Nikola Tesla - Tesla's Plan to Create a Tidal Wave for Defense - An Engineer's Aspect


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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Nikola Tesla - Tesla's Plan to Create a Tidal Wave for Defense

An interesting article found in the Newspaper Archives about one of Tesla's defense ideas...a man-made tidal wave:

The Baldur Gazette, Baldur, Manitoba, Canada, Page 6. July 2, 1908.

Nikola Tesla's Method of Dealing
With Enemy's Fleet.
It is suggested by Nikola Tesla that in the event of war a hostile navy could be swamped by a huge tidal wave created by the explosion at sea of a large quantity of nitro-glycerine. Says a writer:

"Nikola Tesla bears an honored name in electrical science and has done memorable work in oscillatory currents and in connection with Hertzian waves. A few years ago, it may be remembered, he stood in the theatre of the Royal Institution with oscillatory currents of unheard of voltage playing about his unharmed head, and this taste for the sensational appears to grow with increasing years.

"His latest idea is that of creating an enormous tidal wave for purposes of coast defence in order to annihilate a hostile fleet. It may be assumed, remarks Mr. Tesla, that thirty tons of nitro-glycerine compound be employed to create the tidal disturbance. This material, weighing about twice as much as water, can be stored in a cubical tank eight feet each way or in a sperical (sic) vessel of ten feet diameter....

"At the propitious moment the signal is given, the charge sunk to the proper depth and ignited....The water is incompressible. The explosion propagates through the compound at a speed of three miles a second, so that the whole mass will be converted into gas before the water can give way appreciably, and a sperical (sic) bubble ten feet in diameter will form.

"The gaseous pressure against the surrounding water will be 20,000 atmospheres, or 140 tons to the square inch.

"At this point Mr. Tesla relapses into a maze of calculations of calories and power units, where it is difficult and unnecessary to follow him. He emerges presently with the resultant statement that 2,500,000 tons of water would be raised one foot, or a smaller quantity to a correspondingly greater elevation. The height and length of the wave will be determined by the depth at which the disturbance originated. Opening in the centre like a volcano, the great hollows will belch forth a shower of ice.

"Some sixteen seconds later a valley of 600 feet depth, counted from normal ocean-level, will form, surrounded by a perfectly circular swell, approximately of equal height, which will enlarge in diameter at the rate of about 220 feet per second. It is futile, concludes Mr. Tesla, pleasantly, to consider the effect on a neighboring vessels (sic), however large. Even a navy would be destroyed."