Nikola Tesla

Facts about Nikola Tesla

We found 35 facts about Nikola Tesla

Ruler of lightning

Nikola Tesla lived at the turn of the 20th century. He was an inventor, designer, and visionary to whom the world owes many technologies that are indispensable today. He was called the "ruler of lightning" because he invented the resonant transformer, also known as the Tesla coil. He was one of the pioneers of roentgenology, and the designer of many devices for the generation and use of alternating currents. He was the author of 300 patents that protected his 125 inventions in 26 countries. Unfortunately, he was also a staunch opponent of Thomas Edison, and the conflict between the men prevented them from winning the Nobel Prize.

Nikola Tesla
Nikola Tesla was an American engineer of Serbian descent.

He was an electrical engineer, designer, inventor, and visionary.

He lived from 1865 to 1943.

He was born on 10th July 1856, in Smiljana, Croatia (then Austrian Empire). In this village, on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the inventor's birth, Croatian authorities opened the Tesla Memorial Center, including a museum arranged inside his restored family home. Today, Nikola Tesla's house and an Orthodox church and nearby surroundings form a complex dedicated to the inventor's memory, with various exhibitions on his inventions and a museum where details from his life are presented. The original Memorial Center was destroyed during Operation Storm in 1995 when the Croatian army burned down Tesla's house and other parts of the complex at the time. Everything was rebuilt in 2001, a few years before the new center opened. There is a monument to Nikola Tesla on the center's grounds.

He was born into a Serbian family, and his ancestors came from western Serbia near Montenegro.

He was the son of Milutin Tesla, an Orthodox presbyter, and Georgina Djuka Mandić, whose father was also an Orthodox clergyman. She had a talent for making homemade craft tools and mechanical devices and a knack for memorizing Serbian epic poems. Djuka never received a formal education. Nikola always claimed that he owed his eidetic memory (the ability to recall an image from memory with great precision for a short period after seeing it only once) and creative abilities to genetics at his mother's influence.

Nikola was the fourth of five children.

He had three sisters, Milka, Angelina, and Marica, and an older brother named Dane, who died in a horseback riding accident when Nikola was five.

He attended elementary school in Smiljan, where he learned German, arithmetic, and religion.

The family moved to nearby Gospic, where his father became a parish priest. There Tesla completed elementary school and junior high school. Then, in 1870, he settled in Karlovac to attend high school at the Higher Real Gymnasium, where classes were held in German. Tesla was fascinated by physics classes, especially the demonstrations of electricity, which he said was a "mysterious phenomenon," and he very much wanted to "learn more about this miraculous force."

Tesla was a capable, bright student able to perform integral calculus by memory.

Of course, this aroused the disbelief of his teachers, who thought he was cheating. Finally, however, he finished his education scheduled for four years in three.

After finishing school in 1873, he returned to Smiljan, where he fell ill with cholera shortly after his arrival.

He was bedridden for nine months and came close to death on several occasions. During his illness, his father, who wanted to see his son become a priest, promised to send him to a top engineering school if he recovered.

When he recovered, he was threatened with conscription into the Austro-Hungarian army, from which he took refuge by fleeing to the mountains near Tomingaja.

While there, he hunted and contemplated nature. He found then that contact with nature made him physically and mentally stronger. While there, he read many books, especially Mark Twain, and, as he later said, they helped him miraculously recover from his earlier illness.

In 1875, having previously obtained a scholarship (thanks to a high school teacher), he enrolled at the Graz University of Technology.

In his first year, he never missed lectures, earned top grades, and passed nine exams (twice as many as required). He was particularly fascinated by the lectures on electricity given by Professor Jakob Pöschl. He also founded a Serbian cultural club. He received a letter from the dean of the technical faculty to his father, which said: "Your son is a star of the first rank."

He was a very hard-working student, working from 3 in the morning until 11 at night, excluding Sundays and holidays.

His father did not appreciate his success and hard work, and after he died in 1879, Nikola found a bundle of letters sent to his parents by lecturers who warned that if he were not removed from school, he would die of overwork.

At the end of his sophomore year, Tesla lost his scholarship and became addicted to gambling.

He lost his allowance and tuition money - he played pool. When it was time for exams, he was unprepared for them and asked for an extension but was denied. He did not receive his grades for the last semester of his third year and never graduated. He left Graz and broke off contact with his family to hide that he had dropped out of his studies. His friends feared he had committed suicide by throwing himself into the nearby Mur River. He moved to Maribor, where he worked as a draftsman for 60 florins a month and spent his free time playing cards with locals on the streets.

In 1879, Nikola Tesla suffered a nervous breakdown.

His father came to Maribor and begged his son to return home, but he refused. He was soon detained by the police for not having a residence permit and returned to the Gospic. When his father died in April of that year at sixty, Nikola hired himself as a teacher at his old school. Financial help came from his family; two of Nikola's uncles raised enough money for him to go to Prague and study there.

However, he arrived in Prague too late to enroll at the university.

Another obstacle to his studies was his unfamiliarity with Greek as a compulsory subject and the Czech language, knowledge of which was also required. Tesla attended philosophy lectures as a free student, receiving no grades.

In 1881, Tesla moved to Budapest to work for the telegraph company of Tivadar Puskás de Ditró, the Hungarian inventor of the telephone exchange and pioneer of telephony.

However, the company was still in the organizational stage, so he was initially employed by the Central Telegraph Office as a draftsman. The company was up and running within a few months, and Tesla was given the chief electrician position. He made many improvements to the Central Station's equipment during his work and claimed to have perfected the telephone amplifier, which was never patented or described.

Tesla then went to Paris, where he worked at the Continental Edison Company. This company manufactured generators, motors, and lighting based on the patents of Thomas A. Edison.

There he quickly gained a reputation as a man who could solve any problem. However, when he was not properly rewarded financially for his work and ingenuity, he resigned and left for the United States to meet Edison.

At the first meeting in Edison's laboratory, Tesla was already very impressed with him.

Thanks to excellent recommendations from Europe, he was hired at Edison's lab, and although he was not initially satisfied with his work, he quickly demonstrated his skills and was promoted. Edison also commissioned him to bring about improvements in the efficiency of generating electricity in Thomas A.'s power plants. Edison. He offered him the sum of $50.000 if the efficiency of the power plants increased by 50%.

It took Tesla almost a full year to complete this task.

He also proposed that Edison switch to alternating current production in his power plants (they produced direct current), which would improve their efficiency by another 50%. However, Edison (to this day, it is unknown why) did not accept alternating current and did not pay Tesla his due salary, because of which he resigned.

To survive, he had to take on various jobs for a year (from spring 1886 to spring 1887).

While digging ditches, he made contact with the owners of the Western Union Telegraph Company, who helped him establish the Tesla Electric Light Company.

In his laboratories, he developed the basics of alternating current generation and transmission, which are still used worldwide.

He also created designs for devices powered directly by alternating currents, such as the fluorescent lamp and the electric motor. With the help of George Westinghouse (American entrepreneur, engineer, and inventor), he built the first A.C. power plant and transmission line, which powered the fluorescent lamp-based lighting of all Western Union railroad stations in the northeastern United States.

Edison was surprised by Tesla's success and began campaigning on the dangers of using A.C.

Tesla's installations began to take over the market for the production and transmission of electricity in the U.S., and General Electric authorities forced Tesla to sell its patents for A.C. equipment. As a result, Edison was forced to convert all his power plants to the new system.

Direct current power plants came to a definitive end with Tesla's invention - the water turbine, which produces alternating current based on the energy of water flow in rivers.

In 1887, Tesla and two partners founded the Tesla Electric Company. He worked in his laboratory to improve and develop new types of electric motors, generators, and other devices.

In 1887, he developed an AC-powered induction motor.

Tesla's partners negotiated a licensing agreement with Westinghouse for Tesla's multiphase induction motor and transformer designs for $60.000 in cash and stock and a royalty of $2,50 per horsepower of the motors produced. In addition, Westinghouse hired Tesla for one year at a monthly emolument of $2000 as a consultant at the Pittsburgh laboratories of Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company.

Westinghouse used Tesla's system to light the Columbian World's Fair in Chicago in 1893, which earned him a contract to build the first equipment at Niagara Falls.

Tesla always worked on his designs, which he also popularized in lectures in America and Europe. Among other things, he worked on a remote-controlled boat.

Tesla was a visionary.

As early as 1893, he predicted the coming of wireless communication. He developed a number of devices that would be used to transmit electricity wirelessly. He also proposed building a "wireless factory" capable of transmitting messages over a distance and reports on current events and the weather.

He also experimented with the transmission of sound.

He developed a patent for a device to transmit sound waves in 1900 but was preceded in this idea by Marconi. Tesla fought him over a patent for the radio, arguing that Marconi's invention used a coil Tesla had previously patented without his permission. A lengthy lawsuit drove Tesla into bankruptcy. The final blow came when Marconi was awarded the Nobel Prize for developing a radio, despite his use of solutions created by Tesla. Tesla appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, and eventually, the court upheld the appeal. Unfortunately, the trial was won after Tesla's death.

Toward the end of his life, Tesla worked obsessively on the concept of free energy.

In 1901, he patented a free energy receiver called the Radiant Energy Apparatus. The patent applies to the sun, as well as other sources of radiant energy, such as cosmic rays.

Nikola Tesla died on January 7, 1943, at 87.

A coronary artery clot was given as the cause of death. He died in suite No. 3327 at the New Yorker Hotel in New York. Tesla's corpse was found by a maid who entered the scientist's room, ignoring a "do not disturb" sign on the door. Tesla's nephew Sava Kosanovic entered the room the day after discovering the corpse. He found that his uncle's scientific notes and black notebook with several hundred pages, including some signed "Government Affairs," had disappeared. Soon all of his items were confiscated by the Alien Property Custodian, even though he was a full-fledged U.S. citizen.

The funeral ceremony took place on January 12.

More than 2000 people attended the funeral at St. John's Cathedral in Manhattan. Tesla's body was cremated; his ashes were taken to Belgrade in 1957 and are now housed in the Nikola Tesla Museum.

Tesla and Edison were in constant conflict.

In 1915, a report by the Reuters Agency claimed a Nobel Prize for Tesla and Edison, but the news was soon debunked. The prize went to other scientists. Tesla's biographers claim neither Edison nor Tesla received the Nobel Prize because of their mutual hostility. Both sought to diminish each other's achievements and thus their right to the prize. Both declared above that they would not receive the prize if a competitor got it first, and they certainly did not share it.

Nikola Tesla was the author of 300 patents that protected his 125 inventions in 26 countries.

His greatest achievement was finding a practical application for alternating current. Tesla developed a multiphase electric motor in which he used the properties of this current to create the effect of a rotating magnetic field, putting the device into rotary motion. The alternating current made it possible to transmit energy over long distances by using transformers to raise the voltage. Tesla's opponents (supporters of Edison and thus of direct current) believed that alternating current carried a greater risk to life. Nevertheless, the two systems were still used parallel during the interwar period.

He constructed a resonant transformer, commonly known as the Tesla coil - one of his greatest inventions, which was presented in 1891.

Thanks to this invention, Tesla was called the "ruler of lightning." This coil is a kind of an air transformer in which both windings operate at the same high resonant frequency. This allows for very high electrical voltages, measured in millions of volts. As a result, the device can generate very spectacular electrical discharges. These effects have begun to be used by science fiction and horror film creators.

He also invented the wireless transfer of electricity.

Here he took advantage of the resonant transformer's ability to generate a strong alternating electromagnetic field, which made it possible to transmit electricity over short distances. Unfortunately, he failed to realize his greatest dream of wireless energy transfer over long distances. The solutions invented by Tesla are used today in devices we use daily (wireless chargers for cell phones). It is also used inside RFID proximity cards when authorizing electronic transactions.

Nikola Tesla was one of the pioneers of roentgenology.

Independently of attempts by German physicist Wilhelm Roentgen, widely recognized as the discoverer of X-rays, Tesla conducted his experiments with Crookes tubes (a kind of glass bubble with two electrodes sunk in it, from which air was pumped out), connected to a high-voltage source. The effect of these experiments was to observe the emission of penetrating radiation, invisible to the human eye.

In 1913, Tesla patented a bladeless disc turbine - his 100th patent.

Tesla was mainly concerned with the subject of electricity. He experimented with various methods of its generation and distribution. In addition, he worked on improving existing electric motors or light sources.

Later in life, Tesla became interested in aviation technology.

He even obtained a patent for an airplane equipped with a set of movable propellers designed to enable vertical takeoff and landing.

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