Musical Tesla Coils


Catherine Budd (College of Engineering)

The Musical Tesla Coils project aims to create a permanent, interactive display that demonstrates how Tesla Coils can be used to make music. This display is intended for an open space near the main entrance to Pierpont Commons on University of Michigan’s North Campus, home to both the University’s engineering programs and the University’s arts programs. This shared domain is one of the core aspects the Musical Tesla Coil Project aims to reflect — the ability to find art in engineering and the use of engineering to create art. This is a goal shared by the University’s ArtEngine initiative whose mission is to “inspire, foster, and strengthen intellectual collisions and durable collaborative practices driven by the arts, design, engineering, and technology to fully maximize the potential of students and faculty on North Campus.” In this vein, one of the goals of the project is to promote interdisciplinary exploration throughout the students on campus and incite curiosity on how engineering can be used to create art and how art can be found in engineering. The project is also intended to educate passersby on Tesla Coils and how they function to produce musical tones, inspiring interest in Michigan Engineering and STEM as a result.