Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Nikola Tesla, I salute you

A long while ago I had to study equations for electronics and maths for heavy electrical applications, I was one of those lazy apprentice engineers who didn't see the point of knowing about magnetic flux or transformers. I was more into the idea of digital electronics and logic circuits with Boolean algebra then Kirchhoffs law on nodes and junctions. I was a young scallywag who didn't even know there was a real guy called Tesla.
It turns out that there is a someone called Tesla, and the weird thing is one of my friends who isn't at least bit technical pointed him out.
Nikola Tesla born 10th july 1856 in a village of Smijan (Gospic, Croatia), a inventor, physicist, mechanical engineer, electrical engineer and futurist. His father was an serbian Orthodox priest while his mother had a talent for making home craft tools and memorizing Serbian epic poems even though she couldn't read.

Nikola was the 4th of 5 children, having one older brother(who was killed in a horse riding accident) and three sisters. Tesla Attended school at Higher Real Gymnasium in Karlovac, by then he was able to perform integral calculus in his mind, prompting his teachers to think that he was cheating. He finish a four year program in 3 years.

Tesla went on to study electrical engineering at the Austrian Polytechnic in Graz in 1875, he studied the uses of alternating current. It was documented that the did not receive a degree but instead dropped out in his first semester in the third year, during which he stopped attending lectures.
In december 1878 Tesla left Graz and broke all relations with his family. He went to Marburg in Slovenia, where the was first employed as an assistant engineer for a year. He had suffered a nervous breakdown during this time. His father persuaded Nikola to attend the Charles Ferdinand University in Prague, but left university soon after his father died.
Teslas ability to memorize complete books, supposedly having photographic memory. His symptoms of blind flashes of inspiration and visions could also be related to the modern day illness of Synesthetes. Synesthetes is when letters or numbers are perceived as inherently colored. This could be down to the cross talk of neighboring areas of the brain functioning for language and visual processes.

In 1890, he moved to Budapest to work under Tivardar Puskas in a telegraph company. Tesla later became the chief electrician and later worked on the first telephone system.
In 1882 he moved to Paris, to work as an engineer for the Continental Edison Company, He improved designs on electrical equipment brought overseas from Edison's ideas. Tesla documented that in the same time he conceived the induction motor. He began to work on various devices that used rotating magnetic fields, in which he received patents for. Though Gailileo Ferraris argues he had a prototype in 1885 and reported his findings around the same time as Tesla.

On 6th of june 1884, Tesla arrived in New York City in the United states, with little else but a letter of recommendation from Charles Bachelor a former employee to Thomas Edison. Tesla was offered to redesign the Edison Company's direct current generators. In 1885 tesla claimed he could redesign Edison's inefficient motor generators. Despite Thomas Edison's company being stingy with pay, an agreement of $50,000 was promised to Tesla if he could Improve on its design. Months later Tesla came back with results but received nothing but an offer of a $10 raise on top of his $18 wage. Tesla was furious and resigned immediately. He eventually found himself digging ditches at $2 a day for a short period for the Edison Company.

In 1887 he constructed a brushless alternating current induction motor, and demonstrated to the American Institute for Electrical Engineers. A year later he developed principles fora Tesla Coil, and began working with George Westinghouse (an American entrepreneur and engineer ) at Westinghouse Electric.
In  April 1887, Tesla began investigating what would later become X-rays using his own vacuum tubes
his investigation on X-rays including photographing bones of his hands was not well documented and much of his research was lost in the 5th Avenue laboratory fire of 1895.

At the age of 35 in 1891 Tesla applied for naturalized citizenship of the United states. He had demonstrated wireless energy transmission. He also investigated High frequency tuned circuits building the first transmitter
In the late 1880's Tesla and Thomas Edison became adversaries in part because of Edison's promotion of Direct Current for power distribution, he lost out to the advantages of efficiency over high voltage at long distances. this "war of the Currents nearly bankrupted both Westinghouse and Edison in the process.

In 1899 Tesla carried out research into wireless transmissions in colorado in a laboratory near Foote Ave. He extensively carried out experiment into transmitting power and energy over vast areas. Tesla left colorado springs in 1900 and the lab was torn down and sold to pay off debts, his work there helped to prepare work for a transatlantic wireless communications facility in Long island.

JP morgan financed Tesla and his Wardenclyffe Tower with $150,000 for experiments in transmitting power. On near completion Tesla revealed his intention of wireless power, which was against JP Morgan's best interest on his monopoly of copper of electrical lines. Consequently by 1904 Morgan and other investors finally stopped funding Tesla.

There are many many many of Teslas patents I could mention, like his initial findings on a primitive radar system, or his radio controlled boat that could act as a robot torpedo for energy ships. Tesla was no doubt a genius and his legacy lives on through the countries nation Grid. His fight with Thomas edison might have sparked off a innovation battle, which ultimately cause more harm and is rumored to be the reason why they never received the Nobel prize. I can't help but think that if Tesla was given unlimited funds and the freedom to work, that much of the energy crisis today would not exist. Wireless technology is available in data packets, though I suspect could provide electrical power for road vehicles. My respects goes out for all the scientists and engineers seem to be forgotten by todays society. Tesla's ideas seem to shine through out the ages and appears to be a man ahead of his time.


  1. This is a really good scan for me, Must admit that you are one of the best sitter I ever saw.nice one for posting this
    informative article.

  2. Nikola Tesla is person who motivate us in every aspect of life. He is great guy , engineer, master mind . Electric Fence Philippines