What is the Tesla earthquake machine?


Quick Answer

The device most commonly associated with Nikolai Tesla's "earthquake machine" is the electrical oscillator he patented in 1897. Decades after its invention, Tesla is reported to have claimed that it caused an earthquake in New York, though other versions of the story claim it only shook a single building.

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Full Answer

Tesla's oscillator used variable water and air pressure to drive a piston and generate an electrical field. However, it was obsolete soon after it was patented, as the steam-turbine engine provided a more efficient method of generating electricity. Apart from Tesla's claim, no evidence exists to link the oscillator to any earthquakes, nor is it likely to deliver the necessary power to noticeably shake the ground, notes Annotated Mythbusters.

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