Tesla Coils Among Us
Two variations of the Tesla coil are found in
everyday devices, the CRT display and the internal combustion engine. Every
CRT type display (televisions, computer monitors, etc.) uses a small Tesla
coil, usually referred to as a flyback transformer in this application,
to provide the high voltage necessary to accelerate electrons from the
electron gun in the narrow end of the picture tube to the phosphors coating
the inside of the screen. An oil filled Tesla coil, known as an ignition
coil, is found under the hood of all internal combustion powered automobiles.
It provides the high voltage to fire the spark plugs.
Tesla coils have also been used to provide special
effects for the entertainment industry. In the movie Terminator 2, the
electrical arcs dancing between the tractor-trailers were real lightning,
provided by a very large Tesla coil. On Star-Trek: Voyager the fluorescent
green displays above Seven's regeneration alcove are powered by a Tesla
coil. The effect in the movie The Entity, where an actress was radiating
electrical arcs, was accomplished by connecting her to the output of a
Tesla coil, under carefully controlled conditions (don't try this at home).
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