Nikola Tesla is not referred to as often as Edison, and doesn't equate the level of fame of guys like Einstein, there are many reasons put forward for this, but it could perhaps be due to many of his greatest visions and inventions not coming to fruition.
-However- this is not to say he isn't well known and remembered,
According to wikipedia:
"Contemporary biographers of Tesla have regarded him as "The Father of Physics", "The man who invented the twentieth century" and "the patron saint of modern electricity.""Nikola Tesla was born in Smiljan, Lika, Croatian Krajina region the then Austo-Hungarian Empire, To a Serbian Orthodox Priest father, and a Mother who invented Household appliances.
He moved to America in 1884, with an introduction letter from Charles Batchelor to Thomas Edison,
Charles Batchelor was a close a associate of Thomas Edison, and grew up in Manchester England, he himself is still regarded as a great inventor and was an early executive of the General Electric Company.
Thomas Edison is a very-well known inventor (in-part no doubt to the American ability to Celebrate their Heroes - which I think is really good and other countries should celebrate their historical heroes as much, however ironic that Edison was born a Canadian) most definitely his fame comes from his most well known invention, the long-lasting, practical Electric Lightbulb (no he didn't actually invent the lightbulb - infact a majority of his inventions were improvements on prior patented inventions). other inventions include the Phonograph and the Carbon Microphone.
The letter had more in it, but a common quotation from the letter is
" I know two great Men, One is you (referring to Edison) and the other is this young man (referring to Tesla)"
Nikola Tesla then productively spent the next 59 years living in New York.
Telsa's first work was setting about improving Edison's line of dynamos whilst working in Edison's lab, This is when the historically discussed disagreement with Edison began, over direct current versus alternating current. this initial "divergence" culminated in a "war of the currents".
Tesla felt that the use of direct current was inefficient, as he view all energies as being cyclic, so he felt that rather than sending direct current, one should build generators that would send electrical energy first one way, then another, in multiple waves using the polyphase principal.
Edison's preferred DC had a severe disadvantage in that it could not be transported more than two miles due to its inability to step up to high voltage levels necessary for long distance travel, as a result a DC Power station was required at two mile intervals.
Tidbit: Direct current flows continuously in one direction, alternating current changes direction (usually 50 or 60 times per second)
the common term for this is hertz which is a measure of frequency, loosly defined as the number of events per second.
the formal definition as defined by the international system of Units (SI) is as defined as follows from Wikipedia:the hyperfine splitting in the ground state of the caesium 133 atom is exactly 9 192 631 770 hertz, ν (hfs Cs) = 9 192 631 770 Hz.. Equivalently, 1 Hz = 1⁄9,192,631,770 ν (hfs Cs). This definition is derived from the SI definition of the second. The base unit for hertz is s-1 (also called inverse seconds, reciprocal seconds). As hertz
is commonly used to measure rotational speed, the base unit is sometimes represented as cycle/s.
Whilst working as a manual laborer Tesla continued his various pieces of research, and in 1887 he constructed the first brushless AC induction motor, which he then demonstrated at the American Institute of Electrical engineers
- an organisation still around to this day, but known as IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) - www.ieee.orgas part of his paper titled "A New System of Alternating Current Motors and Transformers", a copy of his paper is available online
here It is quite facisinating reading, if you enjoy historical inventions at a rather technical level, in it he states
Highly recommended if you enjoy technical reading.
One of the people that Tesla managed to significantly impress was a rather well known (and partially well known to this day) was George Westinghouse, inventor and industrialist - whose name lives on today in everything from kitchen appliances to laundry appliances and more!
purportedly around February 1882; Tesla discovered the rotating magnetic field, which is of course fundamental to many aspects of physics and a neccessary required basis to all alternating current devices,
The brilliant thing that Tesla achieved, was the adaption of his discovery of the rotating magnetic field into the construction of the AC induction motor.
The AC Induction motor is used everywhere in the world, it is considered by many to be a cornerstone of the industrial revolution at the turn of the century and to this day a majority of electricity is generated, transmitted and converted thanks to the Inventions of Tesla.
However, whilst regarded as his greatest and most world changing, His Polyphase Alternating Current system is by no means his only invention.
His inventions were wide and numerous, and utterly brilliant and there is quite a lengthy list, some of the inventions you are using right now as you read this (as i have already discussed), and other work he performed whilst not the inventor, took various fields to a whole new level,
some of Telsa's Inventions and discoveries include:
- The Tesla Coil (fairly obvious that one)
- Alternating Current, Polyphasic etc.
- First Hydroelectric powerplant at the Niagara falls in 1895
- The Fluorescent Light
- Laser Beams
- Wireless Communications (big disputes between Marconi and Tesla with both having held the patent / credit for radio,)
- In 1896 Tesla patented the basic system of radio, his publish schematics, diagrams and descriptions, provided all the details of the basic elements of a radio transmitter, which was later used by marconi.
- So after a decision in the US Supreme court (1943) Marconi's most significant patent was deemed invalid stating Telsa's contribution was more significant in the invention of Radio Technology. (Tesla and Marconi were not the only inventors / discoverers nor the only legitimate patent holders there is a whole lot that was involved)
- Wireless Electrical Energy Transmission
- Remote Control (first demonstrated to
- A variant of the X-Ray tubes
- Significant advances in robotics
- Bladeless steam turbine (based on a spiral flow principal)
- Super-high temperature pump.
- Discovered the Resonant frequency of the Earth (Confirmed in 1950 as the resonant frequency of the Earth's ionospheric cavity - within this range at least, this is known as the Schemann resonance)
- Terrestrial Stationary Waves (Tesla considered this his most significant discovery)
He proved that the Earth itself was able to be used as a conductor and was highly sensitive and responsive to electrical vibrations of particular frequencies,
Part of proving this he produced artificial lightning with (according to Wikipedia) discharges consisting of millions of volts and up to 135 feet long!
Wikipedia also states that reproductions of Tesla's receivers and coherer circuits show an unpredicted level of complexity.
it is during this time Tesla states that he observed stationary waves.
Tesla found ways to transmit power and energy, wirelessly, over some very long distances (we are definitely not talking about across a room here)
some via transverse waves, but more via logitudinal waves.
He successfully transmitted via the ground as well as through the Kennelly-Heaviside Layer.
Not only did tesla successfully transmit to specialised detectors, he demonstrated lighting his light bulbs from a long distance without any wires, via the tesla effect
the tesla effect is defined in various sources as: "..term for an application of a type of electrical conduction. Through logitudinal waves, an operator uses the tesla effoct in the wireless transferl of energy to a receiving device."
Around this time is when things went a bit awry (or at least many of the things are yet to be proved in the way Tesla predicted)
Whilst Tesla was in his lab in Colorado he observed unusual signals that he later thought may have been evidence of extraterrestrial radio communications coming from Venus or Mars.
Part of this were repetitive signals form his receiver that were totally different from the signals he had noted from storms and background earth noise.
Tesla makes mention of this event in many of his writings and many times he mentions his thoughts that his inventions could be used to talk with other planets.
Many people claim that he invented a Teslascope for this purpose, there are many people out there who have claimed to have built one and listened to cosmic rays (ok, totally believable, there is an abundance of radiation out there, and nothing wrong with converting it into audible signals) others claim to use it to converse with Aliens and strongly believe Tesla did so. (Ok, I'd love to believe. give me some PROOF)
Although many people have discussed it, perhaps Tesla's invention was in some forms merited - as many of his other discoveries were considered foolish, or even impossible until he demonstrated it, and he never demonstrated the Teslascope, however it did receive much publicity in Time Magazines July 20, 1931 issue which when celebrating Tesla's 75th birthday Tesla stated:
[I have conceived] a means that will make it possible for man to transmit energy in large amounts, thousands of horsepower, from one planet to another, absolutely regardless of distance. I think that nothing can be more important than interplanetary communication. It will certainly come some day and the certitude that there are other human beings in the universe, working, suffering, struggling, like ourselves, will produce a magic effect on mankind and will form the foundation of a universal brotherhood that will last as long as humanity itself.—Nikola Tesla,
The Fantastic thing about the internet and World Wide web?
The full article is available to read on the Time Magazine website here
To be honest there is a big part of me that gives Tesla the benefit of the Doubt, he was an undeniable genius, and managed to discover and invent many things that were thought not possible (in fact some of proven his inventions many people to this day think dont actually exist or aren't real!!)
Unfortunately while Tesla was a Genius inventor, he wasn't good with money, he left colorado, and his lab was torn down and contents sold off to cover debts,
however Tesla was already looking ahead to his next great project.
the Wardenclyffe Tower,
Unfortunately this tower was torn down for scrap during World War One.
Wardenclyffe Tower (1901 – 1917) also known as the Tesla Tower, was an early wireless telecommunications aerial tower designed by Nikola Tesla and intended for commercial trans-Atlantic wireless telephony, broadcasting, and to demonstrate the transmission of power without interconnecting wires. The core facility was never fully operational and was not completed due to economic problems. ...(from wikipedia - the rest of the article here
Tesla did not have good fortunes, in 1904 the US Patent Office reversed its decision and Awarded Guglielmo Marconi the patent for radio starting a battle that did not finally get resolved until a deciscion in 1943 by the US Supreme court who awarded it back to Tesla.
Tesla went on to demonstrate his various turbines, in 1906 he demonstrated his 150kW 16,000 rpm bladless turbine.
and durning 1910 - 1911 several of his bladeless turbine enginse were tested at 74 to 3,728 kW
in 1917 some of Telsas goals for the Wardenclyffe tower were achieved at his newer tower the Telefunken Wireless Station in SAyville, Long Island.
unfortunately this was torn town by the Marines in 1917 because it was suspected it could be used by german spies.
At his Death Tesla held (and still holds) around 112 US Patents,
29 British Patents,
6 Canadian patents,
1 argentinian patent,
5 australian patents,
4 austrian patents,
21 in belgium
2 in Brazil
1 in cuba
3 in Denmark
19 German Patents
1 in india
11 in italy,
1 in japan and
7 in hungary.
That is not by any means an exhaustive list.
Not only were many of Tesla's inventions very real, Tesla theorized, planned or claimed to have invented:
* Electric Submarine
* Death Ray
* Mechanical Oscillator
* Free Energy (- renewable from existing sources, not a perpetual motion machine)
* Earthquake machine
* Force Field
* Anti-Gravity Aircraft
* Thought Camera.
Dr. Nikola Tesla was without a doubt one of the most brilliant minds in history, and that is why I'll not totally write off some of his proven Ideas, because so many of his proven ideas were so fantastic.
(that said, I'm not necessarily going to believe them without evidence!)
Other related posts:
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Epic Epoch Time fast approaches!
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Comment by jerry shimek, on 22-Sep-2008 05:04
would like to just say that one of the things tesla needs more credit on were his ideas and plans for the future, which would make him the worlds greatest humanitarian.
Comment by solomon azar, on 4-Nov-2008 05:30
Nikola tesla ended up broke and alone because people NEVER honor one another during life- this is very hard for the savage animal man- especially since Christianity and dignity have gone away from growth of atheism and stupidity-and now I, solomon azar, who has taken this mans century old device to perform an experiment never before in all of science for energy crisis be treated the same way by all people- especially teslaphiles- it is disgusting- 19 straight months on the net to provoke fellow scientists to replicate my experiment for fusion-to ask people to help spread this discovery- an experiment NEVER before in science- no one helps because i have no credibility and association with any university- so much for the independent inventor who strives for solutions for all of us- NO WONDER the global economy is collapsing over energy- YOU do nothing to help spread this ideology and experiment-my fellow marines battle for energy in wars and i am a us marine who has embarked upon a path to try an experiment for all of us- i come to the net to find no help-people scream about being slaves of the government- you deserve it- when those who sacrifice for all of us ask for assistance- you do nothing- thus- you must all be controlled as it is clear you are too gluttonous and weak in your behavior with freedom and free will- you are lazy and weak as our fellow citizens fight wars for energy and you do nothing
--------------- no wonder it took all these years for the children of god bound in the cousin of the monkey body to cultivate this planet so long from beginning. --------------
* my name is Solomon Sami Azar-born on the 13th January-1965. I have combined the century old ideas of Tesla and Einstein to produce safe nuclear fusion of heavy water in order to end the energy crisis- When the scientific community has found this and understands -the energy crisis will be over along with talks of greenhouse gases-I have been guided to this discovery by the heavens- by a force in this universe we are all connected to in spirit and pray to in the name of god- I have put together many signs and connections to form the big picture- I am a messenger of GOD---I have been sent by heaven to declare An Age of Unity has begun- world war 2 was Armageddon signified by two atomic bombs-An age of unity has begun---------
I love the man called jesus-a life of struggle and sacrifice for the betterment of mankind- this is the highest principle of life to live-struggle in any form- you want a strong body- train hard all the time- take one week off and you deteriorate- want a strong mind-read and learn everything as often as you can-want an enlightened soul- love god with all your heart and soul and struggle and sacrifice for the betterment of mankind-Life is a struggle- I wouldn't have it any other way- Free will