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No.’685,957. _ Patented Nov. 5, I90].

~ N. TESLA.
APPARATUS FOR THE UTILIZATION OF RADIANTQENERGY.
(Application ?led Mn. 21, 1901.)
(No Model.)

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UNITED ‘STATES ‘ PATENT OFFICE.
' ' NIKoLA TESLA, on NEW YoRK, N. Y.

APPARATUS FOR THE ‘UTILIZATION OF RADIANT ENERGY.

SPEGIFIGATION forming part of Letters Patent No. 685,957, dated November v5, 1901.
' » Application ?led MarchZl, 1901. Serial No. 52,153. (No model.) ’

T0 at” whom it may concern.- \ operation or control of mechanical or elec


Be it known that I, NIKOLA TEsLA, a citizen trical devices or rendered useful in many
_ of the United States, residing at the borough other ways. . ' '

of Manhattan, in the city, county, and State In applying my discovery I provide a con~
of New York, have invented certain new and denser, preferably of considerable electro 55
useful Improvements in Apparatus for the static capacity, and connect one of its termi
Utilization of Radiant Energy, of which the nals to an insulated metal plate or other con
following is a speci?cation, reference being ducting-body exposed to the rays or streams
had to the drawings accompanying and form ‘of radiant matter. It is very important, par 60
IQ ing a part of the same. i ticularly in view of the fact that electrical
It is well known that certain radiations— energy is generally supplied at a very slow
such as those of ultra-violet light, cathodic, rate to the condenser, to construct the same
, Roentgen rays, or the like-‘possess the prop with the greatest care. I use, by preference,
erty of charging and discharging conductors the best quality of mica as dielectric, taking
every possible precaution in insulating the
I5 of electricity, the discharge being particu armatures, so that the instrument may with
larly noticeable when the conductor upon
which the rays impinge is negatively electri stand great electrical pressures without leak
?ed. These radiations are generally con ing and may leave no perceptible electri?
sidered to be ether vibrations of extremely cation when discharging instantaneously. In
'20 small wave lengths, and in explanation of the
practice I have found that the best results 70
phenomena noted it has been assumed by are‘ obtained with condensers treated in the
some authorities that they ionize or render manner described in a patent granted to me
conducting the atmosphere through which February 23,1897, No. 577,671. Obviously the
they are propagated.‘ , My own experiments above precautions should be the more rigor
ously observed the slower the rate of charg 75
25 and observations, however, lead me to con ing and the smaller the time interval during
clusions more in accord with ‘the theory here
tofore advanced by me that sources of such which the energy is allowed to accumulate in
radiant energy throw off with great velocity the condenser. The insulated plate or con
minute particles of matter which are strongly ducting-body should present as large a sur 80
electri?ed, and therefore capable of charging face as practicable to the rays or streams of
an electrical conductoigor, even if not so, matter, I having ascertained that the amount
may at any rate discharge an electri?ed con of energy conveyed to it per unit of time is
ductor either by carrying off bodily its charge‘ under otherwise identical conditions propor
tionate to the ‘area exposed, or nearly so.
or otherwise. , ,
My present application is based upon a dis Furthermore, the surface should be clean and
35 preferably highly polished or amalgamated.
covery which I have made that when rays or.
radiations of the above kind are permitted to The second terminal or armature of the con
fall upon an insulated conducting-body con denser may be connected to one of the poles
nected to oneof the terminals of a condenser ‘of a battery or other source of electricity or .
while the other terminal of the same is made to any conducting body or object whatever of 90
by independent means to receive or .to carry such properties or so conditioned that by its
away electricity a current flows into the con means electricity of the required sign will be
denser so long as theinsulated body is eX supplied to the terminal. A simple way of
posed to the rays, and under the conditions supplying positive or negative electricity to
the terminal is to connect the same either to
45 hereinafter-speci?ed an inde?nite accumu
lation'of electricalcnergy in the condenser an insulated conductor supported at some
takes place. This energy after a suitable height in theatm osphere or to a grou nded con
time interval, during which the rays are al ductor, the former, as is well known, furnish
lowed to act, may manifest itself in a pow; ing positive and the latter negative electric
' 5o erfuldischarge, which maybe utilized forthe ity. As the rays or supposed streams of mat
ter generally convey a positive charge to the device d be of such character that it will op
?rst condenser-terminal, which is connected erate to‘ close the circuit in'which it is in
to the plate or conductor above mentioned, I cluded when the potential in the condenser
usually connect the second terminal of the has reached a certain magnitude, the accu mu 70
condenser to the ground, this being the most lated charge will pass through the circuit,
convenient Way of obtaining negative elec which also includes the receiver R, and oper
tricity, dispensing with the necessity of pro‘ ate the latter. '
viding an artificial source. In order to util In illustration of a particular form of ap
ize for any useful purpose the energy accu paratus which may be used in carrying out 75
IO
m ulated in the condenser, I furthermore con my discovery I now refer to Fig. 2. In this
nect to the terminals of the samea circuit in ?gure, which in the general arrangement of
cluding an instrument or apparatus which it the elements‘ is identical to Fig. 1, the device
is desired to operate and another instrument at is shown as com posed of two very thin con
or device for alternately closing and opening ducting-plates 2ft’, placed in close proximity 85
the circuit. This latter may be any form of and very mobile, either by reason of extreine
circuit-controller, with ?xed or movable parts ?exibility or owing to the character of their
or electrodes, which may be actuated either support. Toimprove theiraction,theyshould
by the stored energy or by independent means, be inclosed in a receptacle, from which the
My discovery will be more fully understood ‘air may be exhausted. The plates 25 t’ are
20 from the following description and annexed connected in series with a working circuit, 85
drawings, to which referenceis now made, and including a suitable receiver, which in this
in which~— '
case is shown as consisting of an electromag
Figure 1 is a diagram showing the general net M, a movable armature a, a retractile
arrangement of apparatus as usually em spring I), and a ratchet-wheel 10, provided
25 ployed. Fig. 2 is a similar diagram illustrat with a spring-pawl 11, which is pivoted to ar 9O
ing more in detail typical forms of the devices mature a, as illustrated. When the radia
or elements used in practice, and Figs. 3 and tions of the sun or other radiant source fall
dare diagram matical representations of modi upon'plate P, a current flows into the con
?ed arrangements suitable for special pur denser, as above explained, until the poten
30 poses. 95
tial therein rises sufficiently to attract and
As illustrative of the manner in which the bring into contact the two plates 25 t’, and
several parts or elements of the apparatus in thereby close the circuit connected to the two
one of its simplest forms are to be arranged condenser-terminals. This permits a ?ow of
and connected for useful operation, reference currentv which energizes the magnet M, caus
is made to Fig. 1, in which 0 is the condenser, ing it to draw down the armature a and im I00
P the insulated plate or conducting-body part a- partial rotation to the ratchet-Wheel
_ which is exposed to the rays, and P’ another to. As the current ceases the armature is
plate or conductor which is grounded, all be retracted by the spring Z), without, however,
ing joined in series, as shown. The terminals moving the wheel to. With the stoppage of
40 T '1‘I ofthe condenser are also connected to a 105
the current the plates t t’ cease to be attracted
circuit which includes a device R to be oper and separate, thus restoring the circuit to its
ated and a circuit-controlling device d of the original condition.
character above referred to. Fig. 3 shows a modi?ed form of apparatus
The apparatus being arranged as shown, it used in connection with an arti?cial source
45 will be found that when the radiations of the I10
of radiant energy, which in this instance may
sun or of any other source capable of pro be an arc emitting copiously ultra-violet rays.
ducing the effects before described fall upon A suitable re?ector may be provided for con
the plate P an accumulation of electrical centrating and directing the radiations. A
energy in the condenser C will result. This magnet It and circuit-controller d are ar
phenomenon, I believe, is best explained as ranged as in‘the previous ?gures; but in the 115
follows: The sun, as well as other sources of present case the former instead of performing
radiant energy, throws off minute particles of itself the whole work only serves the purpose
matterpositively electri?ed,which,impinging of alternately opening and closing a local
upon the plate P, communicate continuously circuit, containing a source of current B and
55 an electrical charge to the same. The op I20
a receiving or translating device D. The
posite terminal of, the condenser being con controller (I, if desired, may consist of two
nected to the ground, which may be consid ?xed electrodes separated by a minute air
ered as a vast reservoir of negative electricity, gap or weak dielectric ?lm, which breaks
a feeble current ?ows continuously into the down more or less suddenly when a definite
condenser, and inasmuch as these supposed difference of potential is reached at the ter 125
particles are of an inconceivabl y small radius minals of the condenser and returns to its
or curvature, and consequently charged to a original state upon the passage of the dis
relatively very high potential, this charging of charge.
the condenser may continue, as I have ac
65 tuallyobserved, almost inde?nitely, even to 4:, Still another modi?cation is shown in Fig.
in which the source S of radiant energy is
130
the point of rupturing the dielectric. If the a special form of Roentgen tube devised by
685,957 ' 8
me, having but one terminal 70, generally of
aluminium, in the form of half a sphere,with speci?callydescribed with reference to Fig. 2
a plain polished surface on the front side, and also that thesp'ecialdetails of con struction .
from which the streams are thrown olf. It and arrangement of the several parts of the
may be excited by attaching itto one of the apparatus ‘may be very greatly varied with
terminals ofany generator of sufficiently high, out departure from the invention. ‘
electromotive force; but whatever apparatus Having described my invention‘, what ‘I
claim is; ‘ ' ‘ ’
be used it is important that the tube be ex
hausted to a high degree, as otherwise it might 1. An apparatus for utilizing radiant en
10
prove entirely ine?ective. The working or ergy, comprising in combination a condenser, 75
discharge circuit connected to the terminals one armature of which is subjected to the ac~
T T’ of the condenser includes in this case tion of rays or radiations, independent means
the primary 19 of a transformer and a circuit~ for charging the other armature, a circuit and
controller comprising a hired terminal or
brush t and a movable terminal 25’ in the shape
'of a wheel, with conducting and insulating
segments, which may be rotated at an arbi4 2._ An apparatus for utilizing radiant en~
trary speed by any suitable means. In in ergy, comprisingin combination, a condenser,
20
ductive relation to the primary wire or coil 19 one armature of which is subjected to the ac
is a secondary s, usually of a much greater tion of rays or radiations, independent means 85
number of turns, to the ends of which is con for charging the other armature, a local cir
nected a receiver R. The terminals of the cuit connected with the condenser-terminals,
condenser being connected, as indicated, one a circuit~controller therein and means adapted
to an insulated plate P and the other to a to be operated or controlled by the discharge ,
25 grounded plate P’, when the tube S is excited of the condenser when the local circuit is
90
rays or streams of matter are emitted from closed, as set forth. _
the same, which convey a positive charge to An apparatus for utilizing radiant en
the plate P and condenser-terminal T, while ergy, comprising in combination, a condenser,
terminal T’ is continuously receiving nega oneterminal of which is subjected to the ac
tiveelectricity from‘ the plate P’. This, as tion of rays or radiations, independent means
before explained, results in an accumulation for charging the other armature, a local cir
of electrical energy in the condenser, which cuit connected with the condenser-terminals,
goes on as long as the circuit including the a circuit-controller therein dependent for op-‘
eration on a given rise of potential in the con
35 cult is closed owing to the rotation of the denser, and devices operated by the discharge I00
terminal t’, the stored energy is discharged of the condenser when the local circuit is
through the primary 19, this giving rise in the I closed, as set forth. ,
secondarys to induced currents, which oper— An apparatus for utilizing radiant en
ate the receiver R. ergy, comprising in combination, a condenser,
It is clear from what has been stated above one terminal of which is subjected to the ac 105
that if the terminal T’ is connected to a plate tion of rays or radiations, and the other of
supplying positive‘ instead of negative elec which is connected with the ground, a circuit
tricity the rays should convey negative elec . and apparatus therein adapted to be operated
tricity to plate P. The source S maybe any by the discharge of the accumulated e ergy
45 form of Roentgen or Lenard tube; but it is in the condenser, as set forth. ' '
' obvious from the 5. An apparatus for utilizing radiant en
theory of action that in
order to be very effective the electrical im ergy, comprising in con1bination',a condenser,
pulses exciting it should be wholly or at least one terminal of which is subjected to the ac
preponderatingly of one sign. If ordinary tion of rays or radiations and the other of
SO symmetrical alternating currents are em which is connected with the ground, a local
ployed, provision should be made for allow circuit connected with the condenser-termi I15
ing the rays to fall upon the plate P only nals, a circuit-controller therein and means
during those periods when they are product-. adapted to be operated by the discharge of
ive of the desired result. Evidently if the the condenser when the local circuit is closed,
as set forth. ,
radiations of the source be stopped or inter I20
cepted or their intensity varied in any man 6. An apparatus for utilizing radiant en
ner,as by periodicallyinterrupting or rythmic ergy, comprising in combination,a condenser,
ally varying the current exciting the source, one terminal of which is subjected to the ac~
there will be corresponding changes in the, tion of rays or radiations and the other of
action upon the receiver R, and thus signals which is connected with the ground, a local
may be transmitted and circuit connected with the condenser-termi-v 125
nals, a circuit-controller therein adapted to
.be operated by a given rise of potential in the
will respond to or be set in operation when a condenser, and devices operated by the dis
65 predeterminedamount of energy is stored in charge of the condenser whenv the local circuit
the condenser may be usedinheu ofthe device is closed, as set forth. '
7. An apparatus for. utilizing radiant en
%
685,957
g one ter- adapted to be operated by a given rise of po
ergy, comprising a condenser, havin her to an tential in the condenser, as set forth.
minal connected to earth an d the ot
elevated conducting-plate, which is adapted NIKOLA TESLA.
to receive the rays from a distant source of
‘ Witnesses:
radiant energy, a local circuit connected with M. LAWSON DYER,
the condenser-terminals, a receiver therein, RICHARD DONOVAN.
and a circuit- controller therefor which is

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