“I don’t know, you’ll have to ask Nikola Tesla.” – Einstein on being asked how it felt to be the smartest man alive
Nikola Tesla is said to be a man born before his time. He revolutionized everything electrical, and built the foundations on which almost all modern electrical devices are based upon.
Tesla was born in 1856, in the Austrian Empire (modern day Croatia). Later on in life, he went on to work for Thomas Edison in Paris, and America, there, he worked on improving many pieces of technology with Edison; eventually, he quit over some sort of disagreement, which is not 100% clear. After that, he tried to start his own electrical company, which soon failed, which made him get a job digging ditches for $2 a day. After a while, he managed to get some investors to back his inventions, and then he got hired by George Westinghouse to produce his AC motor. Edison at that time, to put people off from Tesla’s AC electricity, which was more efficient, electrocuted a convicted murderer with electricity saying that Tesla’s AC current is dangerous, while Edison’s own DC current is safe. Eventually, Tesla struck out on his own again, making many pieces of technology, such as X-rays, short range radio communications (which was done 2 years before Guelielmo Marconi), and he piloted a radio controlled boat around Madison Square Garden. He also made the first modern power station. Later in life, Tesla tried to build a communications tower, which he also intended to use in order to transmit electricity. He believed he could make a world with no use of wires, which was sadly an impossible idea. In his last decades, he was broke, since he gave up his patent rights away; his mental health also deteriorated, and he became fixated with the number 3, and claimed he talked to his pigeons.
Throughout his life, he made many contributions to the world, namely, AC (alternating current) power transmission system, which is still in use to this day. He provided the world with a more efficient way to use AC power, which decreased our reliance on DC (direct current). Apart from that, he also gave the world the Tesla Coil, which then was used in radios and medicine, but the technology was improved upon, and to this day, a version of the Tesla Coil is still used in radios. These technologies led to X-ray machines, induction motors (used in most home appliances), wireless energy transmission, hydro power, remote control, electric motor, robotics, lasers, and many more inventions.
If Tesla had not been born, most of the technologies he invented would probably still have been invented later on, but they probably would not be as refined or accessible as they are today. Today we can easily get a basic blender for little amount of money, if Tesla wasn’t born, the technology for it might have been created later and the price for appliances that require this technology would cost a lot of money. We might still be a less efficient method than the Tesla Coil (now vacuum tube oscillators) to transmit radio waves, resulting in fewer radio based technology. These are just some of the technologies that would be affected if Tesla had not existed, there are many other things which have not been taken into account.
You can learn more about Tesla from the video below.
It is clear to see that Nikola Tesla had a profound affect on the Modern World. Who do you think had a greater affect than Tesla? Let me know in the comments.