Why is Tesla famous
childhood and education:
Nikola Tesla was born on July 10, 1856 in the small central Croatian village of Smiljan. His parents of Serbian descent were very religious, the father Milutin Tesla worked as a Serbian Orthodox clergyman. His mother Georgina had received no education in reading or writing, but had an excellent memory and was therefore able to recite many important passages of the Bible and literary verses by heart. Nikola Tesla was first sent to elementary school in Gospic before moving to Karlovac in 1870 to attend high school there. During this time he lived with his aunt's household. Even in his early childhood, Nikola Tesla was aware that he thought differently from his peers and therefore found it difficult to make friends. The early accidental death of his older brother Dane was a heavy blow for little Nikola, which he dealt with by experimenting with various technical applications at the age of only five. At the age of twelve he had already constructed his first invention, a vacuum-operated pump, from which he later developed the famous Tesla turbine. Nikola Tesla found the strict religious upbringing by his father extremely restrictive. He preferred to spend his free time in the great outdoors, where he observed various weather spectacles such as thunderstorms and lightning and developed the desire to be able to imitate such natural phenomena with technical means.
After finishing school, he went to Graz to study at the Imperial and Royal Technical University. In the first year he attended various lectures before finally settling on studying mechanical engineering. However, he did not complete his studies because he lost interest in the lectures and failed to pay his tuition fees in the third year. The result was his de-registration in 1877, which forced him to look for a job as a mechanical engineer. He moved to Marburg an der Donau for some time, but was soon noticed there because of its excessive nightlife and was eventually expelled from the city by the authorities. In 1879 he returned to his hometown and worked there as a substitute teacher after the death of his father.
His second attempt to complete a degree was also unsuccessful. His uncle had enabled and financed him to attend Charles University in Prague, but Nikola Tesla did not pay his fees there either. He moved to Budapest, where he worked as a telegraph technician for the Hungarian inventor Tivadar Puskás. He held a high position in Thomas Edison's international company and suggested that the young technician go to Paris and carry out electrical installations in public buildings for the Continental Edison Company. During this time he began to deal intensively with the construction of an AC motor, but his colleagues showed little interest in it.
Career and Scientific Achievements:
After these first professional experiences in Paris, Nikola Tesla decided to try his luck in New York. He sold all of his possessions to finance the ticket to New York and ended up penniless. In New York, he first worked for Edison's company, but the employment relationship only lasted a few months because of differences with Tesla. After his release, he kept himself afloat doing odd jobs in technical companies before founding the Tesla Electric Light and Manufacturing Company. The desired success did not materialize, however, because he was betrayed by his business partners. After filing for bankruptcy, he founded the Tesla Electric Company with the funds of A. K. Brown and began work on an alternating current system with a rotating magnetic field, which he eventually filed for a patent. In contrast to Edison's direct current system, his invention made it possible to transmit electricity without any problems even over greater distances and earned Tesla the recognition of the entire engineering community in the United States practically overnight. Over the next few years he was busy perfecting his invention and applied for a total of seven patents, including his famous two-phase synchronous machine. The entrepreneur Westlinghouse, who later led the first economic conflicts in the history of US industry with Edison in the so-called current war, became aware of his alternating current system through public lectures about his technical achievements. He bought Tesla the rights for a large sum of money and profit sharing, which suddenly made the inventor a wealthy man. Since Westlinghouse later had to legally defend the patents against other electrical engineers, he was forced to terminate the contract with Tesla after four years.
After a long stay in Paris and in his home village in Croatia, Nikola Tesla returned to New York in the late summer of 1889 and set up a laboratory there on Grand Street, where he continued to experiment with his AC systems. With the fortune from his contract with Westlinghouse, he was able to afford a luxurious lifestyle and stayed in expensive hotels. At that time he also looked at Edison's incandescent lamp in order to find a solution for its minimal use of electricity. In the course of his work he was able to generate high-frequency currents with which he went public in 1890. However, since he did not apply for a patent for this invention, he could not market it profitably, as numerous imitations existed within a very short time. In 1900 he accepted J.P. Morgan offered to build a radio that could send transatlantic signals for $ 150,000. Tesla invested the money in a piece of land on Long Island, where he had a fifty-meter-high tower with a metal dome built. Although he worked feverishly on the radio station on what he called "Wardenclyffe Tower", it was his Italian colleague Marconi who was the first to send transatlantic signals. Tesla's business relationships with Morgan broke up, resulting in significant financial problems for the inventor. Only the development of the Tesla turbine and the sale of Wardenclyffe were able to resolve his financial worries. Since he had received an honorary pension of over seven thousand dollars a year since 1936, he no longer had to worry about his financial livelihood until his death on January 7, 1943.
Nikola Tesla died alone as he had lived. No acquaintances or long-term relationships with women are known from the inventor's life. Tesla is said to have suffered from an extreme need to clean and an obsessive fear of germs that made it impossible for him to touch other people and to be in closer contact with them. In particular, touching women's hair and jewelry is said to have caused him severe nausea.
Unlike his competitor Edison, who was a shrewd businessman, Nikola Tesla went through many phases of financial hardship. In his highly productive and long life, he applied for well over a hundred patents. Technical devices that are a matter of course in every household today could never have been developed without this extraordinary genius. Even if his colleagues like Marconi and Edison went down in history as the legendary inventors of radio, lighting and other achievements, in many cases it was Nikola Tesla who had previously worked on visionary solutions to make energy optimally usable for people.
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