WIRELESS TRANSMISSION OF POWER
Resonating Planet Earth
Many researchers have speculated on the meaning of the phrase "non-
Hertzian waves" as used by Dr. Nikola Tesla. Dr. Tesla first began to
use this term in the mid 1890's in order to explain his proposed system
for the wireless transmission of electrical power. In fact, it was not
until the distinction between the method that Heinrich Hertz was using
and the system Dr. Tesla had designed, that Dr. Tesla was able to
receive the endorsement of the renowned physicist, Lord Kelvin.1
To this day, however, there exists a confusion amongs researchers,
experimentalists, popular authors and laymen as to the meaning of non-
Hertzian waves and the method Dr. Tesla was promoting for the wireless
transmission of power. In this paper, the terms pertinent to wireless
transmission of power will be explained and the methods being used by
present researchers in a recreation of the Tesla's 1899 Colorado
Springs experiments will be defined.
Early Theories of Electromagnetic Propagation
In pre-World War I physics, scientists postulated a number of
theories to explain the propagation of electromagnetic energy through
the ether. There were three popular theories present in the literature
of the late 1800's and early 1900's. They were: 1. Transmission through or along the Earth, 2. Propagation as a result of terrestrial resonances, 3. Coupling to the ionosphere using propagation through electrified gases.
We shall concern our examination at this time to the latter two
theories as they were both used by Dr. Tesla at various times to
explain his system of wireless transmission of power. It should be
noted, however, that the first theory was supported by Fritz
Lowenstein, the first vice-president of the Institute of Radio
Engineers, a man who had the enviable experience of assisting Dr. Tesla
during the Colorado Springs experiments of 1899. Lowenstein presented
what came to be known as the "gliding wave" theory of electromagnetic
radiation and propagation during a lecture before the IRE in 1915.
Dr. Tesla delivered lectures to the Franklin Institute at
Philadelphia, in February, 1983, and to the National Electric Light
Association in St. Louis, in March, 1983, concerning electromagnetic
wave propagation. The theory presented in those lectures proposed that
the Earth could be considered as a conducting sphere and that it could
support a large electrical charge. Dr. Tesla proposed to disturb the
charge distribution on the surface of the Earth and record the period
of the resulting oscillations as the charge returned to its state of
equilibrium. The problem of a single charged sphere had been analyzed
at that time by J.J. Thompson and A.G. Webster in a treatise entitled
"The Spherical Oscillator." This was the beginning of an examination
of what we may call the science of terrestrial resonances, culminating
in the 1950's and 60's with the engineering of VLF radio systems andŠ the research and discoveries of W.O. Schumann and J.R. Waite.
The second method of energy propagation proposed by Dr. Tesla was
that of the propagation of electrical energy through electrified gases.
Dr. Tesla experimented with the use of high frequency RF currents to
examine the properties of gases over a wide range of pressures. It was
determined by Dr. Tesla that air under a partial vacuum could conduct
high frequency electrical currents as well or better than copper wires.
If a transmitter could be elevated to a level where the air pressure
was on the order of 75 to 130 millimeters in pressure and an excitation
of megavolts was applied, it was theorized that;
"...the air will serve as a conductor for the current produced, and
the latter will be transmitted through the air with, it may be, even
less resistance than through an ordinary copper wire".2 (Fig. 2) Resonating Planet Earth
Dr. James T. Corum and Kenneth L. Corum, in chapter two of their soon
to be published book, A Tesla Primer, point out a number of statements
made by Dr. Tesla which indicate that he was using resonator fields and
transmission line modes.
1. When he speaks of tuning his apparatus until Hertzian radiations
have been eliminated, he is referring to using ELF vibrations: "...the
Hertzian effect has gradually been reduced through the lowering of
2. "...the energy received does not diminish with the square of the
distance, as it should, since the Hertzian radiation propagates in a
3. He apparently detected resonator or standing wave modes: "...my
discovery of the wonderful law governing the movement of electricity
through the globe...the projection of the wavelengths (measured along
the surface) on the earth's diameter or axis of symmetry...are all
4. "We are living on a conducting globe surrounded by a thin layer of
insulating air, above which is a rarefied and conducting
atmosphere...The Hertz waves represent energy which is radiated and
unrecoverable. The current energy, on the other hand, is preserved and
can be recovered, theoretically at least, in its entirety."4
As Dr. Corum points out, "The last sentence seems to indicate that
Tesla's Colorado Springs experiments could be properly interpreted as
characteristic of a wave-guide probe in a cavity resonator."5 This was
in fact what led Dr. Tesla to report a measurement which to this day is
not understood and has led many to erroneously assume that he was
dealing with faster than light velocities.
The Controversial Measurement;
It does not indicate faster than light velocity
The mathematical models and experimental data used by Schumann and
Waite to describe ELF transmission and propagation are complex and
beyond the scope of this paper. Dr. James F. Corum, Kenneth L. Corum
and Dr. A-Hamid Aidinejad have, however, in a series of papers
presented at the 1984 Tesla Centennial Symposium and the 1986
International Tesla Symposium, applied the experimental values obtained
by Dr. Tesla during his Colorado Springs experiments to the models and
equations used by Schumann and Waite. The results of this exercise
have proved that the Earth and the surrounding atmosphere can be used
as a cavity resonator for the wireless transmission of electrical
power. (Fig. 3)
Dr. Tesla reported that .08484 seconds was the time that a pulse
emitted from his laboratory took to propagate to the opposite side of
the planet and to return. From this statement many have assumed thatŠ his transmissions exceeded the speed of light and many esoteric and
fallacious theories and publications have been generated. As Corum and
Aidinejad point out, in their 1986 paper, "The Transient Propagation of
ELF Pulses in the Earth Ionosphere Cavity", this measurement represents
the coherence time of the Earth cavity resonator system. This is also
known to students of radar systems as a determination of the range
dependent parameter. The accompanying diagrams from Corum's and
Aidinejad's paper graphically illustrate the point. (Fig. 3 & Fig. 4)
We now turn to a description of the methods to be used to build, as
Dr. Tesla did in 1899, a cavity resonator for the wireless transmission
of electrical power.
The Wireless Transmission of Electrical Energy Using Schumann Resonance
It has been proven that electrical energy can be propagated around
the world between the surface of the Earth and the ionosphere at
extreme low frequencies in what is known as the Schumann Cavity. The
Schumann cavity surrounds the Earth between ground level and extends
upward to a maximum 80 kilometers. Experiments to date have shown that
electromagnetic waves of extreme low frequencies in the range of 8 Hz,
the fundamental Schumann Resonance frequency, propagate with little
attenuation around the planet within the Schumann Cavity.
Knowing that a resonant cavity can be excited and that power can be
delivered to that cavity similar to the methods used in microwave ovens
for home use, it should be possible to resonate and deliver power via
the Schumann Cavity to any point on Earth. This will result in
practical wireless transmission of electrical power.
Although it was not until 1954-1959 when experimental measurements
were made of the frequency that is propagated in the resonant cavity
surrounding the Earth, recent analysis shows that it was Nikola Tesla
who, in 1899, first noticed the existence of stationary waves in the
Schumann cavity. Tesla's experimental measurements of the wave length
and frequency involved closely match Schumann's theoretical
calculations. Some of these observations were made in 1899 while Tesla
was monitoring the electromagnetic radiations due to lightning
discharges in a thunderstorm which passed over his Colorado Springs
laboratory and then moved more than 200 miles eastward across the
plains. In his Colorado Springs Notes, Tesla noted that these
stationary waves "... can be produced with an oscillator," and added in
parenthesis, "This is of immense importance."6 The importance of his
observations is due to the support they lend to the prime objective of
the Colorado Springs laboratory. The intent of the experiments and the
laboratory Tesla had constructed was to prove that wireless
transmission of electrical power was possible.
Schumann Resonance is analogous to pushing a pendulum. The intent of
Project Tesla is to create pulses or electrical disturbances that would
travel in all directions around the Earth in the thin membrane of non-
conductive air between the ground and the ionosphere. The pulses or
waves would follow the surface of the Earth in all directions expanding
outward to the maximum circumference of the Earth and contracting
inward until meeting at a point opposite to that of the transmitter.
This point is called the anti-pode. The traveling waves would be
reflected back from the anti-pode to the transmitter to be reinforced
and sent out again.Š At the time of his measurements Tesla was experimenting with and
researching methods for "...power transmission and transmission of
intelligible messages to any point on the globe." Although Tesla was
not able to commercially market a system to transmit power around the
globe, modern scientific theory and mathematical calculations support
his contention that the wireless propagation of electrical power is
possible and a feasible alternative to the extensive and costly grid of
electrical transmission lines used today for electrical power
The Need for a Wireless System of Energy Transmission
A great concern has been voiced in recent years over the extensive
use of energy, the limited supply of resources, and the pollution of
the environment from the use of present energy conversion systems.
Electrical power accounts for much of the energy consumed. Much of this
power is wasted during transmission from power plant generators to the
consumer. The resistance of the wire used in the electrical grid
distribution system causes a loss of 26-30% of the energy generated.
This loss implies that our present system of electrical distribution is
only 70-74% efficient.
A system of power distribution with little or no loss would conserve
energy. It would reduce pollution and expenses resulting from the need
to generate power to overcome and compensate for losses in the present
The proposed project would demonstrate a method of energy
distribution calculated to be 90-94% efficient. An electrical
distribution system, based on this method would eliminate the need for
an inefficient, costly, and capital intensive grid of cables, towers,
and substations. The system would reduce the cost of electrical energy
used by the consumer and rid the landscape of wires, cables, and
There are areas of the world where the need for electrical power
exists, yet there is no method for delivering power. Africa is in need
of power to run pumps to tap into the vast resources of water under the
Sahara Desert. Rural areas, such as those in China, require the
electrical power necessary to bring them into the 20th century and to
equal standing with western nations.
As first proposed by Buckminster Fuller, wireless transmission of
power would enable world wide distribution of off peak demand capacity.
This concept is based on the fact that some nations, especially the
United States, have the capacity to generate much more power than is
needed. This situation is accentuated at night. The greatest amount
of power used, the peak demand, is during the day. The extra power
available during the night could be sold to the side of the planet
where it is day time. Considering the huge capacity of power plants in
the United States, this system would provide a saleable product which
could do much to aid our balance of payments.
Of the 56 billion dollars spent for research by the the U.S
government in 1987, 64% was for military purposes, only 8% was spent on
energy related research. More efficient energy distribution systems
and sources are needed by both developed and under developed nations.
In regards to Project Tesla, the market for wireless power transmission
systems is enormous. It has the potential to become a multi-billion
dollar per year market.Š
The increasing demand for electrical energy in industrial nations is
well documented. If we include the demand of third world nations,
pushed by their increasing rate of growth, we could expect an even
faster rise in the demand for electrical power in the near future.
In 1971, nine industrialized nations, (with 25 percent of the world's
population), used 690 million kilowatts, 76 percent of all power
generated. The rest of the world used only 218 million kilowatts. By
comparison, China generated only 17 million kilowatts and India
generated only 15 million kilowatts (less than two percent each).7 If
a conservative assumption was made that the three-quarters of the world
which is only using one-quarter of the current power production were to
eventually consume as much as the first quarter, then an additional 908
million kilowatts will be needed. The demand for electrical power will
continue to increase with the industrialization of the world.
The Energy Information Agency (EIA), based in Washington, D.C.,
reported the 1985 net generation of electric power to be 2,489 billion
kilowatt hours. At a conservative sale price of $.04 per kilowatt hour
that results in a yearly income of 100 billion dollars. The EIA also
reported that the 1985 capacity according to generator name plates to
be 656,118 million watts. This would result in a yearly output of
5,740 billion kilowatt hours at 100% utilization. What this means is
that we use only about 40% of the power we can generate (an excess
capability of 3,251 billion kilowatt hours).
Allowing for down time and maintenance and the fact that the night time
off peak load is available, it is possible that half of the excess
power generation capability could be utilized. If 1,625 billion
kilowatt hours were sold yearly at $.06/kilowatt, income would total
9.7 billion dollars.
Project Tesla: Objectives
The objectives of Project Tesla are divided into three areas of
1. Demonstration that the Schumann Cavity can be resonated with an open air, vertical dipole antenna; 2. Measurement of power insertion losses; 3. Measurement of power retrieval losses, locally and at a distance.
A full size, 51 foot diameter, air core, radio frequency resonating
coil and a unique 130 foot tower, insulated 30 feet above ground, have
been constructed and are operational at an elevation of approximately
11,000 feet. This system was originally built by Robert Golka in 1973-
1974 and used until 1982 by the United States Air Force at Wendover AFB
in Wendover, Utah. The USAF used the coil for simulating natural
lightning for testing and hardening fighter aircraft. The system has a
capacity of over 600 kilowatts. The coil, which is the largest part
of the system, has already been built, tested, and is operational.
A location at a high altitude is initially advantageous for reducing
atmospheric losses which work against an efficient coupling to the
Schumann Cavity. The high frequency, high voltage output of the coil
will be half wave rectified using a uniquely designed single electrode
X-ray tube. The X-ray tube will be used to charge a 130 ft. tall,Š vertical tower which will function to provide a vertical current
moment. The mast is topped by a metal sphere 30 inches in diameter.
X-rays emitted from the tube will ionize the atmosphere between the
Tesla coil and the tower. This will result in a low resistance path
causing all discharges to flow from the coil to the tower. A
circulating current of 1,000 amperes in the system will create an
ionization and corona causing a large virtual electrical capacitance in
the medium surrounding the sphere. The total charge around the tower
will be in the range of between 200-600 coulombs. Discharging the
tower 7-8 times per second through a fixed or rotary spark gap will
create electrical disturbances, which will resonantly excite the
Schumann Cavity, and propagate around the entire Earth.
The propagated wave front will be reflected from the antipode back to
the transmitter site. The reflected wave will be reinforced and again
radiated when it returns to the transmitter. As a result, an
oscillation will be established and maintained in the Schumann Cavity.
The loss of power in the cavity has been estimated to be about 6% per
round trip. If the same amount of power is delivered to the cavity on
each cycle of oscillation of the transmitter, there will be a net
energy gain which will result in a net voltage, or amplitude increase.
This will result in reactive energy storage in the cavity. As long as
energy is delivered to the cavity, the process will continue until the
energy is removed by heating, lightning discharges, or as is proposed
by this project, loading by tuned circuits at distant locations for
The resonating cavity field will be detected by stations both in the
United States and overseas. These will be staffed by engineers and
scientists who have agreed to participate in the experiment.
Measurement of power insertion and retrieval losses will be made at
the transmitter site and at distant receiving locations. Equipment
constructed especially for measurement of low frequency electromagnetic
waves will be employed to measure the effectiveness of using the
Schumann Cavity as a means of electrical power distribution. The
detection equipment used by project personnel will consist of a pick up
coil and industry standard low noise, high gain operational amplifiers
and active band pass filters.
In addition to project detection there will be a record of the
experiment recorded by a network of monitoring stations that have been
set up specifically to monitor electromagnetic activity in the Schumann
The project will be evaluated by an analysis of the data provided by
local and distant measurement stations. The output of the transmitter
will produce a 7-8 Hz sine wave as a result of the discharges from the
antenna. The recordings made by distant stations will be time
synchronized to ensure that the data received is a result of the
operation of the transmitter.
Power insertion and retrieval losses will be analyzed after the
measurements taken during the transmission are recorded. Attenuation,
field strength, and cavity Q will be calculated using the equations
presented in Dr. Corum's papers. These papers are noted in the
references. If recorded results indicate power can be efficiently
coupled into or transmitted in the Schumann Cavity, a second phase of
research involving power reception will be initiated.
The extreme low frequencies (ELF), present in the environment have
several origins. The time varying magnetic fields produced as a result
of solar and lunar influences on ionospheric currents are on the order
of 30 nanoteslas. The largest time varying fields are those generated
by solar activity and thunderstorms. These magnetic fields reach a
maximum of 0.5 microteslas (uT) The magnetic fields produced as a
result of lightning discharges in the Schumann Cavity peak at 7, 14, 20
and 26 Hz. The magnetic flux densities associated with these resonant
frequencies vary from 0.25 to 3.6 picoteslas. per root hertz
Exposure to man made sources of ELF can be up to 1 billion (1000
million or 1 x 109) times stronger than that of naturally occurring
fields. Household appliances operated at 60 Hz can produce fields as
high as 2.5 mT. The field under a 765 kV, 60 Hz power line carrying 1
amp per phase is 15 uT. ELF antennae systems that are used for
submarine communication produce fields of 20 uT. Video display
terminals produce fields of 2 uT, 1,000,000 times the strength of the
Schumann Resonance frequencies.9
Project Tesla will use a 150 kw generator to excite the Schumann
cavity. Calculations predict that the field strength due to this
excitation at 7.8 Hz will be on the order of 46 picoteslas.
The successful resonating of the Schumann Cavity and wireless
transmission of power on a small scale resulting in proof of principle
will require a second phase of engineering, the design of receiving
stations. On completion of the second phase, the third and fourth
phases of the project involving further tests and improvements and a
large scale demonstration project will be pursued to prove commercial
feasibility. Total cost from proof of principle to commercial
prototype is expected to total $3 million. Interest in participation
in this project may be directed to the author.
The following four papers were presented at the 1984 Tesla Centennial
Symposium and the 1986 International Tesla Symposium.
"The Transient Propagation of ELF Pulses in the Earth-Ionosphere
Cavity", by A-Ahamid Aidinejad and James F. Corum.
"Disclosures Concerning the Operation of an ELF Oscillator", by James
F. Corum and Kenneth L. Corum.
"A Physical Interpretation of the Colorado Springs Data", by James F.
Corum and Kenneth L. Corum.
"Critical Speculations Concerning Tesla's Invention and Applications
of Single Electrode X-Ray Directed Discharges for Power Processing,
Terrestrial Resonances and Particle Beam Weapons" by James F. Corum and
Kenneth L. Corum.
1. Tesla Said, Compiled by John T. Ratzlaff, Tesla Book Company,
Millbrae, CA, 1984.
2. Dr. Nikola Tesla: Selected Patent Wrappers, compiled by John T.
Ratzlaff, Tesla Book Company, 1980, Vol. I, Pg. 128.
3. "The Disturbing Influence of Solar Radiation on the Wireless
Transmission of Energy", by Nikola Tesla, Electrical Review, July 6,
1912, PP. 34, 35.
4. "The Effect of Static on Wireless Transmission", by Nikola Tesla,
Electrical Experimenter, January 1919, PP. 627, 658.
5. Tesla Primer and Handbook, Dr. James T. Corum and Kenneth L. Corum,
unpublished. Corum and Associates, 8551 ST Rt 534, Windsor, Ohio 44099
6. Colorado Springs Notes, 1899 - 1900, Nikola Tesla, Nikola Tesla
Museum, Beograd, Yugoslavia, 1978, Pg. 62.
7. Van Nostrands Scientific Encylopedia, Fith Edition, Pg. 899.
8. "PC Monitors Lightning Worldwide", Davis D. Sentman, Computers in
Science, Premiere Issue, 1987.
9. "Artificially Stimulated Resonance of the Earth's Schumann Cavity
Waveguide", Toby Grotz, Proceedings of the Third International New
Energy Technology Symposium/Exhibition, June 25th-28th, 1988, Hull,
Quebec, Planetary Association for Clean Energy, 191 Promenade du
Portage/600, Hull, Quebec J8X 2K6 Canada
FURTHER INFORMATION ABOUT TESLA
The Tesla Memorial Society The Tesla Coil Builders Association
% Nicholas Kosanovich % Harry Goldman
453 Martin Road RD #6 Box 181
Lackawanna, NY 14218 Glenns Falls, NY 12801\
(716) 822-0281 (518 792-1003
The Tesla Book Company High Voltage Press
PO Box 1649 PO Box 532
Greenville, TX 75401 Claremont, CA 91711
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mr. Grotz, is an electrical engineer and has 15 years experience in
the field of geophysics, aerospace and industrial research and design.
While working for the Geophysical Services Division of Texas
Instruments and at the University of Texas at Dallas, Mr. Grotz was
introduced to and worked with the geophysical concepts which are of
importance to the proposed project. As a Senior Engineer at Martin
Marietta, Mr. Grotz designed and supervised the construction of
industrial process control systems and designed and built devices and
equipment for use in research and development and for testing space
flight hardware. Mr. Grotz organized and chaired the 1984 Tesla
Centennial Symposium and the 1986 International Tesla Symposium and was
President of the International Tesla Society, a not for profit
corporation formed as a result the first symposium. As Project Manager
for Project Tesla, Mr. Grotz aided in the design and construction of a
recreation of the equipment Nikola Tesla used for wireless transmission
of power experiments in 1899 in Colorado Springs. Mr. Grotz received
his B.S.E.E. from the University of Connecticut in 1973.