Nikola Tesla was a genius and a cool dude; being responsible for important things like AC power, RADAR, and the Tesla Coil while scaring the pants off 19th century citizens with your electrical finesse have a tendency of doing that to you. However, some smart people have figured out how to build on his genius, switch things up, and make Tesla Coils amplify guitars, put on the obligatory light show, and synchronize with keyboards.
A Tesla Coil, in short, is a method of creating high voltage environments with (generally) low amounts of current. While they found use in wireless telegraph transmission, early power transmission experiments, and generally freaking the populace out, a majority of modern Tesla Coils are now built by enthusiasts and researchers.
So, being an electrical engineer and all, here’s a little carnival showcasing some awesome things done with Tesla Coils over the years…
Tesla Coil set to music:
Mario Brothers Tune to Tesla Coil
Mythbusters, Body Piercings, and Tesla Coils
Mythbusters has used Tesla Coils in a number of experiments; most of them involving kites, lighting, or cool light shows. However, one episode revolved around the premise that if you had a body piercing (they tested tongue rings, specifically) you’d be more susceptible to lightning strikes. While the footage is copyrighted, I can reassure you, the found that unless you have a 4 inch metal rod in your mouth, there isn’t much chance of your piercings being struck by any lightning.
While this last one isn’t a Tesla Coil the High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) stems from some of the work Nikola Tesla experimented with when he attempted to use Tesla Coils to ionize localized parts of the Earth’s atmosphere. Some say it’s a weapon of mass destruction, some say it’s a dud. I say it looks like a bunch of snowy antennas.
Now, where did I put the plans for my Weather Control Device?
Pictures courtesy of: TechEBlog;