Fans of famed inventor Nikola Tesla – as well as all science and technology aficionados – are invited to witness the world’s largest Tesla Coil in action at “Shock the Rock!,” a Tesla-themed, free event that begins at 6 p.m. Saturday, July 20, on the grounds of the Clinton Presidential Center. “Shock the Rock!” is powered by Entergy and presented by the Museum of Discovery.
Greg Leyh, a California electrical engineer and scientist, completed construction of the 40-foot Tesla coil tower in October 2018 and will display its awesome capabilities in Little Rock after his world-record device is featured at a Nikola Tesla birthday party celebration July 13 at the Tesla Science Center in Wardenclyffe, NY.
Entergy is the presenting sponsor of “Shock the Rock!,” and other sponsors include Landmark PLC; Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau; Meadors Adams & Lee; VIP2; Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort; and the McKibbon Group. Their support will help offset the costs to divert the coil’s journey back to California and to stage the event.
This is the third time Leyh has built the world’s largest Tesla coil, each exceeding its predecessor in height, power and the ability to produce what Leyh calls “lightning on demand.” At “Shock the Rock!” Leyh’s latest world-record coil will be centered on the large concrete pad at the western edge of the Clinton Center grounds cordoned off from the crowd, ensuring zero danger from being on-site to watch the awesome power of 60-foot bolts of lightning.
“I am thrilled Entergy and the other sponsors provided the funding necessary to bring our new 40-foot Tesla tower to Little Rock,” Leyh says. “This will be the first time anyone outside California or New York has gotten the chance to experience it. I look forward to presenting some of the rare and mysterious electrical effects you get with 60-foot bolts and 3 million volts of electricity.”
Other financial support is being provided by Richard Mathias, a retired electrical engineer who has funded and facilitated the installation of Tesla coils at many museums around the country, including the Museum of Discovery. Mathias’ contribution to “Shock the Rock!” is being matched by the GE Foundation.
Pre-“Shock the Rock!” festivities will begin at 6 p.m. on the grounds of the Clinton Presidential Center. Museum of Discovery educators will present electricity-related demonstrations and host hands-on, interactive activities with guests at the event from 6:30 until 8:30 p.m.
The 40-foot Tesla show will begin at 8:45 p.m. and will last 45 minutes. Food trucks will be on site, and beer and other beverages will be available for purchase. Attendees are invited to bring lawn chairs and blankets. Coolers and outside food or drink will not be permitted. The public is encouraged to bring ear protection. Museum of Discovery will also provide earplugs at no charge.
“The Museum of Discovery debuted our own world record Tesla coil on July 4, 2015, and this bi-polar, musical device has been a staple of the education and entertainment programs at the museum ever since,” says Kelley Bass, museum CEO. “So who better to give Arkansans the chance to view the awesome displays of powerful lightning this 40-foot Tesla tower emits than our museum? We hope thousands of science fans will turn out for this unique event.”
“Shock the Rock!” is the first of two major Tesla-focused events the Museum of Discovery will present in five days. Science After Dark, the museum’s monthly adults-only event, will be a Tesla-themed birthday party and will feature some of his well and lesser-known inventions. Science After Dark will be held from 6-9 p.m. Thursday, July 25, at the museum.