Superphysics Superphysics
Part 0

The Problem of Increasing Human Energy

by Nikola Tesla
7 minutes  • 1451 words
Table of contents

Three Ways Of Increasing Human Energy

Human life fills our minds with greatest wonder.

Where does life come from? What is it? Whither does it tend?

Lord Kelvin, in his profound meditations, showed that life will last only around 6 million years, after which the sun’s bright light will have ceased to shine along with its life-giving heat.

However, Professor Dewar did beautiful experiments with liquid air. It showed that the germs of organic life are not destroyed by cold, no matter how intense.

It means that they may be transmitted through the interstellar space.

We might never be able to comprehend human life. But we know certainly that it is a movement.

The existence of movement unavoidably implies a body which is being moved and a force which is moving it.

Hence, wherever there is life, there is a mass moved by a force.

Every Movement In Nature Must Be Rhythmical

All mass possesses inertia.

All force tends to persist.

Owing to this universal property and condition, a body, be it at rest or in motion, tends to remain in the same state. A force, manifesting itself anywhere and through whatever cause, produces an equivalent opposing force. As an absolute necessity of this, it follows that every movement in nature must be rhythmical.

Long ago this simple truth was clearly pointed out by Herbert Spencer, who arrived at it through a somewhat different process of reasoning.

It is borne out in everything we perceive. It is in:

  • the movement of a planet
  • the surging and ebbing of the tide
  • the reverberations of the air
  • the swinging of a pendulum
  • the oscillations of an electric current
  • the infinitely varied phenomena of organic life.

The whole of human life attests to it.

Birth, growth, old age, and death of an individual, family, race, or nation are all but a rhythm.

Therefore all life-manifestation is only a movement, even in its most intricate form, as exemplified in man.

To life applies all the same general laws of movement which govern throughout the physical universe.


Note to Fig. 1

This result is produced by the discharge of an electrical oscillator giving 12 million volts.

The electrical pressure alternates at 100,000 times per second. This excites the normally inert nitrogen, causing it to combine with the oxygen.

The flame-like discharge shown in the photograph measures 65 feet across.

We Are All One

When we speak of man, we have a conception of humanity as a whole.

and before applying scientific methods to, the investigation of his movement we must accept this as a physical fact.

But can anyone doubt to-day that all the millions of individuals and all the innumerable types and characters constitute an entity, a unit?

We are free to think and act. But we are held together, like the stars in the firmament, with inseparable ties.

  • These ties cannot be seen, but we can feel them.

I cut myself in the finger, and it pains me.

  • This finger is a part of me.

I see a friend hurt, and it hurts me too.

  • My friend and I are one.

I see my enemy stricken down. He is a lump of matter which, of all the lumps of matter in the universe, I care least for.

  • But it still grieves me.

Does this not prove that each of us is only part of a whole?

For ages, this idea has been proclaimed in the wise teachings of religion, as a deeply founded truth.

The Buddhist expresses it in one way, the Christian in another, but both say the same: We are all one.

Metaphysical proofs are not the only ones which support this idea.

Science, too, recognizes this connectedness of separate individuals. But it is not in the same sense as it admits that the suns, planets, and moons of a constellation are one body.

It will be experimentally confirmed in times to come, when our means for investigating psychical and other states and phenomena are perfected.

Still more: this one human being lives on and on.

The individual is ephemeral. Races and nations come and pass away. But man remains. This is the profound difference between the individual and the whole.

Heredity is the result of countless centuries of feeble but persistent influence. This marvelous phenomena is also partly explained by the difference between the individual and the whole.

Think of man as a mass, urged on by a force. Its movement is not translatory (implying change of place). Yet the general laws of mechanical movement are applicable to it.

The energy associated with this mass can be measured by half the product of the mass with the square of a certain velocity.

For instance, a cannon-ball at rest possesses a certain amount of energy as heat, which we measure in a similar way.

We imagine the ball to consist of innumerable minute particles, called atoms or molecules. These vibrate or whirl around one another.

We determine their masses and velocities. From them, we derive the energy of each of these minute systems. Adding them all together, we get an idea of the total heat-energy in the ball.

In this purely theoretical estimate, this energy may then be calculated by multiplying half of the total mass (half of the sum of all the small masses) with the square of a velocity which is determined from the velocities of the separate particles.

Similarly, we may conceive of human energy as being measured by half the human mass multiplied with the square of the velocity which we are not yet able to compute.

This is based on the truth that the same laws of mass and force govern throughout nature.

Man, however, is not an ordinary mass consisting of spinning atoms and molecules containing merely heat-energy.

He is a mass possessed of certain higher qualities by reason of the creative principle of life with which he is endowed.

His mass, as the water in an ocean wave, is being continuously exchanged, new taking the place of the old. He grows, propagates, and dies. This alters his mass independently, both in bulk and density.

He can increase or decrease his velocity of movement by the mysterious power he possesses by appropriating more or less energy from other substance, and turning it into motive energy.

But in any given moment, we may ignore these slow changes. We assume that human energy is measured by half the product of man’s mass with the square of a certain hypothetical velocity.

However we may compute this velocity, and whatever we may take as the standard of its measure, we must conclude that the great problem of science is, and always will be, to increase this kind of energy.

Solving this eternal problem must forever be the chief task of the man of science. I will briefly describe here some results of my own efforts to this end.


Let, then, in diagram a, M represent the mass of man.

This mass is impelled in one direction by a force f, which is resisted by another partly frictional and partly negative force R, acting in a direction exactly opposite, and retarding the movement of the mass. Such an antagonistic force is present in every movement and must be taken into consideration.

The difference between these two forces is the effective force which imparts a velocity V to the mass M in the direction of the arrow on the line representing the force f.

The human energy will then be given by the product ½ MV2 = ½ MV x V, in which M is the total mass of man in the ordinary interpretation of the term “mass,” and V is a certain hypothetical velocity, which, in the present state of science, we are unable exactly to define and determine.

To increase the human energy is, therefore, equivalent to increasing this product. There are only 3 ways possible to attain this.

  1. Increase the mass (as indicated by the dotted circle)

This leaves the 2 opposing forces the same.

  1. Reduce the retarding force R to a smaller value r

This leaves the mass and the impelling force the same, as diagrammatically shown in the middle figure.

  1. Increase the impelling force f to a higher value F, while the mass and the retarding force R remain unaltered.

Fixed limits exist as regards increase of mass and reduction of retarding force, but the impelling force can be increased indefinitely.

Each of these 3 solutions presents a different aspect of the main problem of increasing human energy, which is thus divided into three distinct problems, to be successively considered.

Any Comments? Post them below!