Physicists Biographies

Nikola Tesla

Nikola Tesla was an Austrian inventor of intriguing personality who developed numerous technologies related to Electromagnetism.

Nikola Tesla made important contributions to the development of electricity-related technologies 1
Nikola Tesla was an Austrian inventor who dedicated himself to the creation of technologies in the fields of Mechanical Engineering and Electricity . He was born in the village of Smiljan, in 1858, during the Austrian Empire and, from an early age, he was encouraged to develop logical thinking and improve his concentration and memory. He started the course in Electrical Engineering at the Polytechnic Institute of Graz in 1873, but did not complete the course. In 1881, he began his engineering career at a telephone company.

Tesla received many titles and awards during his career. In 1912, he refused to share the Nobel Prize in Physics with Thomas Edison, with whom he had serious disagreements. In 1934, he received the John Scott Medal for the development of the polyphase power system.

Sculpture of Nikola Tesla in Smiljan, Croatia 2

Tesla is believed to have suffered from obsessive-compulsive disorder . The scientist had numerous quirks, was afraid of contact with dirt and germs (mysophobia) and did not stay in hotel rooms whose number was divisible by three. Tesla died in 1943, aged 86, in New York City.

Divergence with Thomas Edson

One of Tesla’s most significant contributions was the development of the so-called alternating current (AC) , a type of time-varying electric current that can be transmitted over long distances.

Thomas Edson , inventor of the incandescent light bulb , was a contemporary of Tesla and believed that the most efficient form of energy transmission was through direct currents (DC) , which are time-invariant and have enormous difficulty in being transmitted over long distances. The fights between these two geniuses lasted for years, and even though Tesla’s method of transmitting energy by alternating current was dangerous to apply, it proved to be infinitely more efficient and is still adopted today in energy transmissions between generating plants and homes and industries.

Contributions to science

Tesla’s contributions to science were very expressive. He created theories and technologies that marked the history of humankind’s technological development. Several technologies used today were created from the principles and prototypes developed by Nikola Tesla. The following list highlights some of Tesla’s key contributions.

  • Invention of alternating current (AC) ;
  • Contributed to Marconi’s invention of radio (transmission of information via electromagnetic waves );
  • He devised the radar;
  • Studies relating to magnetic resonance;
  • Developed the induction motor ( Electromagnetic Induction );
  • Developed the fluorescent lamp;
  • Invented the remote control;
  • Developed ignition systems for motor vehicles etc.

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