If you thought your electro music was something special, take a look at what this 10-foot, dual-resonant solid-state Tesla coil can do. Yes, it's the theme song to Nintendo's "Super Mario Bros.," but while the song is simple, the science is complex.
According to the Oracle, USF's student newspaper, it took the University of South Florida's X-labs team two years of weekly meetings to complete a version of the device that Nikola Tesla invented around 1891.
The team says in the description of its YouTube video that it will present the coil at the USF Engineering Expo on Feb. 22-23. Andrew Raij, X-Labs' adviser and assistant professor at the department of electrical engineering, told the Oracle he hopes an energetic show will inspire high school students either to pursue a career in engineering or enroll at USF, and a doctoral student involved with the project cited Blue Man Group as a model for their performance.
The music is "created by an output of plasma pushing on the air as it's frequency is changed," according to Physicscentral.com.
And if you prefer the Tesla Coil to a run-of-the-mill guitar or, say, a trombone, you’re in interesting company. In Russia, Tesla Music Band (not to be confused with Tesla, an American band that formed in the 1980s) delights audiences with their coils and swirling light dances. Further, Icelandic musician Björk used the Tesla coil as the primary instrument in her song “Thunderbolt.”
And if you prefer OneRepublic to Björk, you may have a future with the X-Labs team. Last year the group performed "Secrets" using a smaller Tesla coil, accompanied by a Ruben's tube.