The Problem of Increasing Human Energy

Nikola Tesla

NIKOLA TESLA was a gifted electrical and mechanical engineer, and was one of the most influential inventors of the last century. Eventually holding over 700 patents, Tesla worked in a number of fields, including electricity, robotics, radar, and the wireless transmission of energy. His discoveries laid the groundwork for many of the twentieth century’s greatest technological advances.

This book contains Tesla’s thoughts on humanity’s relationship with the universe, and also his explanation and scientific extrapolation on the technological advancements embodied in his work. This text, first published in Century Illustrated Magazine in June 1900, is yet another example of the genius of Nikola Tesla.



• The onward movement of humanity
• The energy of the movement
• The three ways of increasing human energy

• The first problem: how to increase human mass
• The burning of atmospheric nitrogen

• The second problem: how to reduce the force retarding the human mass
• The art of telautomatics

• The third problem: how to increase the force accelerating the human mass
• The harnessing of the Sun’s energy

• The source of human energy
• The three ways of drawing energy from the Sun

• Great possibilities offered by iron for increasing human performance
• Enormous waste in iron manufacture

• Economical production of iron by a new process


• The coming of age of aluminium
• The doom of the copper industry
• The great civilizing potency of the new metal

• Efforts toward obtaining more energy from coal
• Electric transmission
• The gas engine
• The cold-coal battery

• Energy from the medium
• The windmill and the solar engine
• Motive power from terrestrial heat
• Electricity from natural sources


• A departure from known methods
• The possibility of a ‘self-acting’ engine or machine
• The ideal way of obtaining motive power


• First efforts to produce the self-acting engine
• The mechanical oscillator
• The work of Dewar and Linde
• Liquid air


• Discovery of unexpected properties of the atmosphere
• Strange experiments
• Transmission of electrical energy through one wire without return
• Transmission through the Earth without any wire


• Wireless telegraphy
• The secret of tuning
• Errors in the Hertzian investigations
• A receiver of wonderful sensitivity


• Development of a new principle
• The electrical oscillator
• Production of immense electrical movements
• The Earth responds to man
• Interplanetary communication now probable


• Transmission of electrical energy to any distance without wires now possible
• The best means of increasing the force accelerating the human mass


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