On July 10, 1856, engineer Nikola Tesla, one of the most unappreciated scientists in history was born, one who obtained patents for nearly 700 inventions, but his most important inventions were credited to others such as Marconi, Ferrari, and Edison.
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To illustrate this, we give you 11 interesting facts about the life of the eccentric and underappreciated scientist:
- Nikola Tesla was born on July 10, 1856 in Smiljan, Lika, in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, in the present-day region of Croatia. His father, Milutin Tesla, was an Serbian Orthodox priest, and his mother, Djunka Mandic, perhaps the first inspiration for young Nikola, was an amateur inventor who sought to make her housework easier.
- Tesla studied at the Polytechnic Institute in Austria and the University of Prague, and first became interested in physics and mathematics, but electrical engineering caught his interest, so much so that one day, according to the Tesla Memorial Society of New York, he diagrammed the first design of an induction motor while trying to explain what he had envisioned to a friend.
- Despite his genius, he was not recognized in his day, especially when it came to the commercialization and patenting of Tesla’s ideas by others, starting with Edison and Marconi. In 1884, he migrated to the United States in search of the American dream. He worked in the laboratories of Thomas Edison’s company improving the products that were sold.
- What began as a job ended in a legal battle. Tesla improved the products so much so that he devised a new electrical system, which replaced Edison’s inefficient old system with high-voltage or alternating current networks. Edison refused to replace it for fear of economic losses. Tesla instead struggled over improving the technology, which ultimately is the one that brings “light” to our homes today.
- His genius knew no limits. Tesla introduced an electrical system for motors, which he achieved after he discovered the rotating magnetic field that revolutionized not only the automotive industry but also the electric power industry by creating the alternator, transformers, and the entire polyphase system that provides us with electrical power.
- In 1896, he invented the first radio transistor — yes, Tesla, not Marconi. In 1943, the U.S. Supreme Court recognized Tesla’s contribution over Marconi’s, although Marconi had already won the Nobel Prize in 1909.
- He also installed the first hydroelectric plant at Niagara Falls in 1895 and discovered fluorescent light, laser beams, and wireless communications. Thanks to him, we have the Internet, wireless electrical transmission systems, remote control, and robotics. In addition to turbines. He registered these and about 700 other patents. His research included solar and marine exploration as well as satellite communication.
- His most important discovery was made while living in Colorado Springs from May 1899 to 1900: Earth’s stationary waves, which showed that our planet could be used as an electrical conductor at certain frequencies, allowing us to receive signals from outer space.
- Prior to his fight with J. Pierpont Morgan, he built a laboratory on Long Island, where he built a tower from which the first telecommunications system was transmitted. However, it was demolished in 1917 due to “security issues.” Even after his death, the FBI safeguarded his documents, diagrams, and inventions.
- On his 75th birthday in 1931, he appeared on the cover of Time magazine. The publication gave him a volume of more than 70 letters from inventors and engineers, including Albert Einstein, who thanked him for his work and named him as an inspiration to their careers. He was also quite eccentric. He boasted that he had invented a machine to create earthquakes, and he abandoned any obligation to feed pigeons. He even paid a lot of money to do so when he became ill.
11.Tesla died on January 7, 1943, in room 3,327 on the 33rd floor of the Hotel New Yorker, where he lived the last 10 years of his life. More than 2,000 people attended his funeral, and his ashes are kept in a gold urn at the Tesla Museum in Belgrade.