Nikola Tesla Biography
He was the creative physicist whose contribution to the modern world is often under estimated in favour of other inventors of his day. His brilliant mind could calculate complex mathematical equations in an instant. All his inventions were crafted, perfected and stored in his imagination. His name was Nikola Tesla and he was the scientific genius who lit the world.
The list of inventions, innovations and ideas that emanated from the mind of Nikola Tesla are too numerous to list. He innovated on existed technology to invent the x-ray before Wilhelm Roentgen and was transmitting radio signals before the work of Marconi would lead the Italian to a Nobel Prize. Tesla also demonstrated a radio controlled boat in 1898 and tried to sell the idea to an uninterested U.S. military that only became interested in the idea at the outbreak of WW1.
Tesla developed an early fascination for electricity and expanding its possibilities. He made a number of early inventions in Europe including a prototype induction motor, but he failed to generate interest in any of his ideas. The lure of America was uppermost in his mind as he felt his innovative thinking would be more suited to their culture of open mindedness towards new inventions.
The opportunity to work Stateside came in 1884 when Thomas Edison offered him a job after receiving a recommendation letter from his associate Charles Batchelor who described Tesla to Edison thus: "I know two great men, one is you and the other is this young man". Nikola Tesla busied himself improving the designs of the Edison dynamo but he grew frustrated at the limitations of the direct current (DC) system Edison was selling.
Tesla pointed out the inefficiencies of the DC power system his boss had built up along the east coast where every 2 miles a new generator was required because of the voltage drop and DC's inherent inability to utilise a voltage high enough to successfully transmit over long distances.
Edison was too emotionally and financially invested in his DC system to consider the alternating current (AC) system Tesla was suggesting he used. This led to a falling out and a parting of their ways.
Tesla set up his own company and developed his AC system for which he took out a total of 40 patents to protect his ideas. George Westinghouse saw a Tesla demonstration and bought all his patents which made Nikola Tesla a very wealthy man. This was when the battle between Tesla's AC system and Edison's DC system began in earnest. AC was a far superior technology that could be easily be transmitted over long distances so it was no surprise when Tesla's AC won the day. His success usurped the DC power supply being promoted by his rival despite Thomas Edison using underhand tactics to try to convince authorities and the public his system was safer and better.
Nikola Tesla's AC system spread globally and became the power that lit the world. Another brilliant Tesla invention was the A.C. induction motor that was to fuel the acceleration of the industrial revolution into the twentieth century. The humble AC motor became the workhorse of manufacturing output and its use cases can now be found in a combination of domestic, commercial and industrial appliances spanning the globe.
Tesla has 278 known patents attributed to him but it is estimated there are more hidden away in patent office vaults worldwide. His pioneering work has led to innovations in a broad range of industries from robotics to radio communications and fluorescent lights to the laser beam. The Tesla coil, is still widely used today in various electronic equipment such as television and radio, not bad for an invention he made in 1891.
His prowess for electrical innovation saw Tesla's design implemented for the 1895 hydroelectric powerplant in Niagara Falls. Not all his battles were energy driven as he unsuccessfully, in his lifetime, fought Marconi over the patent rights for radio technology. Six months after the 1943 passing of Nikola Tesla the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated Marconi's most important radio patent and recognised Tesla's patent as the original inventor of radio technology.
His famous Wardenclyffe laboratory and transmitting tower was a typical Tesla project that he created for the benefit of his fellow man. It was to be a broadcasting system transmitting unlimited power and signals around the world. It had the backing of the financier J. Pierpont Morgan until the banker realised it may be difficult to gain financially from it. Morgan cynically pulled the financial plug on the project with the comment: "If anyone can draw on the power, where do we put the meter?".
Tesla was an eccentric inventor who earned himself the moniker of "The Mad Scientist". It seems apparent he could have achieved so much more if it were not for greedy businessmen looking to exploit his inventions for financial gain rather than the good of all the people.
When great scientific minds speak many people are prepared to listen but only invest if there is a dollar to be earned. Despite this, the works of Nikola Tesla's inventive mind can still be seen in every house, in every street, in every country of the world. This is the ultimate legacy of one of the finest scientific minds this planet has produced. His words of technological wisdom also bestowed us with a great many one liners so this is my compilation of 15 of the best Nikola Tesla quotes.
Quotes About Nikola Tesla
Scientific praise is most revered when it is received in a letter from Albert Einstein:
"As an eminent pioneer in the realm of high frequency currents... I congratulate you on the great successes of your life's work"
The inventor Edwin Howard Armstrong summed up his contribution:
"The world, I think, will wait a long time for Nikola Tesla's equal in achievement and imagination"
The physicist Ernest Rutherford was praiseful:
"All scientific men will be delighted to extend their warmest congratulations to Tesla and to express their appreciation of his great contributions to science"
President George W. Bush recognised his achievements:
"Nikola Tesla is proof that real greatness surpasses national borders and differences"