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Tesla and the project of giant mirrors to contact extraterrestrials. The French edition of Slate recalls in a nice article when extraterrestrials are still sought in the solar system. It was back in 1899, and while working in his laboratory in Colorado Springs, the engineer Nikola Tesla saw that one of its units recorded strange electrical disturbances. “The changes we noticed were produced periodically and evoked with such evidence of numbers and an order that I was not linking to nothing known – Tesla wrote later. It was not the kind of signals coming from the Sun, the Earth, the Aurora Borealis, or by atmospheric disturbances. The phenomenon continued to be of interest to Tesla, that several years later he explained: “Behind these electrical signals was a definite pattern. I am increasingly convinced that he was the first to hear the message transmitted from one planet to another. “What happened next?
Tesla believed he had intercepted an interplanetary communication and for the rest of his life he worked on a system that would allow to answer from Earth. It was not the only one to conduct research of this kind. In the nineteenth century, a small group of scientists had focused on how to communicate with other planets. It had been studied a giant mirror system. Today, astronomers seem pretty sure that if one day we will enter in contact with extraterrestrial civilizations, they will find themselves very far from Earth.
But in the nineteenth century, it still seemed possible that an alien life could exist in our solar system, close enough because we could contact her with a strong enough signal or bright, to communicate without having to leave Earth. In 1820, the German mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss was one of the first to describe a method to be able to contact intelligent life forms that could live on the Moon: the tundra of Siberia, it could have been building a giant figure, the geometric proof of the theorem Pythagoras, in which the elements would be big enough to be seen from the moon.
In 1840, the Austrian astronomer Joseph von Littrow had a similar idea. He proposed to dig large trenches about 30 kilometers to form geometric shapes, fill them with water and kerosene and to give them fire by night, so that they were more visible. Gauss and von Littrow thought that if there were extraterrestrial life forms, these forms would have seen and understood that the Earth was inhabited by intelligent beings. The math would be the language through which to communicate. Later, the idea of building immense geometrical figures was abandoned and proposed scientists to send light signals in space through a kind of planetary telegraph, using giant mirrors. Carl Friedrich Gauss imagined a device made up of hundreds of mirrors, each about the size of 1.50 m2. In 1874, Charles Cros, French inventor, launched the idea of focusing an electric light to Mars or Venus, using parabolic mirrors. The following year, Edvard Engelbert Novius conceived the creation of a component with 22,500 bulbs. At the end of the nineteenth century in France was established the Prix Pierre Guzman, intended to stimulate research in the context of contact with other planets. Who was able to communicate with a planet or a star and to receive an answer he would have received 100,000 French francs. None of the large mirrors was built systems. In 1909, William Pickering, the American astronomer who first postulated the existence of Planet X, a hypothetical planet beyond Neptune and Plutoidi, it calculated that the construction of a device whose signals could travel the distance between Earth and Mars would cost about $ 10 million. Although he thought that the device would work, the astronomer suggested more evidence of life on Mars, before spending all that money.
Tesla thought it had important evidence indicating the existence of extra terrestrial life in space. He spent the rest of his life working on a new machine capable of sending power over long distances, without the slightest dispersion. He did not reveal anything about this new machine and all the details of his invention disappeared after his death.
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