How many people who know Einstein and Edison have never heard of Nicola Tesla? – despite the fact that this Slavic (born Serbian) genius has left 700 (!) patents for inventions worldwide, most of which we use today, he is totaly unknown to the masses. Contemporary biographers of Tesla (1856-1943) have deemed him “The Father of Physics” and “the man who invented the twentieth century” and “the patron saint of modern electricity”. If it weren’t for Tesla’s discoveries and inventions, the typical industrial-era household would scarcely be what it is today.
What happened to this legendary person and his inventions? How come the world largely ignors him?
Tesla was a visionary genius whose sometimes radical ideas established the basis for everything that now powers our world with energy and information. Without his inventions the widespread electrification that touched the majority of people on the planet would not have been possible.
Tesla invented and created the polyphase alternating current energy transmission system of motors and generators that powers the world. He also invented apparatus for radio transmission based on the use of resonance and a kind of spread-technique. Among the more than 700 of Tesla’s other inventions/patents are the rotating magnetic field principle, polyphase alternating-current system, induction motor, wireless communication, fluorescent lights, use of high-frequency (h.f.) currents in medicine and remote control. Tesla was also a visionary thinker, who conceived many ideas, some controversial, which are related to several of today’s mainstream technologies ranging from wireless communication systems, radar, television broadcasting, robotics, computers, faxes, and even the U.S. Strategic Defense Initiative. In 1943, the Supreme Court of the United States credited him as being the inventor of the radio.
He also talked about experiments that suggested particles with fractional charges of an electron. In 1977 they were “discovered” as quarks! Tesla discovered X-ray radiation 3 years before Wilhelm Roentgen was credited for the same discovery.
Tesla made the earth into an electric tuning fork by getting a steam-driven oscillator to vibrate at the same frequency as the ground. The result was an earthquake in the surrounding city. He had accurately determined the resonant frequencies of the Earth almost 60 years before science could confirm his results. In 1899, he sent waves of energy through the Earth, thus providing the theory for earthquake seismic stations. By adding electricity to the returning energy he created the largest man-made lightning bolt ever recorded (130 feet). The accompanying thunder was heard 22 miles away and created a blue glow around the meadow outside his Colorado laboratory. Apparently, Russian scinetiests belive it was Teslas`s experiements that caused the mysterious Tunguska Event.
Tesla was gifted with intense powers of visualization and exceptional memory from early youth on. He was able to fully construct, develop and perfect his inventions completely in his mind before committing them to paper. It is said that Nikola Tesla slept one to 2 hours a day and worked continuously on his inventions and theories without benefit of ordinary relaxation or vacations. He was able to judge the dimension of an object to a hundredth of an inch and perform difficult computations in his head without benefit of slide rule or mathematical tables. Tesla had the idea of illuminating the oceans! Critics saw this as absurd. With a fully operational World System, we could light the oceans. Large, permanent, WIRELESS lights could illuminate the depths of the seas. Why not? Tesla also bounced a laser off the Moon…in the 19th Century! Was Tesla DaVinci in a past life?
Few people would consider Tesla to be a spiritual philosopher but some claim his scientific ‘methods’ were comparable with states of consciousness achieved by yoga adepts or ‘saints’.
Whatever I read or heard about his abilities or the way he worked – I believe Tesla was a highly developed human being. The fact that he is so painfully unknown tells probably about the level of awareness of the modern society.
When I recently came across a brilliant Russian video on Nicola Tesla, I suddenly realised what was the true reason of him being “forgotten”.
IT WAS HIS VISION OF FREE POWER that made many people like Edison (and all that mighty business world) to his enemies! Tesla believed that the power is same as the air should be free for everyone, one should not pay for it (think of the oil prices today 😦 )
Tesla made his first million at the age of forty, but gave away nearly all his royalties on future innovations. Tesla was rather financially inept, but he was almost entirely unconcerned with material wealth. He ripped up a Westinghouse contract that would have made him the world’s first billionaire, in part because of the implications it would have on his future vision of free power. His idealism and humanism left him with little stomach for the world of industrial and financial intrigue. His New York laboratory was destroyed by a mysterious fire. References to his work and accomplishments were systematically purged from the scientific literature and textbooks.
The idea of free energy made him unpopular! Something free, that the masters of war and business couldn’t control? They couldn’t have that! So, the day after Tesla died in 1943, his huge laboratory on Long Island mysteriously burned down, no records saved, and the remnants were bulldozed the day after that to further eradicate any equipment still left. So much for “free energy”.
I wonder how many people can understand and accept his vision of free today? Or shall we wait till the oil prices collaps and then start searching in panic for the “vanished” papers of Tesla? It is known that he has found the solutiion, but had to desotry it because people might have use it for war.
And, finally, Tesla`s own words on his vision:
“We are confronted with portentous problems which can not be solved just by providing for our material existence, however abundantly. On the contrary, progress in this direction is fraught with hazards and perils not less menacing than those born from want and suffering. If we were to release the energy of the atoms or discover some other way of developing cheap and unlimited power at any point of the globe this accomplishment, instead of being a blessing, might bring disaster to mankind… The greatest good will come from the technical improvements tending to unification and harmony, and my wireless transmitter is preeminently such. By its means the human voice and likeness will be reproduced everywhere and factories driven thousands of miles from waterfalls furnishing the power; aerial machines will be propelled around the earth without a stop and the sun’s energy controlled to create lakes and rivers for motive purposes and transformation of arid deserts into fertile land…”
Nikola Tesla, “My Inventions: the autobiography of Nikola Tesla”, Hart Bros., 1982. Originally appeared in the Electrical experimenter magazine in 1919.
P.S. In a small way, Nikola Tesla has at least had a small recognition of his genius. The Tesla is the SI unit of magnetic flux, while as far as I know there is no scientific unit called the Edison.