Jan Rak, in his NAMI-tech SEM 2023 lecture (@12:53), claims:

However, at the time Nicola Tesla […] was trying to replicate the Hertz experiment, and he was unsuccessful. He discovered some other properties of radio frequency waves, came to Hertz try to convince him that his conclusion about the transverse character is incorrect, and so they had a long debate, but at the end, as we all know, the history decided in favor of Herz and Tesla was largely ignored until these days.

What was Tesla's replication of Hertz's experiment?

  • $\begingroup$ Re "so they had a long debate". So far I have not been able to find evidence of such interaction between Hertz and Tesla. One would think that a long debate between two prominent scientists would have been reflected in contemporary publications. Even if it occurred in private communication by letter only, it could make an appearance in collections of letters published posthumously. In order for us to be aware of a long debate, there would have to be some public information somewhere, yet so far I come up empty-handed. $\endgroup$
    – njuffa
    Oct 23, 2023 at 20:31
  • $\begingroup$ @njuffa Maybe by "they" he meant the scientific community in general (not Hertz and Tesla specifically). $\endgroup$
    – Geremia
    Oct 23, 2023 at 21:38
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ "came to Hertz" is a pretty unambiguous claim of personal interaction. Various internet sources claim that Tesla expressed disagreement with Hertz at a lecture which is variably stated as having occurred in 1891 or 1892. The only record of a lecture I could find: Nikola Tesla, "Experiments with Alternate Currents of Very High Frequency and Their Application to Methods of Artificial Illumination", Electrical World, Vol. 18, No. 2, July 11, 1891, pp. 19-27 (scan). On p. 24 $\endgroup$
    – njuffa
    Oct 23, 2023 at 22:07
  • $\begingroup$ .... Tesla disagrees with a specific claim related to the experiments of Hertz and Lodge, but not vehemently so and more in passing: "It has been thought -- and I believe asserted --- that in such cases most of the energy is radiated into space. In the light of the experiments [...] I feel safe in asserting that in such cases most of the energy is taken up and converted into heat in the arc of the discharge and [...] but the amount of the directly radiated energy is very small." $\endgroup$
    – njuffa
    Oct 23, 2023 at 22:09
  • $\begingroup$ Have you tried contacting Jan Rak to inquire what specific primary sources he based the statements quoted in the question on? $\endgroup$
    – njuffa
    Oct 23, 2023 at 22:12


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