Nikola Tesla  

By on

Nikola Tesla was born exactly at midnight on July 10, 1856 in the tiny village of Smiljan, Lika in Croatia. In his late teens, Tesla left the village to pursue a career in electrical engineering. He started attending the Austrian Polytechnic in Graz, but never graduated and cut off all ties with his friends and family shortly after the start of his third year. He disappeared for awhile and suffered a nervous breakdown before being found and convinced by his father to attend Charles-Ferdinand University in Prague. However, he stayed for only one term, leaving after his father died.

After working for a telegraph company in Budapest, Tesla made his way to France in 1882. There he developed one of his greatest discoveries, using the rotating magnetic field forming the basis for alternating current (AC) machinery.  He built the first induction motor, which more than a hundred years later is still the preferred type of motor for industrial use.

In 1884 he moved on to the United States to work for Thomas Edison. Tesla worked hard to redesign Edison's motors, developing several important patents for the company before quitting over a salary dispute when Edison refused to raise his salary from $18 per week to $25. Tesla and Edison would remain enemies for the rest of their lives.

Tesla's next step was to begin work on X-rays using single vacuum tubes. He also created machines testing mechanical resonance, inducing sleep, bladeless turbine engines, cordless gas lamps, the first spark plugs, the first ever radio transmitter (though the patent was later given to Marconi), and wireless electromagnetic energy transmitters. He was considered for the Nobel Prize on several occasions.

Tesla was the classical mad scientist. He was seen by his contemporaries as a man who believed in things that couldn't be done. Tesla died of heart failure in early January 1943 at the age of 86.

 Related Links



More interesting Notes:
Steven McFadyen's avatar Steven McFadyen

Steven has over twenty five years experience working on some of the largest construction projects. He has a deep technical understanding of electrical engineering and is keen to share this knowledge. About the author

myElectrical Engineering

comments powered by Disqus



How to refer fault levels across a transformer

Over the past year or so I've been involved in on going discussions related to referring fault levels from the secondary of a transformer to the primary...

Understanding Circuit Breaker Markings

IEC 60947 is the circuit breaker standard and covers the marking of breakers in detail. Any manufacturer following this standard should comply with the...

Motor Insulation

Insulation on a motor prevents interconnection of windings and the winding to earth.  When looking at motors, it is important to understand how the insulation...

Operational Amplifier

The fundamental component of any analogue computer is the operational amplifier, or op amp. An operational amplifier (often called an op-amp,) is a high...

Three Phase Power Simplified

A single phase system is perhaps the most common type of system most people are familiar with. This is what people have in their homes and what appliances...

Motor Starting - Introduction

Motor starting and its associated problems are well-known to many people who have worked on large industrial processes. However, these things are, of course...

Dielectric loss in cables

Dielectrics (insulating materials for example) when subjected to a varying electric field, will have some energy loss.   The varying electric field causes...

Aluminium Windings - Dry Type Transformers

The other day I was talking to a colleague who is a building services consultant.  Despite regularly specifying dry-type/cast resin transformers he was...

Understanding Motor Duty Rating

One of the comments on my Motor Starting Series was asking for something on duty cycles. Here it is. As a purchaser of a motor, you have responsibility...

Cable Insulation Properties

Cable insulation is used to provide electrical separation between conductors of  a cable.  During the historical development of cables, numerous types...

Have some knowledge to share

If you have some expert knowledge or experience, why not consider sharing this with our community.  

By writing an electrical note, you will be educating our users and at the same time promoting your expertise within the engineering community.

To get started and understand our policy, you can read our How to Write an Electrical Note