100 years ago
The fall of Guglielmo Marconi’s wireless empire
Like Homer’s Troy and King Arthur, it is said that myths are often based on fact, but the myth of the invention of radio (wireless telegraphy) by Marconi contrived only a hundred years ago is a complete fabrication. He was, during his lifetime, an entrepreneur and an ambitious wannabe, indulged by his rich father; he stole everything he needed and didn’t invent a thing. No one denies that he made the first long-distance transmissions, but he did it with the equipment and ideas of other inventors. So how did he become known as the inventor of radio?
eham.net says: “Marconi had established a consortium of powerful British investors. Several of these were members of Parliament, and the rest were in a position to command the ear of that governing body. Because of this, both Lodge and Fessenden (Canada being a member of the British Commonwealth) were effectively silenced by governmental actions. The Marconi Company soon dominated the wireless (radio) scene.
From about 1900 until 1943, there were a large number of patent rights battles in the courts of the United States and Great Britain. Little by little, Marconi’s patent empire was voided until, just before his death in 1943, his latest patent was vacated in favor of Nikola Tesla.
In fact, Marconi’s list of patent fights included almost all of the inventors and pioneers of radio communications. People like de Forest, Fleming, and others were in an almost constant fight with Marconi and his company. Because of these lengthy patent battles, the British Government did not wish to aid those fighting against the British-based Marconi Company. Therefore, they insisted that Marconi was the inventor of radio. It is unfortunate that this misconception is still being taught today. Marconi, through the efforts of his British company, did more than anyone else to commercialized radio. However, he really did nothing himself in the actual invention of the systems. Everything he used was invented by someone else, and was actually used in two-way radio communications before Marconi. In Loomis’ case, the patent was issued before Marconi was even born!” 1
ieee.ca says:”He (Marconi) was aware, however, of his own limitations as a scientist and engineer, and so (in 1900) he enlisted the help of university professor John Ambrose Fleming, as scientific advisor to the Marconi Company; and he chose engineers of notably high caliber, R.N. Vyvyan and others, to form the team with which he surrounded himself. Marconi’s systems were based on spark technology, and he persevered with spark until about 1912. He saw no need for voice transmission. He felt that the Morse code was adequate for communication between ships and across oceans. He was a pragmatist and uninterested in scientific inquiry in a field where commercial viability was unknown. He, among others, did not foresee the development of the radio and broadcasting industry.” 2
John Ambrose Fleming and the Marconi diode rectifier
According to the Marconi Calling Museum: “When Fleming visited the USA in 1889, he met Edison who gave him some of these special lamps. Edison had inserted a metal plate in one of his bulbs and found that a current would flow if the plate were made positive with respect to the (hot) filament but not if the polarity was reversed. (The first record of a diode rectifier) Fleming returned to England and (in the best tradition of science) repeated Edison’s experiments (carefully documenting them as scientists are want to do) and then put the lamps away in a laboratory cupboard and forgot about them.” (for years)… and then : “”I have,” he wrote to Marconi, “found a method of rectifying electrical oscillations – that is making the flow of electricity all in the same direction (just as he had already been told by Edison) so that I can detect them with an ordinary mirror galvanometer.” With the galvanometer and his one-way valve, he could receive signals on an aerial and “measure exactly the effect of the transmitter”… Marconi put the valve into production immediately. What neither he nor Fleming could then know was that it would eventually lead radio from Morse clicks into speech and full sound broadcasting – and into litigation that cost as much money as it ever earned.” 3
What is not mentioned is that all wireless detection before this time was achieved via the coherer, even though no one had the faintest idea as to how the coherer worked – a situation that persists to this day. It is therefore unsurprising that when diodes became available, no one tried them as possible detectors as no one knew what they were looking for or what they wanted it to do.
Wiki however, on the page devoted to Fleming, has a completely different story: “Sir John Ambrose Fleming FRS (29 November 1849 – 18 April 1945) was an English electrical engineer and physicist. He is known for inventing the first thermionic valve or vacuum tube.” 4
And so a scientific hero is born! Wiki on the ‘Diode’ page says that in 1904, as a result of experiments conducted on Edison effect bulbs imported from the USA, he (Fleming) developed a device he called an “oscillation valve” (because it passes current in only one direction). 5 Note: there is no mention of wireless detection.
On the Wiki page “The Fleming valve” we read that “It was also the first diode, an electronic component which conducts current in one direction only, and would later be widely used as a rectifier—a device which converts alternating current (AC) into direct current (DC)—in the power supplies of a wide range of electronic devices, until largely replaced by the semiconductor diode in the 1960s.” 6 It was not “the first diode”, as this honour goes to the “cats whisker” detector or crystal detector, a semiconductor diode first applied to radio detection by Jagadish Chandra Bose in 1894 and used for many years after Fleming’s demise.
Jagadish Chandra Bose
calcuttaweb.com tells us that: During the years 1894-1900, Bose performed pioneering research on radio waves and created waves as short as 5 mm. Bose’s work actually predates that of Guglielmo Marconi who is most often associated with the development of radio. Unlike Marconi who sought to commercialize his work with radio waves, Bose was purely interested in radio waves as a scientific endeavour. Bose also developed equipment for generating, transmitting, and receiving radio waves and used it to demonstrate conclusively the waves’ properties such as reflection, total reflection, refraction, double refraction, and polarization. Bose also experimented with galena to form an early type of semiconductor diode, which may be used as a detector of electromagnetic waves. Bose’s demonstration of remote wireless signaling has priority over Marconi; he was the first to use a semiconductor junction to detect radio waves, and he invented various now commonplace microwave components. Outside of India he is rarely given the deserved recognition. Further work at millimeter wavelengths was almost nonexistent for nearly 50 years. J.C. Bose was at least this much ahead of his time. Research into the generation and detection of millimeter waves, and the properties of substances at these wavelengths, was being undertaken in some detail one hundred years ago, by J.C. Bose in Calcutta.
Returning to Marconi, Encyclopædia Britannica says: “Guglielmo Marconi, Italian physicist and inventor of a successful wireless telegraph (1896).” when there is absolutely no evidence that he was an inventor and he certainly was not a physicist as we will see below. 7
merriam-webster.com says: “Marconi, Guglielmo (was an) Italian physicist and inventor” 8
Just to give some idea of how many others were working on wireless at the time the following is a list of wireless researchers and pioneers, far from complete, but many on the list sued Marconi for blatantly stealing their patents. They included, Henry, Edison, Thomson, Bose, Dolbear, Stone-Stone, Fleming, Branly, Popov, Lorenz, Fessenden, Poulsen, Alexanderson, de Forest, Armstrong, Hertz, Braun, Tesla, Slaby, Faraday, Maxwell, Heaviside, Crookes, Fitzgerald, Lodge, Jackson and Righi.
Ironically, Wiki has a page entitled “Historical Revisionism” and Wikipedia tells us that: “In attempting to revise the past, illegitimate historical revisionism uses techniques inadmissible in proper historical discourse, such as presenting known forged documents as genuine; inventing ingenious, but implausible, reasons for distrusting genuine documents; attributing his or her own conclusions to books and sources reporting the opposite; manipulating statistical series to support the given point of view; and deliberately mis-translating texts (in languages other than the revisionist’s).” 9 and then Wiki goes on to do the inadmissible revisionism itself, just like Encyclopædia Britannica and Merriam Webster. Also ironic is that the main exponent and the source of Historic Revisionism in matters regarding early wireless is Wiki referencee and arch revisionist Thomas H. White whom we will examine later in this chapter.
Note: Wiki is open to editing and so it is more than likely to change when it becomes difficult to continue with a revisionist (unsupportable) line of reasoning.
The reader may also have noticed that Wiki and other reference works have a strong inclination to call inventors of major technology “physicists” when they were not physicists at all, they were amateur physicists, a term no longer used because according to physicists such a person does not exist. Someone (like Marconi) without a PhD in physics would be completely ignored in today’s scientific climate.
From the Wikipedia page on Marconi: “He is often credited as the inventor of radio, and he shared the 1909 Nobel Prize in Physics with Karl Ferdinand Braun…” Is Wiki suggesting that Marconi may well have been the inventor, otherwise why mention something untrue without pointing-out that it is untrue, and then reinforce the sentence with the fact that he did indeed receive the prestigious Nobel Prize? Wiki continues: “…During his early years, Marconi had an interest in science and electricity. One of the scientific developments during this era came from Heinrich Hertz, who, beginning in 1888, demonstrated that one could produce and detect electromagnetic radiation—now generally known as radio waves, at the time more commonly called “Hertzian waves” or “aetheric waves”. Hertz’s death in 1894 brought published reviews of his earlier discoveries, and a renewed interest on the part of Marconi. He was permitted to briefly study the subject under Augusto Righi, a University of Bologna physicist and neighbour of Marconi who had done research on Hertz’s work.”
But according to highfields-arc.co.uk: “It is said, by some, (Wiki) that Guglielmo Marconi was a student under Augusto (Righi) but Augusto himself stated, in a newspaper interview published in “Il Resto del Carlino” on May 28, 1897: “Il giovane Marconi non è un mio allievo, e me ne duole anzi non fu mai studente universitario.”
for which Google Language Tools returns: “The young Marconi is not my student, and I am sorry indeed was never a university student.” http://highfields-arc.co.uk/biogs/arighi.h
The Wiki article above exaggerates Marconi’s own words delivered at his Nobel Lecture on December 11, 1909: “In sketching the history of my association with radiotelegraphy, I might mention that I never studied physics or electrotechnics in the regular manner, although as a boy I was deeply interested in those subjects. I did, however, attend one course of lectures on physics under the late Professor Rosa at Livorno, and I was, I think I might say, fairly well acquainted with the publications of that time dealing with scientific subjects including the works of Hertz, Branly, and Righi. http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/1909/marconi-lecture.pdf
This also appears to be the source of Britannica’s information that he was a physicist and inventor.
Back to Wiki et al who tell us that: “Braun’s British patent on tuning was used by Marconi in many of his tuning patents. Guglielmo Marconi used Braun’s patents (among many others). Marconi would later admit to Braun himself that he had “borrowed” portions of Braun’s work. In 1909 Braun shared the Nobel Prize for physics with Marconi for “contributions to the development of wireless telegraphy”.
We will see as we progress that Braun may have also stolen the patents stolen by Marconi.
didyouknow.org:”(Jagadish) Bose had solved the problem of the Hertz not being able to penetrate walls, mountains or water. Marconi was present in the meeting of the Royal Society and it is thought that he stole the notebook of Bose that included the drawing of the ‘Mercuri Coherer with a telephone detector’. Marconi’s Coherer, which he used in 1901, was the exact copy of that of Bose. Apparently Marconi was unable to explain how he got to the design. He said that an Italian Navy engineer called Solari had developed it, but Solari later denied it. Marconi then said that Italian Professor Timasina did, which later was exposed as a lie by another Italian professor, Angelo Banti, who claimed that the design was invented by signalman Paolo Castelli.” http://didyouknow.org/history/radiohistory/
Marconi-Calling Museum: “Before the ceremony in Stockholm held in December, the two physicists were reluctant to meet. When they did, Braun apologised handsomely, and conceded the prize should have been Marconi’s alone.”
Why did Braun need to apologise? Did Braun also steal from Marconi? Were they systematically stealing from each other? We may never know.
pbs.org: “Otis Pond, an engineer then working for Nicola Tesla, said, “Looks as if Marconi got the jump on you.” Tesla replied, “Marconi is a good fellow. Let him continue. He is using seventeen of my patents.””
Nikola Tesla had done all the wireless experiments before Marconi, Braun or Lodge and many of the others listed above, and had patented the four tuned circuit arrangement that was, and still is, the foundation for all wireless transmission and reception.
Wiki admits: “Tesla’s theories on the possibility of the transmission by radio waves go back as far as lectures and demonstrations in (1892 to) 1893 in St. Louis, Missouri, the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and the National Electric Light Association. Tesla’s demonstrations and principles were written about widely through various media outlets. Many devices such as the Tesla Coil were used in the further development of radio.”
Wiki fails to mention the crucial “Tesla four tuned circuits” that was subsequently used by all of the wireless pioneers and is still the basis of all radio transmission/reception today. Tesla went to great pains to explain to Hertz how it worked and how the Hertz system was in error, but all to no avail. But the Tesla system of resonant tuning was adopted and it was assumed by all and sundry to be the Hertzian system of wireless transmission. This error is still supported by academic science today and the Tesla priority is still denied.
rense.com:”Tesla’s four-tuned circuits (two on the receiving side and two on the transmitting side, secured by U.S. patents #645,576 and #649,621) were the basis of the U.S. Supreme Court decision (Case #369 decided June 21, 1943) to overturn Marconi’s basic patent on the invention of radio.” http://rense.com/politics4/tesla.htm
The four tuned circuits (two at the transmitter and two at the receiver) can be seen at the top left and top right of the patent below. They are the most basic integral components of all radio transmitters and receivers; without them they would not work.
The Tesla Transmitter Receiver
Tesla’s System of Concatenated Tuned Circuits
Nikola Tesla’s System of Wireless Transmission Thru the Earth as Actually Exposed In His Lectures Before the Franklin Institute and Electric Light Association in February and March, 1893.
All of radio technology works with this circuitry. It worked at the time of Hertz and Marconi just it does today and it’s the work of Nikola Tesla. Only the ground connection has been abandoned, due to today’s more powerful receivers.
TESLA PATENT 645,576 SYSTEM OF TRANSMISSION OF ELECTRICAL ENERGY.
SPECIFICATION forming part of Letters Patent No. 645,576, dated March 20, 1900.
Application filed September 2, 1897. Serial No. 650,343. (No model.)
APPARATUS FOR TRANSMISSION OF ELECTRICAL ENERGY.
SPECIFICATION forming part of Letters Patent No. 649,621, dated May 15, 1900.
Original application filed September 2 1897 SerialNo. 650,343. Divided and this application filed February 19, 1900. Serial No. 5,780. (No model.)
All subsequent wireless patents were (sometimes crude) copies of Tesla’s original patents.
John Stone Stone, a radio pioneer and a contemporary of Tesla had this to say: “I misunderstood Tesla. I think we all misunderstood Tesla. We thought he was a dreamer and visionary. He did dream and his dreams came true, he did have visions but they were of a real future, not an imaginary one. Tesla was the first man to lift his eyes high enough to see that the rarefied stratum of atmosphere above our earth was destined to play an important role in the radio telegraphy of the future, a fact which had to obtrude itself on the attention of most of us before we saw it. But Tesla also perceived what many of us did not in those days, namely, the currents which flowed away from the base of the antenna over the surface of the earth and in the earth itself.” John Stone Stone on Nikola Tesla’s Priority in Radio and Continuous-Wave Radio frequency Apparatus
Of course, none of this has ever been admitted by academic science as a body and as a result of the campaign Tesla has become persona non grata.
From a copy of the original, ‘The True Wireless’, written by the Editor of the ‘Electrical Experimenter’ magazine Hugo Gernsback in May 1919.
“The limited activity of pure Hertz wave transmission and reception is here clearly explained, besides showing definitely that in spite of themselves, the radio engineers of today are employing the original Tesla tuned oscillatory system.”
A few of Gernsback’s contributions:
– Established one of the first companies to sell equipment to radio amateurs in 1904.
– Founded the Wireless Association of America in 1909.
– Published two amateur radio oriented magazines: Modern Electrics in 1908 and The Electrical Experimenter in 1913.
– Initially proposed the idea of allocating 200 meters and down to amateur radio in 1912. http://www.amateurradio.com/hugo-gernsback/
It’s no secret that Tesla considered wireless transmissions to be an also-ran and just a part of his worldwide system of power transmission and communications. The fact that his power transmission was sucuppered by the money-men because they saw difficulties with metering and billing is rarely mentioned. The twisted logic, that because his power transmission never got off the ground was because it failed to work is complete nonsense. All of Tesla’s discoveries worked and they are still working.
With all of this and more information freely available for so many years, why don’t the writers of works of reference know about it? Well, they do, but an orchestrated campaign has been waged against Tesla by the academic science community for more than a hundred years. The reference writers go-along with what the academics want. Although there was a counter campaign recently to restore him to his rightful place in history, this same tired old campaign has been revised by militant skeptics in an attempt to further blacken his name. Why they would want to denounce a humanitarian who unselfishly did so much for his fellow human being is a complete mystery. I can only suppose that it’s due to ignorance and place the blame firmly on an academic science-driven education. Other debunkers are those who believe every word uttered by scientists, the media and those who call themselves skeptics.
Another clue to Marconi’s lasting fame is this: nobelprize.org Guglielmo Marconi – Biographical: “He has been the recipient of honorary doctorates of several universities and many other international honours and awards, among them the Nobel Prize for Physics, which in 1909 he shared with Professor Karl Braun, the Albert Medal of the Royal Society of Arts, the John Fritz Medal and the Kelvin Medal. He was decorated by the Tsar of Russia with the Order of St. Anne, the King of Italy created him Commander of the Order of St. Maurice and St. Lazarus, and awarded him the Grand Cross of the Order of the Crown of Italy in 1902. Marconi also received the freedom of the City of Rome (1903), and was created Chevalier of the Civil Order of Savoy in 1905. Many other distinctions of this kind followed. In 1914 he was both created a Senatore in the Italian Senate and appointed Honorary Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order in England. He received the hereditary title of Marchese in 1929.
In 1905 he married the Hon. Beatrice O’Brien, daughter of the 14th Baron Inchiquin, the marriage being annulled in 1927, in which year he married the Countess Bezzi-Scali of Rome. He had one son and two daughters by his first and one daughter by his second wife. His recreations were hunting, cycling and motoring. Marconi died in Rome on July 20, 1937.”
Marconi was backed by THE ESTABLISHMENT.
In the words of merriam-webster.com: “The establishment is “often capitalized : a group of social, economic, and political leaders who form a ruling class (as of a nation) b often capitalized : a controlling group.” http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/establishment
For example recent UK news articles, at the time of writing, have been about child abuse by establishment figures and the impossibility of finding a judge to oversee the proceedings because they all know each-other quite intimately. The ruling class protect their own and as they are part of government and law they are reluctant to have it known that one of their number is a criminal. Marconi was a thief but his name is protected by the establishment because it was the establishment who gave him fame and fortune.
There are those who aspire to be a part of or seek the blessing of the establishment like the authors of reference material or sceptics who support establishment science.
Who controlls Wiki?
“Pseudoscientific” refers not to facts but to those things we are all aware-of but are rejected denied and waved away by academic science, like the fact that most people experience a paranormal or spiritual event at some time in their life.
Pseudoscientific is researching a subject like this chapter and finding gaping holes in the official version.
Thomas H. White is one such person who’s authority and support for the anti-Tesla campaign is derived from academics either directly or indirectly: Note that Thomas H. White’s name appears referencing every Wiki page connected with early (wireless) radio. The guy who supplies history to the reference writers, refers to Tesla’s contribution as a myth and also supports the Marconi myth. Thomas H. White is a revisionist in every sense of the word.
He writes: “Nikola Tesla: The Guy Who DIDN’T “Invent Radio” My (most likely futile) attempt to quash a widely believed myth.”
Thomas H. White — November 1, 2012
“Questions to White:
Shouldn’t Nikola Tesla be considered the “inventor of radio”, given that in 1943 the United States Supreme Court overturned all of Guglielmo Marconi’s patents and proclaimed Tesla “the true inventor”?
White says: Gut Reaction: Are you joking??? In no way, shape or form can this guy be considered the “inventor of radio”. Furthermore, contrary to what you might have read, the U.S. Supreme Court never said that he was — not in 1943, not in any other year. If fact, if anything Tesla’s “contribution” was to confuse and slow radio development, due to his misunderstanding of the physics involved. Fortunately, at the time few people were listening to his misguided and exaggerated “true wireless” ramblings.”
Note that no one has ever suggested that the 1943 U.S. Supreme Court declared Tesla or anyone else to be the inventor. White has a need for strawmen.
See: Wiki: “”Electrical Experimenter” and “true wireless” above for the fallacy of this statement. Wiki describes Electrical Experimenter as: “a technical science magazine that was published monthly”. So why does White rubbish a bona fide publication?
Wiki: “Between August 1917 and July 1919, Nikola Tesla wrote five articles in the magazine, and also published parts of his autobiography in segments in several issues in 1919.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrical_Experimenter
White says: “So, to recap, the 1943 decision didn’t overturn Marconi’s original patents, (It certainly did) or his reputation as the first person to develop practical radiotelegraphic communication. (Marconi now becomes a developer not an inventor) It just said that the adoption of adjustable transformers in the transmitting and receiving circuits, which was an improvement of the initial invention, was fully anticipated by patents issued to Oliver Lodge and John Stone Stone.”
It was the Marconi US patent No. 763,772 that was invaldidated by the 1943 Supreme Court decision while the orignal British 7777 Marconi patent was not challenged.
John Stone Stone, a radio pioneer and a contemporary of Tesla said:
“I misunderstood Tesla. I think we all misunderstood Tesla.
John Stone Stone http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Stone_Stone
What does Cornell University Law School have to say about the 1943 case?: “Tesla thus anticipated the following features of the Marconi patent: A charging circuit in the transmitter for causing oscillations of the desired frequency, coupled, through a transformer, with the open antenna circuit, and the synchronization of the two circuits by the proper disposition of the inductance in either the closed or the antenna circuit or both. By this and the added disclosure of the two-circuit arrangement in the receiver with similar adjustment, he anticipated the four circuit tuned combination of Marconi. A feature of the Marconi combination not shown by Tesla was the use of a variable inductance as a means of adjusting the tuning the antenna circuit of transmitter and receiver. This was developed by Lodge after Tesla’s patent but before the Marconi patent in suit…”
So the only thing that Tesla left-out of his entire patented system of wireless transmission was a variable inductance?
Sir Oliver Lodge, ieeeghn.org: “In 1898 Lodge was granted a patent for “syntonic” tuning. In essence, he claimed that making the antenna coil or inductance variable made tuning of the antenna circuits in a system of wireless communication possible. This “syntonic” or tuning patent won him a high place in the history of wireless, for it established him as a pioneer in experiments that recognized the necessity of tuning in order to select a desired station. The Marconi Company acquired this patent in 1912.” http://www.ieeeghn.org/wiki/index.php/Oliver_Lodge
There is not much left of the Marconi patent and I would suggest that White read the proceedings again without his skeptical academic blinkers.
A warning to inventors:
The way to make money from another persons original ideas:
1. Beg borrow or steal the the important content of the idea, anything but actually paying for it.
2. Disguise it, make modifications, re-patent it, call it your own.
3. Starve the actual inventor of funds and royalties so that he cannot afford to do further research that would make the original invention obsolete.
Science follows the same path:
1. Beg borrow or steal the the important content of the idea.
2. Repeat and carefully document all the experiments already done by the pioneer/s.
3. Add the idea to an existing theory by manipulation or much more rarely produce another new theory to incorporate the idea into the chain of science and to make it the property of science. (As in the case of radio astronomy)
This may get a Nobel Prize for a senior scientist or at very least his name recorded as the foremost contributor to the technology.
This kind of strategy was used against Nikola Tesla by Marconi and J P Morgan to stop his researches. In the case of Marconi it was theft of the idea and re-patenting. Morgan withdrew his research funding and science called his work Hertzian to ensure it was attached to the name of an academic.
The other essential component of early radio already mentioned is the coherer detector, a tube filled with carbon granules or metal filings that served as a detector for audio radio reception. Without it there is just a continuous hum in the headphones and no actual audible signal. None of the experts in radio have ever offered a plausible explanation as to how it works.
The coherer was later replaced by the cat’s whisker detector, a diode semiconductor that eventually became the transistor. The diode conducts current in one direction only, as opposed to the coherer that conducts, presumably, in both directions?
Wiki Coherer, tells us: “it consists of a tube or capsule containing two electrodes spaced a small distance apart, with metal filings in the space between them. When a radio frequency signal is applied to the device, the initial high resistance of the filings reduces, allowing an electric current to flow through it. The coherer was a key enabling technology for radio, and was the first device used to detect radio signals in practical spark gap transmitter wireless telegraphy.”…but Wiki fails to tell us how it works. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coherer
And so it was that the discovery of two separate components made radio signals usable, without which radio transmissions and audible reception as a medium for communication would have been impossible. They were the tuned circuits with resonant wound coils and the coherer that lead to the improved rectifier, demodulator or diode. It was the tuned circuit that led the US Supreme Court in 1943 to grant full rights to Nikola Tesla for his radio patents; sadly after his demise.
The coherer cannot be attributed to any single individual although it was patented by Sir Oliver Lodge, who was a physicist and member of the Society for Psychical Research – something that would exclude him from physics today.
Wiki Coherer History: “In 1850 Pierre Guitard found that when dusty air was electrified, the particles of dust would tend to attach themselves together in the form of strings. The idea of particles reacting to electricity showed up in English engineer Samuel Alfred Varley’s 1866 lightning bridge, a lightning arrester attached to telegraph lines consisting of a piece of wood with two metal spikes extending into a chamber within. The space between was filled with powdered carbon that would not ground the low voltage telegraph signals but would conduct a high voltage lightning strike.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coherer#History
The coherer started life as a lightening arrester and some unknown experimenter decided to try it in a wireless experiment. David E. Hughes did just this experiment with a carbon granule telephone receiver and was debunked by the top scientists of his day as we will read below.
Wireless Transmissions – Joseph Henry
Wiki: 1832 “Joseph Henry, who was trained as a civil or mechanical engineer, performed experiments detecting electromagnetic effects over a distance of 200 feet and postulated the existence of electromagnetic waves.” 102
Wiki: 1846 “Michael Faraday speculated that light was a wave disturbance in a force field”… using the then extant ‘aether theory’. It is interesting to speculate on the number of useful discoveries that emerged from this old and now debunked theory. It is also interesting to compare the absence of generally usable technological ideas emerging from physics since its demise. 103
1878, David E. Hughes, again a self-educated man, noticed that sparks could be heard in a telephone receiver when experimenting with his carbon telephone receiver. He developed his carbon-based detector further and eventually could detect signals over a few hundred yards. I would guess that it was the carbon granules rather than metal filings for his version of the coherer or more likely that the carbon granules in his carbon telephone receiver were accidentally acting as a coherer. Huges is a contender for being the first to achieve wireless transmissions and reception.
He demonstrated his discovery to the Royal Society in 1880, but was told it was merely induction and he therefore abandoned any further research.
Dismissive hand-waving skills were as common among scientists then as they are now and mainly serve to delay or prevent the progress of others, which is exactly what happened.
Wiki: On February 20, 1880 he demonstrated his technology to representatives of the Royal Society including Thomas Henry Huxley, Sir George Gabriel Stokes, and William Spottiswoode, then president of the Society. Stokes was convinced the phenomenon Hughes was demonstrating was merely electromagnetic induction, not a type of transmission through the air. Hughes was not a physicist and seems to have accepted Stokes observations and did not pursue the experiments any further. A connection with Hughes phenomenon and radio waves seems to show up 4 years after Heinrich Hertz’s 1888 proof of their existence when Sir William Crookes mentioned in his 1892 Fortnightly Review article on Some Possibilities of Electricity that he had already participated in “wireless telegraphy” by an “identical means” to Hertz, a statement showing Crookes was probably another attendee at Hughes’ demonstration.
Wiki: “Marconi knew Hughes through Preece and Lodge… James Clerk Maxwell’s theories were not yet well received and Hughes’ transmissions were wrongly assumed to be electromagnetic induction. His achievements went unrecognised for decades.” 104
Yet another triumph for the Royal Society. Nothing changes and today new ideas are still treated with the same contempt. The cold fusion fiasco is a modern example of science rejecting something potentially important on the basis of theory, even though a new clean energy source is desperately needed by the world.
William Crookes and David Hughes
Crookes was one of the true electrical pioneers of his day, but because he was a chemist rather than a physicist and he dabbled in psychic research, he hardly gets a mention among the mythological gods of science.
earlyradiohistory.us tells us: “In the opening remarks at the third annual dinner of the Institute of Electrical Engineers, held in London on November 13, 1891, the institute’s president, William Crookes, spoke of the “bewildering possibility of telegraphy without wires, posts, cables, or any of our present costly appliances”. In the February, 1892 issue of Fortnightly Review, Crookes’ ‘Some Possibilities of Electricity’ expanded on this theme… http://www.tfo.upm.es/ImperialismoWeb/ArtCrookes.htm
Crookes’ review included one particularly arresting sentence: “…some years ago I assisted at experiments where messages were transmitted from one part of a house to another without an intervening wire by almost the identical means here described”.
J. J. Fahie contacted Crookes about this intriguing statement, and was told that the unidentified experimenter was David Hughes (who had been present at the Institute’s annual meeting in November) and, who, beginning in 1879, apparently had transmitted and received radio signals, although he was discouraged from further research by reviewers who thought he had done nothing unusual.” 105 106
Note the contrast between a scientist who is prepared to listen and those who already know all the answers. We will meet the esteemed Mr. Crookes again on the page on television.
Also note, how many of the radio pioneers are not physicists and how the amateur physicists, like Crookes, have ceased to exist today. The reason for this has to do with the inscrutable theories that prevailed after the 1930’s, the particle physics of J.J. Thomson, the relativity of Einstein and how the general direction of “New Physics” served to exclude the imaginative inventor having educationally blinded him/her with a science that despises “tinkerers” and all new science through technological innovation and imagination.
Heinrich Hertz rises to fame after the delay in radio development courtesy of the Royal Society. Wiki: “Heinrich Rudolf Hertz was the experimental physicist who confirmed Maxwell’s work in the laboratory. From 1886 to 1888 inclusive, in his UHF experiments, he transmitted and received radio waves over short distances and showed that the properties of radio waves were consistent with Maxwell’s electromagnetic theory.” (The “UHF” must be taken with a pinch of salt, as Hertz used a loop of wire and a spark-gap for his transmissions).107
But Tesla had other ideas about Hertz’ work and told him so: according to pbs.org: Tesla said, “The history of science shows that theories are perishable. With every new truth that is revealed we get a better understanding of Nature and our conceptions and views are modified. Dr. Hertz did not discover a new principle. He merely gave material support to hypothesis which had been long ago formulated. It was a perfectly well-established fact that a circuit, traversed by a periodic current, emitted some kind of space waves, but we were in ignorance as to their character. He apparently gave an experimental proof that they were transversal vibrations in the ether. Most people look upon this as his great accomplishment. To my mind it seems that his immortal merit was not so much in this as in the focusing of the investigators’ attention on the processes taking place in the ambient medium. The Hertz-wave theory, by its fascinating hold on the imagination, has stifled creative effort in the wireless art and retarded it for twenty-five years. But, on the other hand, it is impossible to over-estimate the beneficial effects of the powerful stimulus it has given in many directions.”108
The Hertz-wave theory was chiselled into the stone of academia and continues to stifle creative effort to this very day.
teslauniverse.com: “Was the the high frequency generator that Hertz used also thanks to Tesla? As can be seen in the pages of ‘The Electrical Experimenter’ April, 1919, Tesla accuses James H Rogers of ground radio fame, of stealing his ideas. 109 110
teslauniverse.com: “The Rogers Underground Wireless” contains a reference to “a novel and original high frequency generator” of Mr. Rogers’ invention. May I not — to use the President’s elegant expression — call attention to the fact that this device was described by me years ago, as will be evident from the following excerpt of a communication which appeared in the Electrical Review of March 15, 1899…” Nikola Tesla 111
“In 1891, Frederick Thomas Trouton gave a lecture which stated that, if an electrical alternator were run at a great enough cycle speed (in more-familiar terms, if run fast enough and with enough poles), it would generate high-frequency wireless energy. Nikola Tesla developed alternators with up to 50,000 hertz output. A forerunner to the Alexanderson alternator, his devices, by early 1896, produced continuous frequencies that were in the longwave radio frequency range of the VLF and LF bands.” 112
“Tesla had some ten years of experience with high frequency AC behind him by the time he moved to Colorado Springs. In 1889, on his return from Pittsburg where he had been working as a consultant to Westinghouse on the development of his polyphase system, he began work on the construction of an alternator for generating currents at much higher frequencies than those used in ordinary power distribution. In 1890 he filed applications for two patents for alternators working at over 10 kHz.” 113
Tesla, who was the original inventor, or as he preferred, the discoverer of the alternator, was the first to construct a high frequency alternator. He soon abandoned his researches in this area, because of the limitations, in favour of electronically generated high frequency currents.
Info on tesla’s high frequency alternators: http://www.tfcbooks.com/tesla/nt_on_ac.htm
NIKOLA TESLA ON HIS WORK WITH ALTERNATING CURRENTS and Their Application to Wireless Telegraphy, Telephony and Transmission of Power : An Extended Interview
ISBN: 1-893817-01-6 http://www.tfcbooks.com/tesla/nt_on_ac.htm#038
Reginald Fessenden, described as “The Father of Radio Broadcasting”, who seems to have been the first to transmit a voice via radio, was using Tesla’s patents for both his tuned circuits and his high frequency alternator.
Never mentioned these days is the fact that Maxwell’s electromagnetic theory (like Tesla’s discoveries) was formulated on the assumption that the aether theory was valid and in turn was confirmed by Hertz. 114 All reference to the aether was subsequently removed and in its present modified form Maxwell’s is an incomplete theory, also due to modern physical science.
ieee.org tells us proudly that: “Heaviside simplified Maxwell’s original equations to the four, using only terms for fields that we employ to this day.” http://theinstitute.ieee.org/technology-focus/technology-history/did-you-know-someone-else-wrote-maxwells-equations
In other words, all reference to the fruitful aether theory was removed and all reference to its use by the original inventors was debunked to make-way for particle physics – with no practical applications. And so, here and on other pages, we have a modern technology up-and-running and still working despite the fact that the theory has since been debunked by an opposing relativistic, modern physics that has never produced any electronic technology useful to the general public. The author wonders what the supporters of scientism have to say about all of this? The ones I have asked seem not to have an answer or even understood the question.
Edward Branly Coherer of 1884
teslatech.info and en,wiki: “In 1884, Professor Edward Branly’s studies of nerve impulses led him to develop the coherer as a device for detecting radio signals. His device was a glass tube filled with metal filings and two electrodes. The device decreased in resistance in the presence of electrical energy, as the filings stuck together or cohered.” 117
Branly’s coherer was no different to anyone else’s, metal filings in an insulated tube with a contact at each end. Although the coherer is made to appear to have been invented by an academic, this is something assumed, and intended to enhance the reputation of academia. Branly used the coherer in his demonstrations. No one knows who invented it and no one knows why it works to this day; and so the mainstay of science, the theory, is absent. I would guess that suggesting that something works without a good scientific rationalisation is pushing the skeptics into dangerous and uncharted territory. David E. Hughes, whom we met above, being ejected from the Royal Society, is often described as professor Hughes, for effect, but he was professor of music not physics as some would have us believe.
Wiki also tells us that Hughes was the inventor of the coherer and of the cat’s-whisker diode detector: “He experimented with the discovery, and described his creation of both the device classically known as a “coherer”, and an improved semiconductor carbon and steel point-contact rectifying diode, which he also called a “coherer”. The point-contact diode version of the device is now known as a crystal radio detector, and was the key component of his sensitive crystal radio.” 118
Wiki continues: “Coherence of particles by radio waves is an obscure phenomenon that is not well understood even today. Recent experiments with particle coherers seem to have confirmed the hypothesis that the particles cohere by a micro-weld phenomenon caused by radio frequency electricity flowing across the small contact area between particles. The underlying principle of so-called “imperfect contact” coherers is also not well understood, but may involve a kind of tunnelling of charge carriers across an imperfect junction between conductors”.
Or it may not…science cannot abide admitting that it simply does not know. 119
The IEEE, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, has other ideas about how the coherer works: “The action of the waves on metallic powders has, however, remained somewhat mysterious; for ten years it has been the subject of important researches by Professor Lodge, M. Branly, and a very great number of the most distinguished physicists. It is impossible to notice here all these researches, but from a recent and very interesting work of M. Blanc, it would seem that the phenomenon is allied to that of ionisation.”… or not! Ionisation is just another word for electrical charge and as all electrical devices are charged this is just another way of saying they don’t know how it works. 120
Oliver Heaviside and Radio-reflecting layers in the upper atmosphere.
Yet another non-scientific but prolific character of interest to these pages:
Wiki: “Oliver Heaviside FRS (1850 – 1925) (who) was a self-taught English electrical engineer, mathematician, and physicist who adapted complex numbers to the study of electrical circuits, invented mathematical techniques to the solution of differential equations (later found to be equivalent to Laplace transforms), reformulated Maxwell’s field equations in terms of electric and magnetic forces and energy flux, and independently co-formulated vector analysis. Although at odds with the scientific establishment for most of his life, Heaviside changed the face of mathematics and science for years to come.” 121
Yet another amateur physicist of the day, who, as we have seen above, removed the irksome aether theory that so troubled Einstein from Maxwell’s equations.
Wiki: and “The Kennelly–Heaviside layer, named after Arthur Edwin Kennelly and Oliver Heaviside, also known as the E region or simply the Heaviside layer, is a layer of ionised gas occurring between roughly 90–150 km (56–93 mi) above the ground — one of several layers in the Earth’s ionosphere. It reflects medium-frequency radio waves, and because of this reflection, radio waves can be propagated beyond the horizon.
Its existence was predicted in 1902 independently and almost simultaneously by the American electrical engineer Arthur Edwin Kennelly (1861–1939) and the British (amateur) physicist Oliver Heaviside (1850–1925). However, it was not until 1924 that its existence was shown by British scientist Edward V. Appleton, for which he received the 1947 Nobel Prize in Physics. In 1925, Americans Gregory Breit and Merle A. Tuve first mapped its variations in altitude.” 122
We see Heaviside described as a “physicist” coupled with “self-taught”, something that would perplex and annoy today’s academics.
Of interest but not unusual in these pages is the Nobel prize in physics, awarded to Appleton for the discoveries of others. He was awarded the prize for making measurements of reflections from atmospheric layers already discovered. He has even had one of the radio reflecting layers named after him to ensure his place in science history:
The Appleton Layer wiki talktalk.co.uk: (A) “Band containing ionized gases in the Earth’s upper atmosphere, at a height of 150–1,000 km/94–625 mi, above the E-layer (formerly the Kennelly-Heaviside layer). It acts as a dependable reflector of radio signals as it is not affected by atmospheric conditions, although its ionic composition varies with the sunspot cycle. The Appleton layer has the highest concentration of free electrons and ions of the atmospheric layers. It is named after the English physicist Edward Appleton.” 123
Wiki: “The existence of a reflecting atmospheric layer was not in itself a completely new idea. Balfour Stewart had suggested the idea in the late nineteenth century to explain rhythmic changes in the earth’s magnetic field. More recently, in 1902, Oliver Heaviside and A.E. Kennelly had suggested such a hypothesis may explain the success Marconi had in transmitting his signals across the Atlantic.” 124
Schumann Resonances? Who was Schumann?
Wiki: “The first documented observations of global electromagnetic resonance were made by Nikola Tesla at his Colorado Springs laboratory in 1899.” 125
websters-dictionary-online.com: “In 1899, Nikola Tesla, in his Colorado Springs experiments, transmitted extremely low frequency electromagnetic waves between the earth and ionosphere, up to the Kennelly-Heaviside layer (of 1902) (Grotz, 1997) did Tesla have a time machine? Tesla made mathematical calculations and computations based on his experiments. He predicted the resonance frequency of this area within 15% of modern accepted experimental value. (Corum, 1986) In the 1950s, researchers confirmed the resonance frequency was at the low range 6.8 Hz.” They predicted the layer that was rediscovered by Appleton in 1902. 126
nobelprize.org: “The Nobel Prize in Physics 1947 was awarded to Edward V. Appleton for his investigations of the physics of the upper atmosphere especially for the discovery of the so-called Appleton layer”. 127
In these pages, there will be several other examples of a Nobel prize awarded to a scientist who did little to deserve it. The practice continues today because no one is prepared to say that the emperor has no clothes.
Wiki Schumann resonance: This global electromagnetic resonance phenomenon is named after physicist Winfried Otto Schumann who predicted it mathematically in 1952.
In 1893, George Francis FitzGerald noted that the upper layers of the atmosphere must be fairly good conductors. Assuming that the height of these layers is about 100 km above ground, he estimated that oscillations (in this case the lowest mode of the Schumann resonances) would have a period of 0.1 second. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schumann_resonances#History
And so the Schumann resonance was named after a physicist in 1952 when science had known about it since 1893?
Tesla 1891 Wiki: “Around July 1891, Nikola Tesla constructed various apparatus that produced between 15,000 to 18,000 cycles per second. Transmission and radiation of radio frequency energy was a feature exhibited in the experiments by Tesla which he proposed might be used for the telecommunication of information.
After 1892, Tesla delivered a widely reported presentation before the Institution of Electrical Engineers of London in which he suggested that messages could be transmitted without wires.
Later, a variety of Tesla’s radio frequency systems were demonstrated during another widely known lecture, presented to meetings of the National Electric Light Association in St. Louis, Missouri and the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia.
All subsequent transmissions and receptions use the same patented tuning methods. U.S. Patent 645,576 and U.S. Patent 649,621 128
1894 again: The Oxford Mail, Monday, 20 March 2000, has the headline
“Museum rewrites ‘wireless’ history”, It tells of an exhibition and how Sir Oliver Lodge and Dr Alexander Muirhead combining their expertise, had produced the world’s first wireless telegraph apparatus, which was demonstrated on August 14, 1894. When Tesla had demonstrated it in 1891.
oxfordmail.co.uk: “A transmitter was set up on the original Clarendon physics building and a receiver in the museum’s lecture room – 100m away. A message was passed, although no-one knows what was said. A year later, Marconi stole a march on Lodge and Muirhead when he borrowed some of their ideas and patented his own device.” 130
It was to be another year before Guglielmo Marconi made a serious attempt at radio transmission. He seems to have “borrowed” his ideas from just about every wireless researcher on the planet.
1895 Alexander Stepanovitch Popov
fecha.org: “In a May, 1895 Popov reported sending and receiving a wireless signal across a 600 yards distance. In March, 1897, Prof. Popov equipped a land station at Kronstadt and the Russian navy cruiser Africa with his wireless communications apparatus for ship-to-shore communications In about 1900, Russian history sources say either 1899 or 1901, Popov’s wireless apparatus was used in what may have been the first ever use of radio communications to help a vessel in distress. The battleship General-Admiral Apraksin was going down amidst the ice floes of the Gulf of Finland with hundreds of sailors and officers aboard, but Popov’s radio system enabled them to contact Hogland and Kutsalo islands 45 kilometers away. Those wireless stations relayed the distress messages and rescue orders to the icebreaker Ermak. 131 132
Wiki: “Beginning in the early 1890s he (Popov) continued the experiments of other radio pioneers, such as Heinrich Hertz. In 1894 he built his first radio receiver, a version of the coherer. Further refined as a lightning detector, (?) it was presented to the Russian Physical and Chemical Society on May 7, 1895—the day has been celebrated in the Russian Federation as Radio Day.” 133
1897: “A year after Marconi’s experiments, Eugne Ducretet begins his trials of radio broadcasting. According to Ducretet, he built his devices using Popov’s lightning detector (coherer) as a model. By 1898 Ducretet was manufacturing equipment of wireless telegraphy based on Popov’s instructions. At the same time Popov effected ship-to-shore communication over a distance of 6 miles in 1898 and 30 miles in 1899.”134
Karl Ferdinand Braun
Wiki: 1897 “Ferdinand Braun joined the line of wireless pioneers. His major contributions were the introduction of a closed tuned circuit…” (Invented by Tesla.) 135
Wiki: “Braun’s British patent on tuning was used by Marconi in many of his tuning patents. Guglielmo Marconi used Braun’s patents (among others). Marconi would later admit to Braun himself that he had “borrowed” portions of Braun’s work. In 1909 Braun shared the Nobel Prize for physics with Marconi for “contributions to the development of wireless telegraphy”.136
The First Broadcast of Speech some more history and a timeline
1900 Reginald Aubrey Fessenden
Amplitude modulation. Speech, music etc.
en.wiki: “Reginald Fessenden, experimenting with a high-frequency spark transmitter, (Tesla’s patent) successfully transmitted speech on December 23, 1900 over a distance of about 1.6 kilometers (one mile), which appears to have been the first audio radio transmission. At this time the sound quality was too distorted to be commercially practical, but as a test this did show that with further technical refinements it would become possible to transmit audio using radio signals.” 137
1906 AM Radio Amplitude Modulation
en.wiki: “AM radio began with the first, experimental broadcast on Christmas Eve, 1906, by Canadian experimenter Reginald Fessenden, and was used for small-scale voice and music broadcasts up until World War I.” 138
radioblvd.com and ac6v.com: “Fessenden had been experimenting with mechanical transmitters – high frequency alternators – as a source of a pure continuous wave carrier for audio transmissions. NESCO (National Electric Signaling Company) was formed to finance Fessenden’s research and his high frequency alternators were built by General Electric. In early December, 1906, ” 139
With regard to the above, the following is interesting in that it illustrates the extent to which history has been distorted by the revisionists and also how the inventor is vilified and those who stole his work and have become the heroes of science:
NIKOLA TESLA ON HIS WORK WITH ALTERNATING CURRENTS and Their Application to Wireless Telegraphy, Telephony and Transmission of Power : An Extended Interview
Tesla Presents Series, Part 1
Leland I. Anderson, Editor
Copyright 1992 Twenty-First Century Books, Colorado
The surfacing of the transcript for this pre-hearing interview with Nikola Tesla by his legal counsel in 1916 resulted from an intensive search in archives of legal firms, some now defunct and others later acquired by contemporary interests. The interview was precipitated by numerous pending court cases as the fledgling radio industry entered a period of fierce competition. Tesla’s counsel believed the interview necessary not only in order to prepare for the pressing of his own claims against the Marconi Company, but also to protect his own patent interests when called to give expert-witness testimony in the upcoming litigation foray pitting as adversaries a plethora of new communication companies and their captive radio pioneers.
Use of multi-phase generator with mechanical break. Experiments in the laboratory at 35 South Fifth Avenue and subsequently.
This [Fig. 38] illustrates another development in a different direction. In order to increase the number of breaks, I employed currents of different phase. I had in my laboratory, permanently, a two-phase dynamo and could get phases between; that is, from two phases, 90 apart, I could obtain four phases, 45 apart. Here is an arrangement shown as I had it, working with three phases [60 apart, and could obtain six phases, 30 apart], and later on I had one with four phases [45 apart, and could obtain eight phases 22 1/2 apart]. You see, as I multiplied the number of the phases, I increased the number of the fundamental discharges.
What is the date of this apparatus?
This I employed already in the 35 South Fifth Avenue laboratory, because I remember that I gave entertainments to several scientific societies and it was then present there. I know on one occasion there was the Society of Architects, and another, the Electrotherapeutic Society, and then I had distinguished men like Mark Twain and Joseph Jefferson—I gave them a demonstration which was published in Martin’s article in the Century Magazine of April 1895, and I know that on these occasions I used a two-phase arrangement. Later on I made it four phase. That apparatus existed, therefore, prior to the destruction of my laboratory in 1895.
Do you recall any publication in which this diagram was illustrated?
I made no publication, and I vividly remember that when I installed my apparatus on Long Island I had an arrangement with four transformers and four phases 45 apart. After I had been using this apparatus there, several years afterwards, I ran across a patent, I believe held by the General Electric Company, describing precisely the same arrangement.[*] It was a similar experience as with that patent of Fessenden on the compressed air condenser. Any time I want to use these improvements all I need to do is to produce my records and that will settle the patents.
When was that drawing [Fig. 38]?
This is from an old patent drawing which was made by Mr. Netter.
But that did not go to patent?
No. I have hundreds of inventions that were to be patented but side-stepped. The expense was too great and I could not do it. This form of apparatus with two and four phases was used prior to the destruction of my laboratory in 1895, and it was installed on a large scale with four phases in my plant on Long Island with which I was to telephone around the world, but that is a long story. Read it all here:
Wiki: 1904: “The U.S. Patent Office reversed its decision, awarding Marconi a patent for the invention of radio, possibly influenced by Marconi’s financial backers in the States, who included Thomas Edison and Andrew Carnegie. This also allowed the U.S. government (among others) to avoid having to pay the royalties that were being claimed by Tesla for use of his patents.” 140
One can’t but wonder how Sir Oliver Lodge and Dr Alexander Muirhead fared amid all of this chicanery? It would be interesting to know if they also claimed Tesla’s stolen patents as their own?
1909, The Joint Nobel Physics Prize to Guglielmo Marconi and Karl Braun
Marconi’s company was failing and then more bad news – he had to share the prize with his chief competitor, Braun.
Who Invented the Cat’s whisker – The Diode – The Semiconductor
On the web page of studymode.com we find that: “According to G. Busch the term “semiconducting” was used for the first time by Alessandro Volta in 1782. The first documented observation of a semiconductor effect is that of Michael Faraday (1833), who noticed that the resistance of silver sulfide decreased with temperature…” http://www.studymode.com/essays/Semiconductor-50729534.html
Wiki then confidently tells us that: “In 1874 (Karl Ferdinand Braun) discovered that a point-contact semiconductor rectifies alternating current.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Ferdinand_Braun
However on the wiki page titled ‘Semiconductor Device’ we are told “The point-contact transistor had been invented 23 December 1947.” This is untrue as we will see in the chapter on transistors, but it illuminates the point that the term ‘point-contact’ did not exist before the transistor. And so Karl Braun did not discover a point-contact semiconductor, he simply noted that current tends to flow in one direction through a lead sulfide (galena) crystal. He had found yet another example of the properties of semiconductors that were already noted. He knew nothing of radio at the time as it had not been invented and even when it was, no one knew at the start that a rectifying crystal would be useful. We have yet another example of deliberately misleading revisionism and presentism, so popular among those who aspire to write works of reference.
The Bose Diode Detector Patent
web.mit.edu: 1904 The Bose cat’s wisker “Sir J. C. Bose holds the first patent worldwide to invent a solid-state diode detector (Cat’s Whisker) to detect EM waves. The detector was built using a galena crystal.” 143 “Detector for electrical disturbances, Patent Number 755,840, dated March 29, 1904, Application filed September 1901.” 144
1910, Miessner ac6v.com: “The first Cat’s Whisker Detector invented by B. F. Miessner in 1910, who received The De Forest Audion Award in 1963. This patent was sold to John Firth for “a magnificent sum of $200”. From the “On the Early History of Radio Guidance”. Library of Congress Card # is 64-2115. 142
He patented it, but it’s doubtful that he invented it as these days the invention is attributed to Karl Braun.
Edwin Armstrong and FM Radio
On September 26, 1905, Albert Einstein published his Special Relativity, but it took a while for it to sink into the consciousness of academia. It was not until the 1930’s that any of the sweeping changes to science and technology took place. Albert Einstein’s theories and the new physics were beginning to take a firm grip and physics was becoming ‘counterintuitive’; the mindset that physics was beyond the understanding of mere mortals was encouraged by the media and science itself; only physicists could do physics. This was reinforced by education and this ensured the end of the old theory of ether, its existence denied by Einstein’s publicists and professors alike, coincides unsurprisingly with the end of a Golden Age of Invention in electronics.
The source of all of our modern electronic technology capped, covered and sealed with the possible exception of the computer that was already with us mechanically but not yet electronic.
Edwin Armstrong’s FM Radio in 1933 is just within the limits of my “No new electronic technology after the 1930’s”, theory. He was an academic, although he is not, as is usually the case with pioneering electronics engineers, described as a physicist by Wiki or any other reference that I know of, but you never really know?
radio.about.com: “Edwin Armstrong, American electrical engineer and inventor, is most commonly known for inventing frequency-modulated or FM radio in 1933. Frequency modulation or FM improved the audio signal of radio by controlling the noise static caused by electrical equipment and the earth’s atmosphere. Edwin Armstrong received U.S. patent 1,342,885 for a “Method of Receiving High-Frequency Oscillations Radio” for his FM technology.
However, Edwin Armstrong should be known for inventing three key innovations: regeneration, superheterodyning, and frequency modulation. Every radio or television set today makes use of one or more of Edwin Armstrong’s inventions.” 147
According to Wiki: “The original heterodyne detector was pioneered by Canadian inventor Reginald Fessenden in 1905, but it was not pursued far because local oscillators available at the time (the oscillating arc) were unstable in their frequency output. The vacuum tube electronic oscillator would not come along until 1912.” 148
Unlike Wiki we recall that this is the same Reginald Fessenden who stole Tesla’s high frequency alternator (patented by Ernst F. W. Alexanderson – Assignee General Electric Company, New York November 14, 1911 US patent 1,008,577) and that the “original heterodyne detector” was part of a wireless transmission system that did not work. His radio transmissions were a failure and he gave it up and pursued his other interests.
Wiki talk tells us that: “Tesla patented a high-frequency alternator in 1891, and used it for high-power radio transmission experiments famous at the time. Then twenty years later, after memories have dimmed, Alexanderson patented an improved high-frequency alternator and used it for radio transmission. The edge of Alexanderson’s rotor is different to Tesla’s, his frequency was 10x higher than Tesla’s, and his patent claims “higher power than other alternators of this type.” (OTHER alternators? This WP entry says that Alexanderson was the inventor!) But maybe the 10x frequency increase was a critical change. –Wjbeaty 02:16, 4 October 2006 (UTC) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Alexanderson_alternator
Tesla has two patents: March 10, 1891 US patent 447,920 and March 10, 1891 US patent 447,921, but the reader will recall the above transcript where Tesla says regarding the high frequency alternator of Fessenden, Alexanderson and General Electric:
“But that did not go to patent?
Tesla: No. I have hundreds of inventions that were to be patented but side-stepped. The expense was too great and I could not do it. This form of apparatus with two and four phases was used prior to the destruction of my laboratory in 1895, and it was installed on a large scale with four phases in my plant on Long Island with which I was to telephone around the world, but that is a long story. I made no publication, (patent) and I vividly remember that when I installed my apparatus on Long Island I had an arrangement with four transformers and four phases 45 apart. After I had been using this apparatus there, several years afterwards, I ran across a patent, I believe held by the General Electric Company, describing precisely the same arrangement.[*] It was a similar experience as with that patent of Fessenden on the compressed air condenser. Any time I want to use these improvements all I need to do is to produce my records and that will settle the patents. http://www.tfcbooks.com/tesla/nt_on_ac.htm I leave the dear reader to form his own oppinion.
“The Inventor of FM Was a Little Nuts” “The man who invented FM Radio, Edwin Armstrong (an American electrical engineer and inventor) (1890–1954), had bizarre habits and lived a life that ended tragically. Armstrong loved radio towers and was prone to climbing them. He once even climbed to the top of the 450-foot RCA radio tower on top of the RCA Building in New York City and stood on the very top – absolutely infuriating the head of RCA at the time, David Sarnoff. Armstrong – who invented FM in 1933, committed suicide in 1954 by walking out of a high-rise building’s window and falling to his death.” 149
However, he was probably driven nuts by the pounding he received from Lee de Forest
and RCA: 150
Lee de Forest the Thermionic Valve (Vacuum Tube or just Valve)
Thermionic emission en.wiki: “The phenomenon was initially reported in 1873 by Frederick Guthrie in Britain. While doing work on charged objects, Guthrie discovered that a red-hot iron sphere with a positive charge would lose its charge (by somehow discharging it into air). He also found that this did not happen if the sphere had a negative charge. Other early contributors included Johann Wilhelm Hittorf (1869–1883), Eugen Goldstein (1885), and Julius Elster and Hans Friedrich Geitel (1882–1889).” 151
Rediscovered by Edison in 1880 and given to university professor John Ambrose Fleming, scientific advisor to the Marconi Company, about whom Wiki claims “is known for inventing the first thermionic valve or vacuum tube.”
Wiki: “Lee de Forest (1873 – 1961) was an American inventor with over 180 patents to his credit. De Forest invented the Audion, a vacuum tube that takes relatively weak electrical signals and amplifies them.”
De Forest is a name connected with the development of wireless telegraphy, he invented the Audion in 1906. In January 1906, de Forest filed a patent for a diode vacuum tube detector, a two-electrode device for detecting electromagnetic waves, a variant of the Fleming valve invented two years earlier. The Fleming valve was all but identical to the Audion invention of de Forest and it’s difficult to understand how de Forest managed to obtain a patent. Fleming FRS (1849–1945) was an English electrical engineer and physicist. He is also known for inventing the first thermionic valve or vacuum tube, the diode, then called the kenotron in 1904, two years before de Forest.
The Fleming valve is in turn, a development of the “Edison effect” of thermionic emission, discovered accidentally whilst Edison’s team was researching the light bulb.
However, we also find that: “The phenomenon (the Edison Effect) was initially reported in 1873 by Frederick Guthrie in Britain…The effect was rediscovered by Thomas Edison on February 13, 1880, while trying to discover the reason for breakage of lamp filaments and uneven blackening (darkest near one terminal of the filament) of the bulbs in his incandescent lamps. And so can we assume that he got the idea from an undisclosed source?
One year later, De Forest filed a patent for a three-electrode device that was a much more sensitive detector of electromagnetic waves. It was granted US Patent 879,532 in February 1908. The device was also called the de Forest valve, and since 1919 has been known as the triode…
…De Forest had, in fact, stumbled onto this invention via his own or another’s tinkering and did not completely understand how it worked. 152 It is rumoured that he wrapped a coil around a working valve with a pair of headphones in circuit and when he touched the wire of the coil, he heard sounds in the headphones. This in turn led to the triode valve with a grid between the other two electrodes and what would become one of the most valued discoveries in history.
So much for scientific methodology and theory.
Wiki: “While de Forest’s addition of a third element to the Audion (the grid) and the subsequent move to modulated (voice) radio is not disputed, unsurprisingly, De Forest did not put his device to work, but Armstrong’s research and experimentation with the Audion moved radio reception beyond the crystal set and spark-gap transmitters to amplification. Radio signals could be amplified via regeneration to the point of human hearing with a loudspeaker. Armstrong later published a paper detailing how the Audion worked, something De Forest could not do. De Forest certainly did not understand the workings of his own invention the Audion.” 153
Armstrong made De Forest’s idea work, but he paid dearly for his insight:
Fathom.com: “Armstrong went after De Forest early on, while he was still a student (when) De Forest gave a lecture at Columbia about his radio tube. That evening, by showing De Forest that he did not understand the very tube that he had created, Armstrong began a lifelong angry discussion with him that ended in serious litigation. Nevertheless, when the value of Armstrong’s regeneration circuit came to the fore (with the creation of the radio as we know it, after 1920), Lee De Forest sued him and claimed to have created regeneration. The suit went to the Supreme Court twice and, in 1933, the court decided in De Forest’s favour for the second and final time.” 154
agilewriter.com: RCA Uses it’s Enormous Power to Bankrupt Armstrong
“That’s when RCA and the other corporations who now wanted FM but were unwilling to pay for it, delivered a staggering blow to Armstrong. They got the FCC to change the frequencies allocated to FM, so that all the FM sets in existence at that time were rendered useless. RCA then developed and patented it’s own FM specification that was essentially a rip-off of Armstrong’s idea. Armstrong sued of course, and RCA used it’s superior resources to keep the case tied up in the courts for years while they continued to make millions on products based on FM technology.
Though Armstrong had made millions from his earlier inventions, he spent it all on developing FM and the fighting in the courts over patent infringement suits. Over time, the court battles took their toll on his marriage as well. He had sold many of his assets and was already facing bankruptcy, and he needed even more money to pay his lawyers so they could continue the fight over his patents. He begged his wife to give him back some money he had given her several years earlier to save for their retirement, but she refused. One night in 1954, during a particularly heated argument, he took a swing at her with a fire poker and she left him for good.
Edwin Armstrong was a broken man. He never got to enjoy the financial rewards that his great contributions to communications technology should have brought him, and he couldn’t go on any longer without his wife. One day he dressed up in a nice suit, put on his scarf, overcoat and hat, and walked out of his 13th floor apartment window at the New York River House. Though he was never able to compromise with those who had stolen from him, his widow eventually settled with RCA for one million dollars—the same amount he had turned down in 1940. By then, it was really a paltry sum compared to how much RCA had profited from cheating him. She was also able to reach settlements with the other corporations who had infringed on her husband’s patents and ultimately received about 10 million dollars.” 155
Returning to Nikola Tesla, whose name has been abused and maligned by academia since the time of his death and even before. I’m told that until recently the US Smithsonian Institution Museum displayed his polyphase AC system next to a bust of Thomas Edison, a great insult, not to mention an unsurpassed show of ignorance.
“Tesla’s name is:
Omitted in school textbooks.
Omitted in technical journals
Unknown even to some engineers” 156
I know that the inventor of the AC system is unknown to engineers because I have made a point of asking a number of them over many years. It follows that they were taught an untrue and distorted history of electricity at college and so, we must assume that such a manipulated and distorted history can only have originated within academic science.
Tesla’s radio was of a different category to that of his contemporary Hertz. His intention was to transmit both communications and electrical power with the same system. This is poorly understood by most of Tesla’s supporters and certainly not understood by academic science. The science that is presented to the public has never studied his loss-less power transmission system and never improved on his method of AC generation. The AC generators that feed our households and our industry with electricity are exactly the same as the ones that Tesla first installed at the first Niagara Falls A.C. power station.
We have a hundred year old power generation system at a time when there are more scientists than ever before in the history of the world and at a time when there never was such a need for new and clean energy. There is a systems failure at the heart of academic science.
From WikiTalk again: a discussion about Tesla and Marconi:
“Regarding Mr. Susnjar’s other complaints, which may or may not have been directed at my commentary, the distinction between wireless transmission via radio waves, and via electrical conduction through the earth or upper atmosphere, is often lost on Tesla biographers. The latter is the mechanism which Tesla intended to utilize, and the former is the one that his contemporaries developed, and which became the basis of radio today.( He is speaking of an alternative system that most of us know nothing about.) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk%3AGuglielmo_Marconi
The following excerpt from the description of Tesla’s American patent number 649,621, dated May 15, 1900 emphasizes the distinction between the two approaches to wireless communication:
Tesla says: “It is to be noted that the phenomenon here involved in the transmission of electrical energy is one of true conduction and is not to be confounded with the phenomena of electrical radiation which have heretofore been observed and which from the very nature and mode of propagation would render practically impossible the transmission of any appreciable amount of energy to such distances as are of practical importance.
(Here, we have yet another clear example of presentism, as both were considered as being the same thing, at a time when aether theory was the dominant force and all electromagnetic phenomena were vibrations in the aether medium)
He continues: “What I now claim as my invention is – 1. The combination with a transmitting coil or conductor connected to the ground and to an elevated terminal respectively, and means for producing therein electrical currents or oscillations, of a receiving coil or conductor similarly connected to ground and to an elevated terminal, at a distance from the transmitting-coil and adapted to be excited by currents caused to be propagated from the same by conduction through the intervening natural medium, a secondary conductor in inductive relation to the receiving-conductor and devices for utilizing the current in the circuit of said secondary conductor, as set forth.” 157
Today’s radios are thought not to require a ground connection, essential in Tesla’s system, just one of a catalogue of differences between the Tesla and the Hertzian radio systems.
1942 nothing is new Mobile Phones thanks to a Hollywood actress Hedy Lamarr.
Hedy Lamarr Hollywood actress and co-inventor of frequency-hopping spread-spectrum. Again
a non-scientist, (her education ended at sixteen), gives us a major technology. How could such a technology arise from the academics with no preceding theory? hypatiamaze.org: “Today, spread spectrum devices using micro-chips, make pagers, cellular phones, and, yes, communication on the internet possible. Many units can operate at once using the same frequencies. Most important, spread spectrum is the key element in anti-jamming devices used in the government’s 25 billion Milstar system. Milstar controls all the intercontinental missiles in U.S. weapons arsenal.” 158
“On August 11, 1942, US Patent 2,292,387 was granted to Antheil and “Hedy Kiesler Markey”, Lamarr’s married name at the time.” 159
“Avant garde composer George Antheil, a son of German immigrants and neighbour of Lamarr, had experimented with automated control of musical instruments, including his music for Ballet Mecanique, originally written for Fernand Lger’s 1924 abstract film. This score involved multiple player pianos playing simultaneously.
Together, Antheil and Lamarr submitted the idea of a secret communication system in June 1941. On August 11, 1942, US Patent 2,292,387 was granted to Antheil and “Hedy Kiesler Markey”, Lamarr’s married name at the time. This early version of frequency hopping used a piano roll to change between 88 frequencies and was intended to make radio-guided torpedoes harder for enemies to detect or jam.” 160
The microwave cooker was a spin-off from radio technology used in early radar.
en.wiki: “The use of high-frequency electric fields for heating dielectric materials had been proposed in 1934, (another 1930’s discovery) for example US patent 2,147,689 (application by Bell Telephone Laboratories, dated 1937) …This idea was not used for a technology until the heating effect of microwaves was discovered accidentally in 1945 by Percy Spencer, a self-taught American engineer.” It melted a chocolate bar in his pocket. 161
After looking at the origins radio, its offspring and the widespread assumption that it is all as the result of a benevolent academic science bestowing its gifts upon mankind, I fail to see much input from academic scientists, theory, any evidence of scientific method, or even any indication as to where the original ideas came from in most of the technology above. But, as usual the credit is taken by something most insubstantial, called ‘science’ and by default science becomes the property of academia who claim to be Science. Then the credit is given to those it has deemed to be heroes, but who have played little or no part. We start to see the beginnings of a manufactured mythological science, designed to support an ideal of science rather than anything substantial.
Academic science is keen to formulate theories that appear to fit the facts after the technology is up-and-running, contrary to the claims of science, that insists that theory comes first. The result of such theories is to halt any further progress that takes place outside of the accepted theory, like Tesla’s loss-less power transmission. A new idea becomes pseudo-science because it fails to fit the Hertzian theory; a circular rationalisation; it’s as if theory were sacrosanct and the technology a minor irritation. This customary, obligatory, anti-progress is the price we all pay for the dubious benefits of academic science, that is ultimately a librarian who falsely claims to have written all the books.
2 http://catholicism.academic.ru/14938/Francesco_Zantedesch i
An interesting read at:
8 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gian_Domenico_Romagnos i
Definition: Kennelly-Heaviside layer: