Nikola Tesla

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 83
  • Published : October 8, 1999
Open Document
Text Preview
"Were we to seize and eliminate from our

industrial world the results of Mr. Tesla's work,

the wheels of industry would cease to turn, our

electric cars and trains would stop, our towns

would be dark, our mills would be dead and idle.

Yes, so far reaching is his work that it has become

the warp and woof of industry... His name marks

an epoch in the advance of electrical science.

From that work has sprung a revolution..." -B.A.

Behrend If you were to go to an encyclopedia and

tried to find out who invented the radio, X- rays,

and the tube amplifier, this is what you would find:

radio was invented by Marconi, X- rays by

Roentgen, and the tube amplifier by de Forest.

While you're there, look to see who invented the

fluorescent bulb, neon lights, the speedometer, the

basics of radar, and the microwave oven. I don't

know who the encyclopedias say invented those

things, but I bet it won't give any mention of a man

by the name of Nikola Tesla. In fact, I bet they

won't give much mention of Tesla for any of the

many things he invented. We can thank Thomas

Edison for this. Nikola Tesla was born in Smiljian,

Croatia at precisely midnight on July 9/10, 1856.

Not a lot is known about his early childhood. His

father was an orthodox priest, and his mother,

though unschooled, was highly intelligent. Tesla

had an extraordinary memory, and he spoke six

languages. He Spent four years studying math,

physics, and mechanics at the Polytechnic Institute

at Graz. Tesla first came to America in 1884,

when he was 28. He worked for Thomas Edison.

Edison, at the time, had just patented the lightbulb,

and needed a system to distribute the electricity.

One of Tesla's gifts was an understanding of

electricity. Edison promised Tesla large amounts

of money if he could work out the kinks in

Edison's DC system of electricity. In the end,

Tesla saved Edison over $100,000 (which would

be millions today), but Edison refused to live up to

his end of the bargain. Tesla quit, and Edison

spent the rest of his life trying to stifle Tesla's

reputation. Tesla devised a system for electricity,

AC, which was better than Edison's DC system of

electricity. AC (Tesla's system) is what is used in

our homes today. AC offered many advantages

over DC. AC could be transmitted over large

distances through thin wires. DC electricity

required a large power plant every square mile,

and the transmission through very thick cables. A

system of transmission would be incomplete

without devices to run on them. Seeing that there

were none, Tesla invented the predecessors to the

motors used in every appliance in our houses.

Inventing these motors was not simple, since

scientists of the late 1800's were convinced that

because no motor could be devised for an AC

system, trying to develop a motor for it was waste

of time. After all, AC current reverses direction 60

times a second, which would make the motor rock

back and forth and never get anywhere. Tesla

easily solved this problem and proved everyone

wrong by developing a working motor for the AC

system. In May 1885, word of the AC system

was heard by George Westinghouse. Tesla signed

contract with Westinghouse under which Tesla

would receive $2.50 for each Kilowatt of AC

electricity sold. Tesla finally had the money to

conduct all the experiments he wanted. The

problem was Edison. He had too much invested in

his DC system of electricity. So Edison tried his

best to discredit Tesla. He constantly tried to

show that AC electricity was far more dangerous

than DC electricity. Tesla easily countered this. At

the 1893 World Exposition in Chicago, Tesla

demonstrated how safe AC electricity was by

passing high frequency AC electricity through his

body to power light bulbs. He then shot lightning

bolts from his Tesla...
tracking img