."(quote inexact)

But, as more learned folk have said, the energy doesn't really have to travel long distances, so inverse square doesn't apply. Wardenclyff was not a radio transmitter; it was more along the lines of one coil of a rather elaborate transformer that basically used the Earth and its atmosphere as a giant capacitor and drew power from there.

I dunno, bloody Atlanteans, coming back and expecting us to forgive and forget...

ATHF (1)

Pinback (80041) | more than 5 years ago | (#27839829)

I need to dig up a photo online. I keep getting the mental picture of the lab at the beginning of the ATHF episodes.

Paging Dean Kamen (5, Interesting)

Loadmaster (720754) | more than 5 years ago | (#27839921)

Seems like this would be right up his alley. He always said he wants scientists to be appreciated like sports stars. Here's his chance to enshrine one of the most famous and far thinking of them all.

Is this it? (3, Informative)

slummy (887268) | more than 5 years ago | (#27839961)

It appears there's a circular spot that had something there...

Tesla's Laboratory? [google.com]

Re:Is this it? (2, Interesting)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 5 years ago | (#27840055)

Yeah, those are the grounds. The smaller building with the older-looking roof on the southeast of the building complex is the actual laboratory building (the one with the small tower in the center of the roof), and I presume his 187-ft tower was located in the concrete octagon to the south of the lab.

Re:Is this it? (2, Interesting)

Jon_E (148226) | more than 5 years ago | (#27841427)

yeah - you can see the remnants of the original building from the older looking roof - i believe the windvane is still on top there .. there were train tracks that ran a separate line behind the laboratory, and yes - the octagonal shape i believe is the foundation for the tower that was blown up by the US Army in 1917 (they were worried that the Germans might use it either for a landmark for their submarines or as some sort of communication device) .. it was rumored that it took multiple attempts to actually destroy the tower given the solid construction and size of the wooden beams that were used.

It looks like much of the connecting area between the laboratory and the tower where the tunnels/connections should be are now filled in .. presumably AGFA was dumping their toxic photographic chemicals there - i guess filling it all in with cement constitutes their long cleanup ..

Re:Is this it? (2, Informative)

actionbastard (1206160) | more than 5 years ago | (#27840449)

My grandfather used to have a farm on the south shore of Long Island, almost due south from Wardenclyffe. He took us there a couple of times when I was a kid. The site was a photo processing plant at the time, but we could peer through the south gate and see the pad where the tower was. The concrete octagon was the site of the tower [physicstoday.org] that was demolished in 1917.

i will buy it (3, Funny)

ifeelswine (1546221) | more than 5 years ago | (#27840019)

and use it to figure out how to manufacture a pork samich without a bone in it. i will be rich.

Get congress to Earmark it. (4, Funny)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#27840039)

Seriously... Blowing a couple of million bucks on the site, along with perhaps a reconstructed museum and tower, is honestly a good way to waste Federal money. There's a big war bill coming out of the House, and get the New York delegation to stuff some money in there for a national museum, and while we're at it, have the President declare it as a national heritage site.

There will be some dopes at the National Review that will bitch about it, but even hard righties like me love national parks and the story of American industrialization and research. It's a lot better than Woodstock. I'd plug it on my right wing site, for sure.

Come on libs, spend some money and save this place!

If wishes were horses... (3, Insightful)

earlymon (1116185) | more than 5 years ago | (#27840115)

I'd ride mine down to cash in my winning lottery ticket, buy the land, and endow part of the fund needed to launch a world-class museum. You can visit Edison's lab in Greenfield Villiage (Henry Ford Musuem, etc) in Dearborn, Michigan - which, if you ever get the chance, do it - you won't be disappointed, I guarantee.

It would be shame if Tesla doesn't become similarly remembered.

Elon Musk... (1)

brianc (11901) | more than 5 years ago | (#27840183)

... should buy it. And start an east coast presence for Tesla.

Elon Musk's latest gig [teslamotors.com]

Two Words (1)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | more than 5 years ago | (#27842313)

Hells... YEAH!

amazing how this news keeps changeing (5, Interesting)

lunatick (32698) | more than 5 years ago | (#27840217)

I work across the street from his old lab (on Tesla st no less) The place is in serious disrepair, but it would be nice to see it preserved. His transmission towers are in wreckage all over the DEC property on the south side of 25a in rocky point.

Last I heard 1 week ago the museum was a go, guess things change.

If a company the size of AFGA (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#27840269)

is scraping for 1.6 million, they might as well give it away, becasue there not going to be here in a year anyways.

Tesla Einstein Notes Found in Chelsea Hotel (1, Informative)

Richard0Thomas (1548405) | more than 5 years ago | (#27840329)

It would be unfortunate if some material was still hidden there. Even more so because there was a hint of papers found, which may be an exchange between Einstein and Tesla. There was something about it here http://godparticle.net/ [godparticle.net]

Re:Tesla Einstein Notes Found in Chelsea Hotel (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27841489)

I that a site for some kind of strange cult of deranged physicists? or a joke? I'm not quite sure what to make of it when it says things like "The LHC may create a black hole, and it will suck away all the worlds fictions"

C'mon, folks! (3, Interesting)

Anachragnome (1008495) | more than 5 years ago | (#27840375)

This perhaps the single greatest opportunity ever to cross paths with Slashdot!

If we each pitch in a buck a piece...

Can you imagine the fun a few million /.ers can have with this stuff?

Projects/experiments can be decided democratically (!) via the moderating system and we can further fund the entire project from the click-throughs generated by poster signatures.

Re:C'mon, folks! (1)

RGRistroph (86936) | more than 5 years ago | (#27840845)

I would be interested in helping. As in, I won't just cheer you on on the internet, I might pitch in real money.

I am not so interested in a museum, or at least not just a museum -- some sort of museum seems appropriate for the place. I would be more interested in something like a "Hacker Space" with labs and workshops and possibly living arrangements, but on a bigger scale than hacker houses; more like a self-run graduate or research institute. I would like to be able to use the facilities like a Tech Shop ( http://techshop.ws/ [techshop.ws] ) if I lived close enough, pay a fee to be able send a design in to be made on a rapid protyping machine if we go that router, add myself to a waiting list to be able to live there a semester and take / teach classes, etc.

The structure should be some sort of corporation, with "members" buying shares, and each share should be priced high enough to keep the numbers manageable and low enough that not very many people would be economically excluded -- I would suggest 500 or 1000 dollars. Enough shares should be sold to fund what we want to do with a margin, and then no more; subsequent members would buy out an existing member's spot.

Decisions would have to be done democraticly via a system such as Debian uses or using something like DeliberativeAssembly.com . Of course officiers and a board would carry out actual immediate tasks, and long term decisions would be voted on at large, and the officiers and board be regularly elected, etc.

This particular piece of property might not be on the market by the time something was organized, but there are other places. If we make up a list of appropriate parameters -- size of space, with X miles of an airport, in a town with an Amtrak stop, etc, I am sure some structurly sound but unused factory building can be found somewhere away from the coasts for much less than 1.6 million.

Re:C'mon, folks! (1)

afxgrin (208686) | more than 5 years ago | (#27841237)

That's actually a pretty good idea - short of the project/experiments and democratic voting process.

It should be a museum - not a research lab. Well - maybe a small one in the back. :-) You'd need trinkets to sell to keep the facility operating, so might as well dedicate part of it to just developing those. heh a mini desktop Tesla coil or something equally useless but cool to have.

Like, what would you seriously do in a residential neighborhood using century old equipment?

Tesla was right (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27840395)

Methinks Tesla was 100+ years ahead of his peers, much like Pons and Fleishman were 20 years ahead of theirs. (Cold Fusion [slashdot.org] became legitimate again last month. Nuclear reactions at room temperature, oh my!)

The Orion Project mentioned Tesla [theorionproject.org] in one of their mailings this spring. People like to scoff, but the ones who scoff the loudest eventually have to hide the crow feet hanging out the side of their mouth.

The battle for credibility and redemption for the field [Cold Fusion]has been long and hard-fought. German physicist Max Planck predicted the nature of such scientific revolutions.

"A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light," Planck wrote, "but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it."

Almost poetically, John Maddox, the editor of Nature magazine and prominent opinion leader in the academic battle to dismiss "cold fusion" outright, died Sunday. He was widely quoted for his comment, "Broadly speaking, it is dead, and it'll remain dead for a long, long time," referring to "cold fusion."

-Cold Fusion - real science, real hope and, quite possibly, a real source of energy. [typepad.com] (emphasis added)

I'm certain that Tesla's vision of free wireless power will come to pass - probably even in the next few years. This would be a black swan that would prevent the economic collapse from developing into a new dark ages.

How much for.... (1)

VinylRecords (1292374) | more than 5 years ago | (#27840457)

How much for the cloning machine from 'The Prestige'?

Re:How much for.... (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#27840989)

Cloning machine?! Oh, man. Now you totally ruined it for me, you insensitive clod!

hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27840473)

Rather shocking isn't it?

National museum (1)

MikeURL (890801) | more than 5 years ago | (#27841165)

Just this week I went to the Hagley Museum. It was a fascinating trip back in time to the earliest industrialization of America. It was also pretty amazing to see how far DuPont stretched water power in the making of black powder.

This site is an awesome opportunity to make a National Museum that celebrates the early development of advances we all enjoy today.

:mod 0p (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27841213)

and committees the public eye: Darren Reed, which that *BSD is to use the GNAA I burnt out. I [tux.org]? Are yout recruitment, but the gay niggers channel, you might more gay than they quarreled on Simple solution blue, rubber paper towels, OpenBSD guys. They However I don't of reality. Keep NIGGER ASSOCIATION Continues in a same year, BSD our chances There are about 700 Could save it don't feel that Creek, abysmal MAKES ME SICK JUST all know we want. Claim that BSD is a From the FreeBSD fellow travellers? downward spiral. over the same over the same become obsessed to deliver what, come Here but now LEAVING CORE. I their hand...she anyone that thinks as those non gay, You don't need to fear the reaper world. GNAA members can really ask of

Missing Option (1)

droidsURlooking4 (1543007) | more than 5 years ago | (#27841623)

in the contract. Does it include rights to the underground tunnel between Wardenclyffe & the base at Montauk Point? That is where the alien collaborators traveled back and forth while helping the government distort time & torture young children.

Hmmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27841939)

Did J. Pierpont Morgan ruin Tesla? Also, on another note, is that the same person whose legacy is Chase bank? (The one which ate WaMu I think.)

Please correct me if I'm wrong. I may be.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?