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Re: Keeping up with the theory (was is Corum and Corumforbidden topic?)
Original poster: "Jim Lux by way of Terry Fritz <twftesla-at-qwest-dot-net>" <jimlux-at-earthlink-dot-net>
> Anyway, why is it left to us amateurs to figure out for ourselves
> what the currents and voltages are doing in a secondary? Why haven't
> the professionals sorted all this stuff out decades ago? Is the
> pseudoscience keeping the experts away, or have the cranks simply
> moved in to fill a vacuum? Maybe it's just not that important?
because there's no money to be made or Nobel prizes to be won in Tesla
coiling... The basic physics is known, so that doesn't need to be
researched. The precise distribution of voltages and currents isn't of
particular interest except to coilers... You might find some folks doing
low frequency antennas who might be interested, but that's a pretty small
area, and one that's not too sexy for a researcher looking for a
dissertation topic or grant money, not when there is commercially and
technically interesting work at multiple GHz where you are pushing the physics.
As far as spark propagation, there IS a fair amount of recent research, but
not for the waveforms we encounter in coils. Again, the interest is in
things like lightning impulses, or, in the plasma physics area, in some
specialized waveforms useful to the plasma physicist.
> > Of course, 90% of Tesla coilers have never heard of the Tesla list.
> As many as that?. Is it because they just don't get onto the Net, or
> that they don't think to do a search for Tesla? How does everybody
> else share news and information? If someone wanted to publish a
> technical article about TCs in a reputable place that would reach
> some majority of coilers, where would they go?
> I suspect that the infrastructure - the peer reviewed journals,
> necessary to support the development of a normal body of engineering
> knowledge on TCs just aren't out there.
Exactly... although.. I suspect that, properly framed, papers could get
published in one of the applied physics journals (say, your work on
distribution of current/voltage in a solenoid), or some coupled resonator
with nonlinear spark loads...
> Jim wrote:
> > The other thought was that you could set up some form of peer
> > reviewed journal on "tesla coil theory", but, who would would the
> > reviewers be?
> I just don't know who, or how that would work. Peer review systems
> are normally supported by an established institution of sufficient
> quorum to achieve stability, although even that doesn't guarantee
> rationality (eg Homeopathy). We don't have such a foundation. Those
> that existed in the past encouraged pseudoscience, eg ITS, TCBA.
> Where is the ARRL or RSGB of coiling?
There is none... I suspect that an attempt to form an ARRL or RSGB today
would be doomed.. How many new major professional societies have formed in
the last 20 years? They all have foundation dates in the 1800's or early
1900's. Today, what you see are very niche societies or suborganizations
(IEEE has hundreds) or industry trade groups of one sort or another (and
they're none too stable...what with bickering over patent rights, etc.)
Even something like W3C isn't really in the mold of a traditional society.
ARRL is interesting, because it was formed at the early days of a rapidly
growing industry, radio communications, with a new and evolving technology.
As time went on, even into the 40's, 50's, and 60's being able to
communicate with people in other countries was still pretty amazing. These
days, I can rent a satellite phone for a few dollars a day at the airpor,
go out into the middle of the Australian outback, and call back to work,
and nobody is particularly amazed. Oddly, I've been looking for interesting
technical challenges in ham radio, and haven't really found any worth
spending significant time on, because most of the challenging stuff has
been done, and the ham radio thing is doing it for no money, or with old
surplus equipment, etc.. Take Moonbounce (Where you bounce a radio signal
off the moon to communicate)... WHen first done, this was a signficant
challenge, technically; just to generate the signal and hear it. These
days, though, one could conceivably go to!
plunk down less than $1000 and buy enough equipment to do moonbounce.. sure
there'd be some technique to learn, but there's not much technical
challenge in hooking up a transceiver to a big antenna. Personally, I've
been doing a lot of development work with phased arrays for ham radio, but
that fits in the "using standard technology on the cheap" category... I'm
not pioneering technology..
Tesla coils did their original evolving a hundred years ago, and didn't
form the basis of a significant industry. What's interesting about tesla
coils is that there ARE still big technical challenges to understanding and
modeling them. This probably just because there isn't any commercial gain
involved.. nobody has spent any time and money on the problem that they
consider not worth solving. The problems of characterizing and
understanding spark growth with pulsed RF sources are very complex. The
optimization of a design, which fundamentally is just some capacitors and a
loosely coupled air core transformer with a really weird nonlinear load is
another very complex problem.
Then, there are the craftsmanship aspects to coiling (one that anyone who
has seen my coils and equipment can tell is definitely NOT my interest). I
am truly impressed by some of the works of art that have been produced by
list members. Perhaps, to the average beholder, an intricately carved
Louis XIV armoire is more impressive, but to me, a practical machine that
is beautiful and well made beats it any day.
> > Maybe one could get peer reviewed publications in other journals
> > (Rev Sci Inst type, but even that probably isn't the right venue.)
> I'm sure quite a few journals would take stuff, but as you say, it's
> not going to reach coilers.
Some day it will... Look at antennas and ham radio.. You're starting to see
amateur publications citing journal articles, and much more rigor in the
designs and analysis. 40 years ago, the articles were of the general
flavor: "I hung this combination of wires and tubes and, boy, did those
European stations come in stronger".. These days you get disputes about
accuracy of numerical models, very sophisticated efficiency analyses, and
so forth. Granted, there are also more commercial manufacturers of
antennas (ham and otherwise), so there was a impetus to develop the tools, etc.
Another interesting phenomenon you'll find is that "professional journal
articles" tend to downplay the ham radio aspect of the work being
presented. The author won't mention why he was optimizing the design of
that antenna for 28.3 MHz, or why he chose 7.2 MHz for the analysis of soil
electromagnetic characteristics. Or, it won't even mention the frequencies,
preferring to work in the abstract, but when you look at the presented test
data, it happens to be at a ham band frequency. It takes a fair amount of
confidence in the sometimes petty world of academe to admit that you did
the work because it was fun. I've always though that John Kraus' textbook,
"Antennas", (a very well regarded text) was great because he has pictures
of himself standing in front of obviously lashed up experimental antennas
in the back yard.