The Tesla Wall of Light Video Exhibitlast updated: 2011-05-23 08:59:42
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|Funding Organization(s):||Other : Project Solutions Group, Atchley SIgns, Grandview Chiropractic|
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Saturday, March 6, 2010, Marshall Barnes did an experiment in blending art and science. At an art opening at the Ekklesia Gallery in Columbus, OH, he showcased, for the first time, the original video footage from an experiment in physics that conducted during New Year's eve of that year. The experiment was to determine what would happen if an attempt were made to produce a "wall of light" that would stand in free space and consist of a number particular properties produced by a proprietary technology that Marshall had developed. Small experiments had already been conducted that produced the visible effect of an area of free standing light produced by the reflection of a strobe from a wall. The New Year's Eve test was to see if a wall of light could be produced that would fill a space in a room and have a number of particular "interesting" attributes.
This experiment has its origins in speculations by Nikola Tesla, the famous inventor and visionary who died in 1943. The online article, Nikola Tesla, at livephysics.com states in part that
"Tesla began to theorize about electricity and magnetism's power to warp, or rather change, space and time and the procedure by which man could forcibly control this power. Near the end of his life, Tesla was fascinated with the idea of light as both a particle and a wave, a fundamental proposition already incorporated into quantum physics. This field of inquiry led to the idea of creating a "wall of light" by manipulating electromagnetic waves in a certain pattern. This mysterious wall of light would enable time, space, gravity and matter to be altered at will, and engendered an array of Tesla proposals that seem to leap straight out of science fiction, including anti-gravity airships, teleportation, and time travel."
Anyone following the developments in temporal mechanics will recognize similarities between the above comments, about the power of light to warp space and time, with the research of the University of Connecticut's Ronald Mallett, as seen in this CNN clip on Youtube.
Marshall's experiment's intention was rather modest in comparison. It was simply to see if a wall of light could be created and what it would look like. The results were very interesting, more so because the entire experiment was video taped. In the two hours worth of footage, there are times when parts of the room vanish completely and all that is visible is wall of white light that extends from one side of the room to the other, creating a white void. Making matters even more interesting are the times that Marshall seemed to partially, and then completely, disappear into this void even though he was wearing all black except for his pants. Marshall's vanishing seemed to only happen a few times but the complete disappearance of the room, from the camera's point of view, happened repeatedly and for extended periods of time.
Marshall's experiment at the art show was to see if people could relate to it, as the footage mostly consisting of the flashing, pulsating wall turning the TV screen into a strobe light itself. It was only if you took a moment to watch it that you could notice what was happening. It turned out that those that did were fascinated by what they saw.
"If I blink my eyes, all I see is white and then black, white and then black..." one teenager said. He was told to stick around and the footage would do that without his eyes blinking. He was astonished to see happen a few moments later. The screen went from clearly showing the room pulsating in white light, to suddenly disappearing and replaced by alternating white and black. The wall of light had extended to completely cover the room, from side to side, blocking it completely from view.
Marshall was on hand to answer all questions, and they ranged from the nature of the strobes, Tesla's theories about what could be done with a wall of light, to the nature of space and time.
What people found fascinating was seeing the exact total opposite of what they're used to - total blackness. Everyone has experienced the total absence of light. Few, if any, have experienced nothing but total white light and from no visible source.
The important thing is that the wall of light was created and real enough to block out the view of the back and side walls of the room. This wall was not because the lights were aimed at the camera but because light was reflected off of the back wall and then, through the principles of resonance, a portion of that light began to form the wall of light in the space of the room.
The next step is to see how the properties of the wall of light can be improved and then what the wall can be made to do. Isn't it interesting that light can be programmed to carry information? Can it create some effect in space and time, like Tesla surmised? Only further experiments will answer that question. In the meantime, as an experience for informal learning, it was a great success, which was replicated with computer analysis available, at the USA Science and Engineering Festival in Washington D.C. in October of that same year.