1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Rumors surrounding Tesla's free energy

  1. Jul 28, 2013 #1
    So reading on his work I stumble upon him wanting to give everyone free energy.

    This video shows how it could work. But mythbusters did a program on this where they say it's not possible.

    I'm not asking about creating energy but just if it's possible like how Tesla wanted to get energy from "air" just the light that's around everywhere.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 28, 2013 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    Sure, but the amount of power you can get this way is pretty small unless you have a very big absorber.

    If you live fairly close to a powerful broadcast station you might be getting something like 50 uW/cm². My blackberry has about a 50 cm² area and a 5 Wh battery capacity. So if your absorber and charger were 100% efficient it would require about 2000 hours to charge.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2013
  4. Jul 28, 2013 #3


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    This isn't "free electricity from the air". This is "I'm going to use an antenna to do exactly what antennas are designed to do, pick up transmitted EM waves and turn them into voltage and current".

    The problems are that this energy has to be produced somehow before it can be transmitted. So someone somewhere IS paying for it. You'd also need an enormous antenna, or a lot of little ones, to get any real amount of power that would be of use for running things.
  5. Jul 29, 2013 #4
    Thanks for the reply Dale that is what I was looking for.

    And I with my very limited knowledge know obviously that this energy isn't free. But the concept is one I find interesting. Thanks for the reply guys!
  6. Jul 29, 2013 #5


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member
    2017 Award

    The guy who made the UTube video never, once, mentioned what his antenna consisted of. His circuit doesn't contain any matching network and he doesn't mention what frequencies of RF he is picking up.
    Let's face it, if anyone talks about "electricity", as if it's an actual quantity, is a dodgy source of technical information. The sort of 'electrical power' that's available from a length of wire, hung up over your garden is highly suitable to drive a Crystal Set in many parts of the country; entertaining but not relevant to your cost of living.
  7. Jul 29, 2013 #6
    There is another big issue about the "free electricity" no cables thing.
    These days we have everything starting from electric water heating to electric room heating to multiple computers etc in the house now all of that consumes quite alot of energy and even if we could put all that energy efficiently in the air in the form of Em waves at a given frequency , that would be a huge health and physics problem , there are alot of obstacles in the way , various metals and building materials would be just one.

    Well the idea is kinda great but when the dreaming part is over you start to realize that the wireless power thing could only go as far as cars and buses having charging pads or places where you drive onto and can charge your car without doing or plugging or unplugging any wires.
    in other words for specific applications and short directed distances not everywhere and equal strength etc.

    Many people don't realize that even Tesla being a smart and wise person with genius visions etc , he was living like almoust a 100 years back in history so at his time many of the things we know now they were still a mystery at his times so maybe if he would have the chance to live again now he would discredit some of his own ideas.
  8. Jul 29, 2013 #7


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    If you live in the right place. But it is probably illegal in your country:

Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook