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The Almighty Buck Science

$900,000 Raised For Buying Tesla's Lab 123

icebraining writes "As Slashdot reported earlier, The Oatmeal's Matthew Inman launched a funding campaign to help the Tesla Science Center, a 503(c) non-profit, buy the place of Tesla's final laboratory, the Wardenclyffe Tower in Shoreham, New York. Well, thanks to 21511 contributors, it has already raised $912,080, well above the original $850,000 goal. But it's not too late to help: any money raised above the goal will be used by the organization to build a museum dedicated to Tesla."
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$900,000 Raised For Buying Tesla's Lab

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  • Error in summary (Score:5, Informative)

    by FalconZero ( 607567 ) <FalconZero AT Gmail DOT com> on Wednesday August 22, 2012 @12:37PM (#41082629)
    A small error, but the original goal was $850,000 - which is slightly important, as it was the required goal to attain matched funding from local government.
  • Re:Error in summary (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 22, 2012 @12:57PM (#41082923)

    Actually, that was the max matching that the local government would provide. The local government offered to match any amount raised up to that amount.

  • Re:Error in summary (Score:5, Informative)

    by WillgasM ( 1646719 ) on Wednesday August 22, 2012 @12:59PM (#41082937) Homepage
    Actually, they said they would match anything up to $850k. They'll probably be able to get the property for much cheaper since they're able to pay cash. The Current $1.6m bid that they wanted to beat was apparently financed. With some luck, they should already have some funds leftover to start the museum.
  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Wednesday August 22, 2012 @01:08PM (#41083047) Homepage

    That's nice, but it reflects Tesla's work in his "dumb RF" period. Tesla's AC work was great, but his concept of RF was bogus. He thought the ionosphere was a conductive layer. What the Wardencliffe tower was supposed to do was use UV lamps to ionize a path up to the ionosphere so a high voltage could be pushed up to it, like a lightning bolt in reverse. Then, having energized the conductive layer, a receiver in another location far away could pick up the signal, or maybe even power. Tesla wrote this up; there's no mystery about this.

    It would have been spectacular to watch, but useless as a communications system. The ionosphere isn't a big conductive plate in the sky. Also, the way to make radio work is to make better receivers, not more powerful transmitters. When Marconi first sent signals across the Atlantic, his transmit RF power was about 10KW. Tesla was planning to use megawatts on the transmit side, but didn't have anything new on the receive side.

  • by JoshuaZ ( 1134087 ) on Wednesday August 22, 2012 @01:14PM (#41083145) Homepage
    Basic physics says you can't extract that much energy from electromagnetic fields like that. Most fields diminish with an inverse square law (although magnetic fields actually diminish with an inverse cube for complicated reasons).

    Remember that JP Morgan pulled his funding when Tesla didn't know how to incorporate an electric meter into his system for extracting energy from the aether ("higgs field" is the latest term, I think).

    Ok. First, the notion of an aether was a ubiquitous substance necessary to explain among other things how electromagnetic waves traveled http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luminiferous_aether [wikipedia.org]. There was in the late 19th century and early 20th century, the reasonable but ultimately incorrect beliefs that waves required a medium to travel through. Since the main waves people were used to all obeyed that, it seemed reasonable. 20th century physics (especially Einstein's work) removed most of the reasons for thinking one would need an ether. Second, the Higgs field http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Higgs_field [wikipedia.org] has nothing to do with this but is, very roughly speaking, an attempt to explain where the mass of elementary particles comes from. There's no way Tesla would have known anything about it. He had neither the math nor the particle physics knowledge to even guess at such a thing. You are essentially combining a variety of different ideas together that have little to do with each other.

  • by Confusador ( 1783468 ) on Thursday August 23, 2012 @01:40AM (#41091209)

    Their promotional video [fragmentsfromolympus.com] includes pictures of the interior. There's a lot of work that needs to be done.

"My sense of purpose is gone! I have no idea who I AM!" "Oh, my God... You've.. You've turned him into a DEMOCRAT!" -- Doonesbury