Physics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for active researchers, academics and students of physics. It's 100% free.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

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

share|cite|improve this question
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.

share|cite|improve this answer
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.

share|cite|improve this answer
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

Old post, but I just have to make a point. While I completely agree that some of Tesla's beliefs, as pointed out in this thread, do not qualify as science, (you have no argument from me on that point), I think Tesla deserves some credit for other achievements.

@Jupiter seemed to capture the sentiment of many of your posts when he said that Tesla was considered a crackpot in his time. By whom? If you can look past his crackpot theories from when he was an old man, Tesla was responsible for many, many credible scientific achievements earlier in life.

Have you ever heard of A/C current? Patent holder: Nikola Tesla. Ever heard of the radio? Patent holder: Nikola Tesla, NOT Marconi, who was erroneously (initially) awarded the patent over Tesla, which landed Marconi a Nobel prize for the achievement. The patent office reversed itself in Tesla's favor in 1942. Thus, the Nobel prize should have been given to Tesla as well. This is a historical fact, yet for some reason people still today refer to Marconi as the inventor of the radio...

I don't care if this is down rated because it doesn't answer the question. 90% of the posts on this topic are focused on blasting Tesla for some reason. Seriously, get over it people. He got old, lost his edge, and got screwed out of a Nobel prize by Marconi.

Nonetheless, the Tesla mentioned in this post is the same genius who invented A/C and radio...

What have you achieved?

share|cite|improve this answer
I agree that this sort of attitude towards Tesla is questionable. By the same standards, Einstein is a comparable 'crackpot', with his final field theory not quite living up to the famous name. But double standards seems to be the name of the game these days. – Janne808 Mar 10 '11 at 5:43
Oh, and by no means was Tesla considered a crackpot in his prime. You can find numerous praising quotes from contemporaries and long lists of awards and honors. How many crackpots get to have a SI unit named after him? – Janne808 Mar 10 '11 at 5:52
There is a trite saying, at least in greek, that "the line between the genius and the madman is very thin". I agree that Tesla was a giant in hands on applications of physics and should be honored for that. Maybe in late age he got snagged by metaphysics, akasha, is the Sanskrit for aether. The eastern metaphysics have a theory of everything which is completely orthogonal with the western science, and of course is not science in any sense.Maybe a world view. Casey was talking of the akashik records where everything that ever happens is recorded, etc. Easy to get snagged when death nears. – anna v Mar 10 '11 at 7:49
This isn't an answer to the question. Write a blog post if you want to rant. This is a Q&A site. Answer the questions. -1. – Mark Eichenlaub Mar 12 '11 at 0:20
To be fair, none of the answers really answer the question (except the top voted one) – Jeff Apr 5 '11 at 0:44

is there a way to verify that the attributed quot was really uttered by Tesla?

Is there anything that can be verified as Tesla's work in this area exists?

In the faster than light article by Hugo Gernback (that Sklivvz send a link to ), there is a patent number being mentioned 787412, filed May 16 1900. Is there a way to verify that?

share|cite|improve this answer
What you mean by "is there a way to verify that"?. – Robert Smith Jan 18 '11 at 4:22
Thank you Robert, So it is there, I Couldn't see any design diagrams. Has anyone made the device or tried to test it? – Arjang Jan 18 '11 at 6:31

I'm pretty sure no one has a good description of Tesla's theory of gravity, as far as I have been able to determine, he never really laid it out for anyone. Our Loss. I do know he disagreed with Einstein's curved space theory (yes, theory). I am sure he would be particularly amused by the scrambling of the conventional physicists, trying to explain dark energy and matter in einsteinian terms and avoiding at all costs the etherial implications.

share|cite|improve this answer

Everything else aside - this question was about where to find Tesla's theory of gravity, and my answer pointed to those that have tried to reconstruct it.

It's interesting that so far that answer has generated a -6, and the answer saying Telsa doesn't know what he's talking about, so even if the theory was available it must be completely wrong has a +4... on a forum supposedly frequented by people of science. :)

warning soap box detected

Couldn't "science" be considered the systematic observation of natural events and conditions in order to discover facts about them and to formulate laws and principles based on these facts. If that's right, Telsa, Reich and the Correa's are practising good science - even if their theories are non-conventional, controversial or even completely off track.

Physics is concerned with the energy/matter and motion. In that light, Tesla, Reich and the Correa's are absolutely researching physics. The fact they all had a personal disposition towards philosophy as well, doesn't detract from that, even if it colours their extrapolations.

It's understandable to want to believe what we "know" is "right," especially considering the time and money we invest into learning. Therefore when something challenges that knowledge, it's equally understandable we become defensive and dismissive. I hope we can agree that "defensive and dismissive" without a reasoned basis, are certainly not attributes of someone practising good science. Like Feynman said "science is a culture of doubt." - I daresay this is the reason for the down vote.

The fact remains that all these people have results that are testable, repeatable and have led to the manufacture of operational prototypes that conventional "science" insists are impossible.

I'd like to see truly open discussion of alternative, but well practised physics, rather than dogmatic dismissal of things that don't immediately fit our understandings.

This is a physics forum, my friends. Let's try to be objective and not colour our answers with personal baggage... like I've just done here :)

falls off soapbox

share|cite|improve this answer
"I hope we can agree that "defensive and dismissive" without a reasoned basis, are certainly not attributes of someone practising good science." No, I don't think we can agree on that. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and the best crackpots are the ones who convince folks that the burden of proof lies with the disbeliever. – wsc Dec 29 '10 at 21:03
You're absolutely correct. Here we not only have a theoretical proof, we have evidence in the form of operational devices. For example, a Pulsed Plasma generator that is generating power from (spooky music) supposedly unknown sources. So more correctly I should have said, "When there is significant proof and evidence, then to discredit without basis is hardly scientific". Is that any closer? – Jupiter Dec 29 '10 at 21:23
Use the inexplicable energy doohickey to fly the anti-gravity engine over to my apartment and I'll begin taking you seriously. – Mark Eichenlaub Dec 29 '10 at 22:45
@Jupiter, the link you provided pointed to a site full of "alternative" medicine articles... hence my down vote. This answer, instead, is completely off topic. That said, you seem to misunderstand how science works and what the scientific method is. There has to be a falsifiable theory. There have to be experiments performed independently. The theory must reduce to previous theories in known and accepted limits. From what I understand, Tesla's fails all three criteria. – Sklivvz Dec 30 '10 at 1:16
If you could point me to exactly where on that site it explains Tesla's theory (and not their own ideas and extensions of it), I would accept that as the answer, since that's what the question is. But I'm not going to promote answers like yours that appear to be jibberish disguised as "alternate" science. All I want is his theory on gravity – Jeff Dec 30 '10 at 19:43

Tesla was (and according to some still is) a very interesting guy.

Much of his work is still considered "black science" meaning it is privately held by private stakeholders. It's not available to mainstream science - and may not be for some time.

The most interesting public work available on the subject has been performed by a husband and wife team Dr. Paulo N. Correa and Alexandra N. Correa who have been very careful to publish every detail of everything they have done to hopefully avoid the fate of others (Like Wilhelm Reich) who were researching in the same field.

The Correa's recreated Telsa and Reich's experiments and published all their results (much of which is publicly available) and have built operational prototypes to prove the theories on: Gravity and Anti-Gravity, Alternative Energy (from sources believed unknown to mainstream science), and Nano-Biology.

For more information check out their site

FYI - Anti-gravity engine designs have been available since the 1920's and the intellectual property can be found at the US Patent Office.

share|cite|improve this answer
Omg you call that stuff science? – Sklivvz Dec 29 '10 at 1:21
Hey Sklivvz. Call it anything you like :) Let's call it "not science." Both Tesla and Reich were considered crackpots in their time, but they both had results they couldn't explain. Now it is explained, and moreso, there are working prototypes of hardware based on the "not science" that Tesla, Reich and the Correa's seemed to see something behind. Who knows? I've read a lot of their work and the "not science" is sound... if not conventional. – Jupiter Dec 29 '10 at 1:37
Whatever you call it, it is not physics... Therefore I would insit your answer is not appropriate for this site as it is clearly off topic, hence the down vote. – Sklivvz Dec 29 '10 at 11:14
It's unfortunate but this answer actually answers the OP question. – Carl Brannen Mar 10 '11 at 4:27

protected by Manishearth Dec 12 '12 at 16:15

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site.

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.