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Old 04-10-2012, 06:52 AM #1
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Talking Could Tesla's laser have prevented Titanic disaster?

Hi all.

Seems that back in the 1900s Tesla was indeed experimenting with lasers.
More specifically, single shot ruby lasers powered by a capacitor discharge.
It appears that they worked by igniting a carbon button in the proximity of a ruby rod, generating very short bursts of red laser light.

At the time, Tesla may have abandoned the experiment because he couldn't get a stable beam, due to the requirement for a repetitive pulsed flash such as a xenon short arc tube.

However, if he had considered using a Blumlein circuit (aka nitrogen laser) things get very interesting indeed.
It could have been not only stable but powerful enough to reach several miles.
He could have come up with it after seeing a straight lightning strike on a nearby field and having one of his famous flashes of inspiration.

Now imagine one of these "tesla beam" generators mounted on the front of the RMS Titanic as a "Method of detecting and avoiding icebergs using directed light discharges" patented circa 1905.

.. !
The technology to build an N2 laser existed at the time, however in a rare case of theory needing to catch up with the physics the ruby laser was invented first.
The N2 laser was a later invention, after Blumlein came up with the theory.
Early examples could indeed make objects fluoresce which is possibly how they were fine tuned.

The N2 laser can run at atmospheric pressure, although at the time even a relatively poor vacuum with N2 as the main working gas would have worked.

All that would have been needed was a source of clean dry nitrogen, the laser itself and a source of high voltage.
The beam would probably have lit up the area in front of the ship like a Christmas tree due to atmospheric scatter, and any iceberg would have been very obvious indeed.

Discuss.

-A


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Old 04-10-2012, 08:47 AM #2
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Default Re: Could Tesla's laser have prevented Titanic disaster?

I am an avid fan of Nikola Tesla but I don't recall anything about a laser that he was producing. There is a tonne of myth and lore around Tesla because he was such an unusual character. Many of the devices that he worked on were so far fetched for his time that he didn't get the recognition or professional support he needed for his projects. MOST of his ideas centred around broadcasting wireless electricity (Tesla Coil) and the RF excited gas discharge tube as a lightbulb alternative. He invented radio communication but Marconi being a fascist sympathizer stole Tesla's work, and got away with patenting it for himself.
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Old 04-10-2012, 08:49 AM #3
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Default Re: Could Tesla's laser have prevented Titanic disaster?

I'm quite sure the radio patent recognition was returned to Tesla after his death.
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Old 04-10-2012, 09:09 AM #4
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Default Re: Could Tesla's laser have prevented Titanic disaster?

Legend has it that Nikola Tesla had the ability to tap into a huge knowledge "database" on astral plane of existance... Also that he was an alien, was adopted by his parents since his sister is only 6 months younger than him (!). And a whole bunch of other wild-ass theories.

I have not heard any rumors matching Nikola to lasers much, however as far as his afinity for destruction goes, allegedly he was the one responsible for the great Tunguska explosion. His big-ass "Dream Tower"? It was supposedly made to harvest HUGE amounts of energy generated by rotation of Earth and static nature of upper levels of atmosphere, working as both a dynamo and huge, planet sized spheric capacitor.

He went on to produce a tower that coult harvest that energy and expel it at precisely triangulated location anywhere on northern hemisphere. The great explosion happened within the two years in which his projects got cut short of funding and he was nowhere to be seen. Also it's wonderful that the greatest recorded explosion in human history, still unmatched by anything we think we know about explosives (that Tsar fusion bomb I talked about earlier? It doesn't even compare), happened on one single place on Earth where absolutely nothing got destroyed. No farmable land, no people, no civilisation, no nothing. Few thousand acres of forest got flattened, sure. That was the point, I think

Sorry for going offtopic.
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Old 04-11-2012, 06:41 AM #5
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Default Re: Could Tesla's laser have prevented Titanic disaster?

Tesla's Death Ray machine

This sounds plausible, as high intensity light hitting a ruby crystal with a simple mirror at each end will emit red laser light.

Hypothetically, if Tesla came across a natural linear ruby crystal with plane defects at each end (not unheard of in the 1900s) then it might have reflected enough light to lase.
Woudn't be much though, probably under 15mW even if it lasted more than an hour under the intense heat and light of a button lamp.

IIRC a YAG laser is essentially a piece of synthetic sapphire doped with other elements such as yttrium to act as the lasing medium.
Had Tesla tried this experiment he might have achieved air breakdown in the 1900's which would have looked an awful lot like ball lightning.

Same with focussed N2 laser, although this is a lot harder due to the absorption of 337nm UV by glass and quartz.
Perhaps a rosin lens maybe, as we are talking about very short pulses.

-A
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Old 04-11-2012, 07:23 AM #6
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Default Re: Could Tesla's laser have prevented Titanic disaster?

I heard something interesting the other day regarding the Titanic.. There was a
big factor in the events that unfolded which was a coal fire in the belly of the ship.

The question has been raised if this was in fact responsible for weakened steel, and
is said to be responsible for the excessive speed while passing through waters known for
ice. It was typical to have coal fires on these type ships, and they would shovel the
burning coal straight into the boilers, which is said to be responsible for moving at
near top speed..

I cant find the video on youtube, but there is some mention of the theory here..



IIRC it was on the history channel I saw some additional items, including something
about the designer of the ship choosing not to board at the last minute..

An interesting spin on an old story..
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Old 04-11-2012, 08:25 AM #7
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Default Re: Could Tesla's laser have prevented Titanic disaster?

I watched a very interesting program myself yesterday called 'Titanic - Case Closed'', on Nat Geo HD.

The reason the Titanic hit the Iceberg was due to atmospheric conditions - warm and cold air fronts (and water) causing mirages.
The unique conditions lead to the look outs spotting the iceberg too late and also a nearby ship capable of rescue totally ignoring what was happening.

There is a lot more information on what actually happened, for a more detailed 'report', watch the program.
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Old 04-11-2012, 12:27 PM #8
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Default Re: Could Tesla's laser have prevented Titanic disaster?

Nikola Tesla, the theory's surrounding him go quite deep into the rabbit hole indeed. He is a man ( legend ) that I deeply admire, and feel greatly sad for, just look at where, and how he died. I think his experiments in Colorado Springs document and show what he had tried to give all of us. His testing with what he called his " magnifying transmitter " was so successful. The feedback, of excess power generated by this transmitter/receiver, overloaded the dynamos at Colorado Springs power plant!

It was when he returned to New York, confident of this new discovery in technology, that began his eventual demise. As he only told JP Morgan at the time that he would be transmitting wireless communications. But when Morgan got wind of what his big vision really was ( drawing power from the aether as Tesla called it ) and transmitting it freely to all of us, Morgan asked " where do we put the meter? " And promptly pulled all his finances, and launched a deliberate campaign to discredit him. After that, and the destruction by Morgan of his " tower of power " he had a nervous breakdown, and was never the same again. Very sad story indeed....
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Old 04-11-2012, 01:16 PM #9
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Default Re: Could Tesla's laser have prevented Titanic disaster?

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Nikola Tesla, the theory's surrounding him go quite deep into the rabbit hole indeed. He is a man ( legend ) that I deeply admire, and feel greatly sad for, just look at where, and how he died. I think his experiments in Colorado Springs document and show what he had tried to give all of us. His testing with what he called his " magnifying transmitter " was so successful. The feedback, of excess power generated by this transmitter/receiver, overloaded the dynamos at Colorado Springs power plant!

It was when he returned to New York, confident of this new discovery in technology, that began his eventual demise. As he only told JP Morgan at the time that he would be transmitting wireless communications. But when Morgan got wind of what his big vision really was ( drawing power from the aether as Tesla called it ) and transmitting it freely to all of us, Morgan asked " where do we put the meter? " And promptly pulled all his finances, and launched a deliberate campaign to discredit him. After that, and the destruction by Morgan of his " tower of power " he had a nervous breakdown, and was never the same again. Very sad story indeed....
It's not Tesla's story that's sad. His story is great. It's the story of immense douchebaggery by the rest of the human race that's sad.

If only somebody saw past their own god damned wallet and realised that if they didn't drop the ball, by now we'd be chillin' in a bar orbiting Jupiter or something. What a view would that be.

And the lasers we'd be playing with. Man!
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Old 04-11-2012, 04:00 PM #10
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Default Re: Could Tesla's laser have prevented Titanic disaster?

^^^ Yes his story is incredible indeed, I was just calling what ended up HAPPENING to him sad. And your dead on about where the human race as a whole would be right now, IF he had not been railroaded by that low life human JP Morgan. It's story's like this that really make me wonder about the future of humanity as a whole.

Although there is a small group of people who are trying to recreate/rediscover his work. Most of these people believe that his magnifying transmitter was or is a modified Tesla Coil, retuned via the primary and secondary windings, to operate in reverse. to in essence tune into the earths natural EM field, and set up a resonance with it to transform this energy into a source we can use.
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Old 04-11-2012, 04:06 PM #11
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Default Re: Could Tesla's laser have prevented Titanic disaster?

You can rediscover his work, or discover new one... it doesn't matter if you don't have billions of dollars to buy off people who oppose you.

A few years back, I read a statistic that there are around 2000 patents for obtaining and usage of "free" energy such as natural unlimited resources or a bit more advanced orgone and aether energy sources - held in secret by goverments worldwide. By now number could be far greater than 2k , but facts are there.

It is not about "discovering" new technology. We already have it and know of it, know how to construct it, use it. Problem is that it's not in somebody's interest to do so.

I cannot wait for the moment when humanity takes a step back, looks upon it's past and says "Holy sh!t, were we really like that?!" Yes, we were. We have designs and patents for unlimited energy, but no, certain individual would lose their vast wealths for it, so nobody is moving forward unless they say so.

How sad is that?
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Old 04-11-2012, 05:39 PM #12
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Old 04-11-2012, 08:10 PM #13
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Default Re: Could Tesla's laser have prevented Titanic disaster?

Yeah I guess I had it coming. It would be weird if I wasn't called crazy for thinking out loud.


That one works too well for me.
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Old 04-11-2012, 08:38 PM #14
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Default Re: Could Tesla's laser have prevented Titanic disaster?

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Oh well I guess we better go back and call the Wright brothers crazy too, as we all know man can't fly! I'm out now, gotta go back to the park. I have some pigeons to feed....
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Old 04-14-2012, 06:14 AM #15
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Default Re: Could Tesla's laser have prevented Titanic disaster?

Tesla's early work in radio was so advanced that Marconi essentially copied Tesla's patents word for word when building his own equipment.

Had Tesla managed to commercialise his discovery of resonant circuit based radio we would likely have had working continental wireless in 1902 and WW1 would likely have been shown on Baird's televisors.

Even the use of lasers would have revolutionised communications, as the beam could have carried across massive distances with as low as 10W power.

Shame it didn't work out.

-A
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Old 04-14-2012, 09:54 AM #16
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Default Re: Could Tesla's laser have prevented Titanic disaster?

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Originally Posted by conundrum View Post
Hi all.

Seems that back in the 1900s Tesla was indeed experimenting with lasers.
More specifically, single shot ruby lasers powered by a capacitor discharge.
It appears that they worked by igniting a carbon button in the proximity of a ruby rod, generating very short bursts of red laser light.

At the time, Tesla may have abandoned the experiment because he couldn't get a stable beam, due to the requirement for a repetitive pulsed flash such as a xenon short arc tube.
?? Where is your evidence that Tesla ever experimented with lasers? There's no evidence that tesla even came close to the idea of lasers or understood the science behind it.

The optical pumping effect as well as the potential of the Ruby R Lines were discovered by Alfred Kastler years after tesla's death. It took real physicists with an understanding of spectroscopy and quantum electrodynamics to come up with the laser, it's not something that a tinkerer could have just come up with.

The possibility of amplification was hinted at by Einstein back in ~1917 but the principal of laser amplification was developed by Charlie Townes (and a few others) and of course his original work on masers preceding the laser. The first operation of a laser was by Maiman, the first continious, stable beam was demonstrated by Javan both in 1960. These people get the credit for the laser.
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