Nikola Tesla


Few people recognize his name today, and even among those who do, the
words Nikola Tesla are likly to summon up the image of a crackpot rather than
an authentic scientist. Nikola Tesla was possibly the greatest inventor the
world has ever known. He was, without doubt, a genius who is not only credited
with many devices we use today, but is also credited with astonishing, sometimes
world-transforming, devices that are even simply amazing by todays scientific
standards.

Tesla was born at precisely midnight between July 9th and 10th, 1856, in
a small Hungarien village. He was born to his father, a priest, and his mother,
an unschooled but extremely intelligent women. Training for an engineering
career, he attendedthe Technical University of Graz, Austria and was shortly
employed in a government telegraph engineering office in Budapest, where he made
his first invention, a telephone repeater. Tesla sailed to America in 1884,
arriving in New York City with four cents in his pocket, and many great ideas in
his head. He first found employment with a young Thomas Edison in New Jersey,
but the two inventors, were far apart in background and methods. But, because of
there differences, Tesla soon left the employment of Edison, and in May 1885,
George Westinghouse, head of the Westinghouse Electric Company in Pittsburgh,
bought the patent rights to many of Tesla\'s inventions. After a difficult period,
during which Tesla invented but lost his rights to many inventions, he
established his own laboratory in New York City in 1887, where his inventive
mind could be free. In 1895, Tesla discovered X-rays after hours upon hours of
experimentation. Tesla\'s countless experiments included work on different power
sources and various types of lightning. The Tesla coil, which he invented in
1891, is widely used today in radio and television sets and other electronic
equipment for wireless communication. That year also marked the date of Tesla\'s
United States citizenship. Brilliant and eccentric, Tesla was then at the peak
of his inventive powers. He managed to produce new forms of generators,
transformers, he invented the fluorescent light, and he became extremely
involved with the wireless transmission of power.

During the 1880a and 1890\'s Tesla and Edison became rivals, fighting to
develop there inventions as quickly as possible. In 1915 he was severely
disappointed when a report that he and Edison were to share the Nobel Prize.
Edison went back on a promise to pay him a sum of money for a particular
inventions and Tesla broke off relations at once and went into the inventing
business for himself. The biggest rivaling against Edison was Tesla\'s
development of alternating current which was very conflicting to Edison\'s use
of electricity, direct current. This great power struggle between Tesla and
Edison\'s use of electricity practically ended when Tesla\'s alternating current
won out and was most favored and ruled most practical. Tesla\'s alternating
current was used to light the Chicago\'s World Fair. His success was a factor in
winning him the contract to install the first power machinery at Niagara Falls,
which bore Tesla\'s name and patent numbers. The project carried power to
Buffalo by 1896. In 1898 Tesla announced his invention of a teleautomatic boat
guided by remote control. When skepticism was voiced, Tesla proved his claims
for it before a crowd in Madison Square Garden.

The biggest controversy in Tesla\'s career is what most popularizes his
name today, this controversy is the fact that Tesla made hundreds of inventions
and discoveries that was simply amazing. Many people have called tesla "a man
out of his time" because his astonishing experiments. In Colorado Springs, where
he stayed from May 1899 until early 1900, Tesla made what he regarded as his
most important discovery, terrestrial stationary waves. By this discovery he
proved that the earth could be used as a conductor and would be as responsive
as a tuning fork to electrical vibrations of a certain pitch. He also lighted
200 lamps without wires from a distance of 25 miles and created man-made
lightning, producing flashes measuring 135 feet . He was fond of creating
neighborhood-threatening electrical storms in his apartment laboratory and once
nearly knocked down a tall building by attaching a mysterious "black box" to
its side. He claimed he could have destroyed the entire planet with a similar
device. Caustic criticism greeted his speculations concerning communication with
other planets, his assertions that he could split the earth like an apple, and
his claim to having invented a death ray capable of destroying 10,000 airplanes,
250 miles distant. Because of a lack of funds, his ideas remained in his
notebooks,