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Electricity flow in the air when air is a conductor

  1. Aug 17, 2015 #1
    I have read Tesla's patent and he claims that by rarefying the air enclosed in a vessel its insulating properties are impaired to such an extent that it becomes what may be considered as a true conductor, although one of admittedly very high resistance.And any amount of electrical power can be transferred without a loss.
    Has someone tried this experiment in our century. How can we make so the air acts like conductor with less resistivity?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 17, 2015 #2

    berkeman

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    The Paschen Curves show the breakdown voltage of gasses versus pressure: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paschen's_law

    Don't put too much faith into Tesla's work (including any patents). There is no free lunch. :smile:
     
  4. Aug 17, 2015 #3
    Thank you for the link and advice.
     
  5. Aug 18, 2015 #4

    sophiecentaur

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    Absolutely. You can 'Patent' anything you like but you don't have to demonstrate it will work.
    What is it about the Tesla name? He may have been a few years before his time but not many decades /centuries, as people would like to think.
    I wonder, if his name had been Smith or Jones, would he have such a following?
    PS Some of my best friends are Smiths and Joneses so I am not being namist. :wink:

    It might be interesting to make a survey of people who 'lurve' Tesla and find out how many of them have actually ever designed a system or device that works on a commercial level.
    I am contemplating changing my name to Gandalf and marketing a few whacky ideas. I'd bet they would really take off.
     
  6. Aug 18, 2015 #5
    In general this should be a plasma ( you are moving electrons away from molecules in a gas) - so at that point I would no longer call it air. The phenomena of dielectric ( insulation) breakdown at high altitudes ( low pressures) is well understood.

    There is a weather phenomena that uses plasma conductors - but you do not want to be around it as it happens.
     
  7. Aug 18, 2015 #6

    Averagesupernova

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    I noticed many many years ago that a lot of Tesla's ideas were a bit off. It seems that only more recently people have been willing to admit this. However, the Tesla worshipping fools never seem to give up.
     
  8. Aug 18, 2015 #7
    these things have opposite meanings....


    a true conductor (if there is such a thing - maybe a superconductor?) would show negligible resisitance

    a conductor with a very high resistance, is by definition, an insulator.


    When a material is a conductor, and when a material is an insulator depends on context and conditions.


    how can you transfer power without loss across a very high resistance?


    As soon as somebody says "without loss" your alarm bells should ring: you are getting into perpetual motion territory.
     
  9. Aug 18, 2015 #8

    Nidum

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    If you like good stories about inventors have a look at the life and work of one of our local folk heroes :

    http://www.harrygrindellmatthews.com/default.asp

    Opinion is divided 50/50 about whether he was a genius or a con artist .

    Some of his work has similarity to Tesla's .
     
  10. Aug 18, 2015 #9
    I suspect what Tesla was trying to say was that air has a low loss coefficient and transmits EM waves well. To test if he was right about this, turn on a radio.

    I'm one of those who lurves [sic] Tesla. Sure he was a kook. But he gave us AC power and the induction motor. That forgives lots of kookiness IMO.

    Then there's the Tesla coil ... Kooky but still cool.
     
  11. Sep 5, 2015 #10
    can you explain why i should not be around when air becomes conductor?
     
  12. Sep 5, 2015 #11
  13. Sep 5, 2015 #12

    davenn

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    windadct is referring to what zaps out of big black clouds
     
  14. Sep 5, 2015 #13
  15. Sep 5, 2015 #14
    many years ago when I was a wee boy, we went on a school trip to the Tower Of London. We were told by the Beefeater looking after us that a Grey Bishop called Gandulf built the original White Tower;

    We thought he was winding us up to make the story seem like a fairy tale; but when we went back to school to write up our story, we were told by our teacher that was absolutely true.

    He was the first of the Royal Engineers...


    anyway...
     
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