Biography of Famous Scientist Nikola Tesla Part 1

About the famous scientist Nikola Tesla, history and biography of the man and his achievements in energy and power.

NIKOLA TESLA (1856-1943).

In the little town of Smiljan in the Serbian province of Lika, then known as Croatia (Yugoslavia), a seemingly unimportant event took place--the death of a French poodle--but this was to begin a chain of events that would shape the future of the world. One day, when Nikola Tesla was 5 years old, he found his brother Dane's little black poodle dead under a bush along the side of the road. His brother accused Nikki of killing it. A short while later, Dane was found unconscious at the foot of the stone cellar steps. Dane subsequently died of his injuries. For the rest of his life, Nikki Tesla believed his parents thought he had pushed his brother.

Shortly after, Nikki overheard his mother complaining that her wrists ached from turning her eggbeater. Eager to ingratiate himself, Nikki immediately set to work seeking ways to harness the power of a nearby mountain stream to turn the cooking utensil for her. "I'm going to capture the water's power," Nikki announced confidently. When his father unthinkingly mentioned that Dane had been different from Nikki because "Dane was a genius," Nikki set out to prove he was one also. He decided at that moment that he would invent something that would startle the world. Nikki undertook experiments to harness the power of water but, when he was 9, he temporarily abandoned his work and began the study of air power. He wanted desperately to invent something that would impress grown-ups, particularly his parents.

When he was 10, Nikki entered the Real Gymnasium of Gospic, a 4-year institution similar to a combined American grammar and junior high school. He particularly enjoyed mathematics and when he 1st demonstrated his ability to supply formulas and solve equations quickly, even his teachers were amazed. He was accused of cheating and made to undergo a classroom "trial" before his parents and teachers. Despite the atmosphere of distrust and enmity, he passed with ease but he was left unhappy and confused.

Tesla's childhood was filled with eccentric schemes and experimental gadgetry; he continued his schooling at a polytechnic institution at Graz, specializing in physics and mathematics. In 1880 he finished his studies at the University of Prague. A year later, he invented an amplifer for the telephone that both magnified the sound of the voice and reduced the irrelevant sounds, or static. The finished device, his 1st invention, although never patented, was called the "telephone repeater." Today it would be described as a loudspeaker.

Within a year Tesla began development of the alternating-current theory. Tesla told his assistant: "I will produce a field of force that rotates at high speed. It will surround and embrace an armature which will require no electrical connections. The rotating field will transfer its power, without wires, through space, feeding energy by means of its lines of force to closed-circuit coils on an armature, enabling it to build up its own magnetic field that locks it into the rotating magnetic whirlwind produced by the field coils. No wires. No faulty connections. No commutator."

Tesla went to Budapest and then to Paris to find a patron or backer for his alternating-current power system. He worked for a while at Continental Edison Company of Paris. Advised that he should apply to the Edison Company in New York, Tesla, 4 years after his graduation from the University of Prague, left Paris for America.

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