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Tesla coil[′tes·lə ‚kȯil]
an electrical transforming device consisting of an air-core transformer, a spark gap, and a capacitor. The primary winding of the transformer consists of a few helical turns of thick copper wire. The secondary winding, which is located within or next to the primary winding, consists of a large number of turns of thin insulated copper wire. The primary winding is connected to an AC source via the spark gap and capacitor. Oscillations of high voltage (up to 7 × 106 volts) and high frequency (up to 1.5 × 105 hertz) are excited in the secondary winding, in which resonance conditions are satisfied.
The Tesla coil was invented in 1891 by N. Tesla. In the early period of the development of radio engineering, it was used at radio stations as a high-frequency oscillator; by the mid-1970’s it was used only for demonstration purposes.