Please excuse my lack of knowledge/understanding.

Question: Why Nikola Tesla's Free Energy concept was never worked upon? Even today.

Context: Now that we know Nikola Tesla was a genius and did exceptionally well with his works and the Free Energy concept. Why his idea was never adopted or was worked upon, even now? I know, back then, Edison didn't let him do much. But now, in our times, why GE or any other company or well the physics PhDs aren't following up? Why CERN is not working over it?

By the articles that I have read over the internet I am under an impression that everyone (now) feel that we have "missed" the free-energy chance that we had as a planet, that Nikola Tesla was trying to bring in. I see a lot of brag (to an extent, as well) which leaves no doubt that his Free-Energy concept would have been must-have.

But if I look at the actual followups, no one it seems got actually interested to pursue his theories; or is it that no one is capable enough to do it? Which would be strange, given that we are at the peaks of technological advancements. How hard is it to build a prototype? Really?

Or people might have worked over it, but Tesla's blue-prints were not correct, and that is why no one came up with the actual implementation of it? Or is it that he was really a crackpot as politically-publicized by Edison?

I would really appreciate an answer, because this is beyond me, to understand why no one followed up on this concept?

Thank you, in advance.

  • $\begingroup$ Tesla's "free energy" device did not and could not actually produce free energy. The energy had to come from somewhere. If you edit this to add a description of how Tesla's "free energy" device was supposed to work, someone might be able to explain where the energy is coming from. $\endgroup$ Jul 17 '12 at 18:37
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    $\begingroup$ Don't put anybody on a pedestal. Try to learn what they are saying. So what if they're a "genius"? You are smarter than you might think. $\endgroup$ Jul 17 '12 at 19:30

Assuming we're thinking about the same thing, Tesla believed that cosmic rays (his words) carried a net charge. You could put a metal plate high in the atmosphere and the cosmic rays would charge it, then you could discharge the plate to ground and use the flow of electricity to do work.

This is a perfectly plausible idea, however cosmic rays don't carry a net charge so the plate won't get charged and you can't generate any power from it. That's why Tesla's idea won't work. There is nothing wrong with his reasoning, but one of his premises was flawed.

I've put cosmic rays in italics because I'm not sure whether Telsa meant what we currently mean by cosmic rays, i.e. particles from deep space, or whether he meant what we now call the solar wind. The solar wind doesn't carry a net charge, but I think cosmic rays do as they're mostly protons or alpha particles. However the flux of cosmic rays hitting the Earth is too small to extract any useful amount of power from. Solar radiation is of course much more intense, which is why everyone is trying to sell you solar panels at the moment.

  • $\begingroup$ Also, given the enormous energy of cosmic rays, the construction of working collection plates opaque enough to be effective while suspended high in the atmosphere would be, shall we say, challenging. Thin and lightweight won't cut it. $\endgroup$ Jun 6 '16 at 21:08

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