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I was reading up on Tesla's Wikipedia page last night, and I came across this:

When he was 81, Tesla stated he had completed a "dynamic theory of gravity". He stated that it was "worked out in all details" and that he hoped to soon give it to the world. [75] The theory was never published.

I was wondering, has this theory ever been found? Here's a link to the Wikipedia article on Tesla

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closed as off-topic by Norbert Schuch, Qmechanic Feb 27 at 0:51

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "We deal with mainstream physics here. Questions about the general correctness of unpublished personal theories are off topic, although specific questions evaluating new theories in the context of established science are usually allowed. For more information, see Is non mainstream physics appropriate for this site?." – Norbert Schuch, Qmechanic
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I doubt it exists and even if it does, it would probably be complete crackpottery. If you'll read the reference [75] you'll find that Tesla is saying that the theory of curved space-time is impossible because of his observation that the curved space-time would have to straighten itself and because of some other philosophical blabbering. Needless to say, this is a complete rubbish and I don't think it's worth pursuing his theories any further. – Marek Dec 28 '10 at 16:18
I completely agree with Marek's comment. – Cem Dec 28 '10 at 16:25
Indeed. Alongside the certain amount of good physics Tesla did, there was somewhat more complete rubbish! – Noldorin Dec 28 '10 at 17:08
Oh wow, I just read that reference and he is pretty ridiculous in it :S Still, it may be...interesting... to see what his theory was – Jeff Dec 28 '10 at 17:21
Basically, Tesla was against Special Relativity (and GR obviously). He had his version of non-relativistic electromagnetism. See Tesla waves for example. – Vagelford Dec 28 '10 at 18:55

Tesla was an engineering giant but it is true that in most cases, he was just a crackpot when it came to theoretical physics. This "theory of gravity" is one of the major ones.

It wasn't really connected with gravity - the attraction of objects to the Earth etc. with a universal acceleration - by anything else than a wishful thinking. As expected for the practical guy, most of the support for his unusual claims came from experiments, and it was the electromagnetic experiments.

Tesla claimed that the vacuum was filled with a new kind of the aether, a rarified gas that he also called the Akasha. This name is relatively important in his theory so you can get some idea about the character of the theory. The Akasha was extremely elastic.

Some spectacular experiments with some light emitted by either dielectric materials or conductors were made to support the claims, although they didn't have anything to do with the claims about the unifying theory. And at the end, it was found out that the experiments analyzed solidified air rather than any mysterious matter that could be filling the vacuum.

So the theory was a complete nonsense. Tesla couldn't really distinguish the fundamental phenomena from the highly derived, environment-dependent ones.

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As an aside 'Akasha' is the sanskrit word for ether/cosmos/sky in general ... – Everyone Dec 28 '11 at 12:41
One has to remember that Newton was an alchemist who spent a lot of time on astrology. Its completely normal for people with good ideas to also have not so good ones! – Tom Andersen Jan 2 '15 at 3:29
Dear @TomAndersen, the difference is that alchemy was the state-of-the-art chemistry of Newton's times, and astrology was a broader science about the implications of celestial bodies – a science that was later made obsolete mostly by insights that followed from Newton's works. On the other hand, Tesla's musings about gravity and many other things were not state-of-the-art descriptions of anything. They were wrong even relatively to the ideas of his time. – Luboš Motl Jan 3 '15 at 15:10
also one has to remember that most of the crackpottery of Tesla popped up as he started to get old. The science before then was pretty solid – Skyler Jan 20 '15 at 9:05

It was said at the time (1930's) that only 10 people understood General Relativity. Tesla was clearly not one of them! :-)


So, no, the theory has never been released - but if it was consistent with the various beliefs held by Tesla at the time, it must have been completely wrong.

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Here's the patent where he claims a velocity of 1.6c:… – endolith Dec 29 '10 at 15:38
Einstein also believed in an ether. – Tom Andersen Jan 2 '15 at 3:30
if you think about it the difference between relativity and an aether theory is pretty slim – Skyler Jan 20 '15 at 8:54
@Skyler a theory which assumes an aether after it's been experimentally disproven is very different: it's experimentally wrong. :-) – Sklivvz Jan 20 '15 at 9:05
I agree that it's been disproven, but the apparent difference between these two was pretty blurry, historically speaking. Instead of the ether being something in space it became an aspect of space. – Skyler Jan 20 '15 at 10:02

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