Nikola Tesla

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Jump to: navigation, search
"Tesla" redirects here. For other uses, see Tesla (disambiguation).
"I have harnessed the cosmic rays and caused them to operate a motive device." - Nikola Tesla; Brooklyn Eagle, July 10th, 1931.
"I have harnessed the cosmic rays and caused them to operate a motive device." - Nikola Tesla; Brooklyn Eagle, July 10th, 1931.
Born :

July 10, 1856
Smiljan, Gospić (Croatia) , Military Frontier, Habsburg Monarchy
Died :

circa January 7, 1943
New York City, New York, USA

Nikola Tesla (July 10, 1856 – c. January 7, 1943; Serbian: Никола Тесла) was an inventor, physicist, mechanical engineer, and electrical engineer. He is often regarded as one of the greatest geniuses of technological progression. [3] In addition, Tesla is recognized among the most innovative engineers of the late 19th century and early 20th century. His patents and theoretical work form the basis of modern alternating current electric power (AC) systems, including the polyphase power distribution system and AC motor, with which he helped usher in the Second Industrial Revolution.

Nikola Tesla was of Serbian descent and a citizen of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire, after 1918. of Yugoslavia. While conducting his work in the United States, he became a naturalized American citizen in 1891. The surname "Tesla" is a Serbian word that means adze.

In America, Tesla's fame paralleled that of any other inventor or scientist in history and in popular culture. His name became a byword for innovation and practical achievement. He was deemed a "magician" who conjured up technical feats. After his demonstration of wireless communication in 1893 and after being the victor in the "War of Currents", he was widely respected as America's greatest electrical engineer. Much of his early work pioneered modern electrical engineering and many of his discoveries were of groundbreaking importance. In his later years, Tesla was regarded as a mad scientist, and he ended his life impoverished and forgotten. [4][5]

Tesla's legacy can be seen across modern civilization wherever electricity is used. Tesla considered his exploration of various questions raised by science as ultimately a means to improve the human condition with the principles of science and industrial progress, and one that was compatible with nature.[6] However, many of his achievements have been used, sometimes inappropriately and with some controversy, to support various pseudosciences, UFO theories, and New Age occultism.


Early years

Tesla was born at the stroke of midnight during a lightning storm in Smiljan near Gospić, in the former Austro-Hungary and now Croatia. Tesla was baptised in the Serbian Orthodox Church. His baptism certificate reports that he was born on June 28 (Julian calendar; July 10 in the Gregorian calendar) 1856, and christened by the Serbian Orthodox priest, Toma Oklobdžija. He once said: "I'm proud of my Serbian heritage and my homeland Croatia"

His father was Rev. Milutin Tesla, a priest in the Serb Orthodox Church Metropolitanate of Sremski Karlovci. His mother was Đuka Mandić, herself a daughter of a Serbian Orthodox priest, who was talented in making home craft tools. His godfather, Jovan Drenovac, was a captain in the army protecting the Military Frontier. Tesla was one of five children, having one brother and three sisters. His family moved to Gospić in 1862. Tesla went to school in Karlovac (today's Croatia), then studied electrical engineering at the Austria Politechnic in Graz, Austria (1875). While there, he studied the uses of alternating current. Tesla engaged in reading many works, as he stated,

"At that age [24], I knew entire books by heart, word for word. One of these was Goethe's Faust." [7]

Tesla related in his autobiography that he experienced detailed moments of inspiration. From an early age Tesla would visualise an invention in his brain in precise form before moving to the construction stage (which is known as picture thinking). [8]

In 1881 he moved to Budapest to work for a telegraph company, the American Telephone Company. On the opening of the telephone exchange in Budapest, 1881, Tesla became the chief electrician to the company, and was later engineer to the Yugoslav government and the country's first telephone system. He also developed a device that, according to some, was a telephone repeater or amplifier, but according to others could have been the first loudspeaker. [9] For a while he stayed in Maribor, where he was first employed as an assistant engineer. He suffered a nervous breakdown during this time.

In 1882 he moved to Paris, France to work as an engineer for the Continental Edison Company, designing improvements to electric equipment. In the same year, Tesla conceived of the induction motor and began developing various devices that use rotating magnetic fields (for which he received patents in 1888).

Soon thereafter, Tesla hastened from Paris to his mother's side as she lay dying, arriving hours before her death in 1882. Her last words to him were, "You've arrived, Nidzo, my pride." After her death, Tesla fell ill. He spent two to three weeks recuperating in Gospić and the village of Tomingaj near Gračac, the birthplace of his mother.

In 1884, when Tesla first arrived in the US, he had little besides a letter of recommendation from Charles Batchelor, his manager in his previous job. In the letter of recommendation to Thomas Edison, Charles Batchelor wrote, "I know two great men and you are one of them; the other is this young man." Edison hired Tesla to work for his company Edison Machine Works. Tesla's work for Edison began with simple electrical engineering and quickly progressed to solving the company's most difficult problems. Tesla was offered to undertake a complete redesign of the Edison company's continuous current dynamos.

After Tesla described the nature of the benefits from his proposed modifications, Edison offered him US$50,000 if they were successfully completed. Tesla worked nearly a year to redesign them and gave the Edison company several enormously profitable new patents in the process. When Tesla inquired about the $50,000, Edison replied to him, "Tesla, you don't understand our American humor," and reneged on his promise. Edison reportedly offered to raise Tesla's salary by $10 per week as a compromise - at which rate it would have taken almost 100 years to earn the money Edison had originally promised. Tesla resigned on the spot.

Electromechanical devices and principles developed by Nikola Tesla:

Middle years

In 1886, Tesla formed his own company, Tesla Electric Light & Manufacturing. The initial financial investors disagreed with Tesla on his plan for an alternating current motor and eventually relieved him of his duties at the company. Tesla worked in New York as a common laborer from 1886 to 1887 to feed himself and raise capital for his next project. In 1887, he constructed the initial brushless alternate-current induction motor, which he demonstrated to the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (now IEEE) in 1888. In the same year, he developed the principles of his Tesla coil and began working with George Westinghouse at Westinghouse's Pittsburgh labs. Westinghouse listened to his ideas for polyphase systems which would allow transmission of alternating current electricity over large distances.

In April of 1887, Tesla began investigating what would later be called X-rays using his own single node vacuum tubes (similar to his U.S. Patent 514170). This device differed from other early X-ray tubes in that they had no target electrode. The modern term for the phenomena produced from this device is termed the bremsstrahlung process. He also used Geissler tubes. By 1892, Tesla became aware of what Wilhelm Röntgen later identified as effects of X-rays.

Tesla commented on the hazards of working with single node X-ray producing devices, attributing the skin damage to ozone rather than the radiation: "As to the hurtful actions on the skin... I note that they have been misinterpreted... They are not due to the Röntgen rays, but merely to the ozone generated in contact with the skin. Nitrous acid may also be responsible, but to a small extent". (Tesla, in Electrical Review, 30 November 1895). This is incorrect concerning cathodic X-ray tubes. Tesla later observed an assistant severely "burnt" by X-rays in his lab. He performed several experiments (including photographing the bones of his hand; later, he sent these images to Röntgen) but didn't make his findings widely known; much of his research was lost in the 1895 Houston Street lab fire.

On July 30, 1891, he became a naturalized citizen of the United States at the age of 35 and established his Houston Street laboratory in New York at 46 E. Houston St. He lit vacuum tubes wirelessly in it, providing evidence for the potential of wireless power transmission. Around this time, Tesla developed a close and lasting friendship with Mark Twain. They spent a lot of time together in Tesla's lab and elsewhere. [12] Some of Tesla's closest friends were artists. He befriended Century Magazine editor Robert Underwood Johnson, who adapted several Serbian poems of Jovan Jovanović Zmaj (which Tesla translated). Also during this time, as seen in the PBS documentary film, Tesla was influenced by the Vedic philosophy teachings of the Swami Vivekananda. [13]

Nikola Tesla's generation system  using  AC circuits to transport energy across great distances. It is contained in US390721.
Nikola Tesla's generation system using AC circuits to transport energy across great distances. It is contained in US390721.

When Tesla was 36 years old, the first patents concerning the polyphase power system were granted. He continued research of the system and rotating magnetic field principles. Tesla served as the vice president of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (now part of the IEEE) from 1892 to 1894. From 1893 to 1895, he investigated high frequency alternating currents. He generated AC of one million volts using a conical Tesla coil and investigated the skin effect in conductors, designed tuned circuits, invented a machine for inducing sleep, cordless gas discharge lamps, and transmitted electromagnetic energy without wires, effectively building the first radio transmitter. In St. Louis, Missouri, Tesla made a demonstration related to radio communication in 1893. Addressing the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and the National Electric Light Association, he described and demonstrated in detail its principles. Tesla's demonstrations were written about widely through various media outlets.

At the 1893 World's Fair, the World Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Illinois, an international exposition was held which for the first time devoted a building to electrical exhibits. It was an historic event as Tesla and George Westinghouse introduced visitors to AC power by using it to illuminate the Exposition. On display were Tesla's fluorescent lights and single node bulbs. Tesla also explained the principles of the rotating magnetic field and induction motor by demonstrating how to make an egg made of copper stand on end in his demonstration of the device he constructed known as the "Egg of Columbus". It was used to demonstrate and explain the principles of the rotating magnetic field model and the induction motor.

In 1896, according to an interview he gave in 1916, Tesla invented a type of loudspeaker. The sounds were of about the same quality as telephones of that time. The invention was never patented nor released publicly until years later by Tesla himself.

Also in the late 1880s, Tesla and Edison became adversaries in part due to Edison's promotion of direct current (DC) for electric power distribution over the more efficient alternating current advocated by Tesla. As a result of the "War of Currents," Edison and Westinghouse were almost bankrupt, so in 1897, Tesla released Westinghouse from contract, providing Westinghouse a break from Tesla's patent royalties. Also in 1897, Tesla researched radiation which led to setting up the basic formulation of cosmic rays. [14]

When Tesla was 41 years old, he filed the first basic radio patent (U.S. Patent 645576). A year later, he demonstrated a radio controlled boat to the US military, believing that the military would want things such as radio controlled torpedoes. Tesla developed the "Art of Telautomatics", a form of robotics. [15] In 1898, a radio-controlled boat was demonstrated to the public during an electrical exhibition at Madison Square Garden. These devices had an innovative coherer and a series of logic gates. Radio remote control remained a novelty until the 1960s. In the same year, Tesla devised an "electric igniter" or spark plug for Internal combustion gasoline engines. He gained U.S. Patent 609250, "Electrical Igniter for Gas Engines", on this mechanical ignition system.

Colorado Springs

Main article: Magnifying Transmitter
Publicity photo of Tesla sitting in his laboratory in Colorado Springs with his "Magnifying Transmitter" generating millions of volts of electricity.  The arcs are about 7 meters (22 ft) long. (Tesla's notes identify this as a double exposure.)
Publicity photo of Tesla sitting in his laboratory in Colorado Springs with his "Magnifying Transmitter" generating millions of volts of electricity. The arcs are about 7 meters (22 ft) long. (Tesla's notes identify this as a double exposure.)

In 1899, Tesla decided to move and began research in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where he could have room for his high-voltage high-frequency experiments. Upon his arrival he told reporters that he was conducting wireless telegraphy experiments transmitting signals from Pikes Peak to Paris. Tesla's time at this lab has been a source for urban legends about him. Tesla's diary contains explanations of his experiments concerning the ionosphere and the ground's telluric currents via transverse waves and longitudinal waves. [16]

Tesla, at his lab, proved that the earth was a conductor and produced artificial lightning (with the discharges consisting of millions of volts and were up to 135 feet long). [17]. Tesla also investigated atmospheric electricity, observing lightning signals via his receivers. Reproductions of Tesla's receivers and coherer circuits show an unpredicted level of complexity (e.g., distributed high-Q helical resonators, radio frequency feedback, crude heterodyne effects, and regeneration techniques). [18] Tesla stated that he observed stationary waves during this time. [19]

In the Colorado Springs lab, he "recorded" signals of what he believed were extraterrestrial radio signals. His announcements and data were rejected by the scientific community. He noted measurements of repetitive signals from his receiver which are substantially different from the signals he had noted from storms and earth noise. Specifically, he later recalled that the signals appeared in groups of one, two, three, and four clicks together. Tesla spent the latter part of his life trying to signal Mars. In 1996 Corum and Corum published an analysis of Jovian plasma torus signals which indicate that there was a correspondence between the setting of Mars at Colorado Springs, and the cessation of signals from Jupiter in the summer of 1899 when Tesla was there. [20][21]

Tesla left Colorado Springs on January 7, 1900. The lab was torn down and its contents sold to pay debts. The Colorado experiments prepared Tesla for his next project, the establishment of a wireless power transmission facility that would be known as Wardenclyffe. Tesla was granted U.S. Patent 685012 for the means for increasing the intensity of electrical oscillations. The United States Patent Office classification system currently assigns this patent to the primary Class 178/43 ("telegraphy/space induction"), although the other applicable classes include 505/825 ("low temperature superconductivity-related apparatus").

Later years

In 1900, with $150,000 (51% from J. Pierpont Morgan), Tesla began planning the Wardenclyffe Tower facility. In June 1902, Tesla's lab operations were moved to Wardenclyffe from Houston Street. The tower was finally dismantled for scrap during wartime. Newspapers of the time labeled Wardenclyffe "Tesla's million-dollar folly." In 1904, the US Patent Office reversed its decision and awarded Guglielmo Marconi the patent for radio. Tesla began his fight to re-acquire the radio patent. On his 50th birthday in 1906, Tesla demonstrated his 200 hp (150 kW) 16,000 rpm Bladeless Turbine. During 1910-1911 at the Waterside Power Station in New York, several of his bladeless turbine engines were tested at 100-5000 hp. Later in 1907, Marconi was awarded the Nobel Prize for radio. Tesla was deeply resentful. In 1915, Tesla filed a lawsuit against Marconi attempting, unsuccessfully, to obtain a court injunction against the claims of Marconi. Around 1916, Tesla filed for bankruptcy because he owed so much in back taxes. He was living in poverty.

After Wardenclyffe, Tesla built the Telefunken Wireless Station in Sayville, Long Island. Some of what he wanted to achieve at Wardenclyffe was accomplished with the Telefunken Wireless. In 1917 the facility was seized and torn down by the Marines because it was suspected that it could be used by German spies.

Prior to the World War I, Tesla looked overseas for investors to fund his research. When the war started, Tesla lost funding he was receiving from his European patents. After the war ended, Tesla made predictions regarding the relevant issues of the post-World War I environment in a printed article (December 20, 1914). Tesla believed that the League of Nations was not a remedy for the times and issues. Tesla started to exhibit pronounced symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder in the years following. He became obsessed with the number three. He often felt compelled to walk around a block three times before entering a building, demanded a stack of three folded cloth napkins beside his plate at every meal, etc. The nature of OCD was little understood at the time and no treatments were available, so his symptoms were considered by some to be evidence of partial insanity and this probably hurt what was left of his reputation.

At this time, he was staying at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, renting in an arrangement for deferred payments. Eventually, the Wardenclyffe deed was turned over to George Boldt, proprietor of the Waldorf-Astoria to pay a $20,000 debt. In 1917, around the time that the Wardenclyffe Tower was demolished by Boldt to make the land a more viable real estate asset, Tesla received AIEE's highest honor, the Edison Medal. The irony of this honor was probably not lost on Tesla.

Tesla, in August 1917, first established principles regarding frequency and power level for the first primitive radar units. [22] In 1934, Emile Girardeau, working with the first French radar systems, stated he was building radar systems "conceived according to the principles stated by Tesla". By the twenties, Tesla was reportedly negotiating with the United Kingdom government about a ray system. Tesla had also stated that efforts had been made to steal the so called "death ray". The Chamberlain government was removed, though, before any final negotiations occurred. The incoming Baldwin government found no use for Tesla's suggestions and ended negotiations.

On Tesla's seventy-fifth birthday in 1931, Time magazine put him on its cover. [23] The cover caption noted his contribution to electrical power generation. Tesla received his last patent in 1928 for an apparatus for aerial transportation which was the first instance of VTOL aircraft. In 1934, Tesla wrote to consul Janković of his homeland. The letter contained the message of gratitude to Mihajlo Pupin who initiated a donation scheme by which American companies could support Tesla. Tesla refused the assistance, and chose to live by a modest pension received from Yugoslavia and to continue researching.

When he was eighty-one, Tesla stated he had completed a unified field theory. He stated that it was "worked out in all details" and hoped to give to the world the theory soon. [24] The theory was never published. At the time of his announcement, it was considered by the scientific community to exceed the bounds of reason. Most believe that Tesla never fully developed the Unified Field Theory. His theory is of interest to some historical researchers but is disregarded in the field of physics.

Death and afterwards

Nikola Tesla Monument in front of University of Belgrade
Nikola Tesla Monument in front of University of Belgrade

Tesla died alone in the New Yorker hotel of heart failure, some time between the evening of January 5 and the morning of January 8, 1943, at the age of 86. Despite selling his AC electricity patents, Tesla was essentially destitute and died with significant debts. Later that year the US Supreme Court upheld Tesla's patent number 645,576 in effect recognizing him as the inventor of radio.

Immediately after Tesla's death became known, the Federal Bureau of Investigation instructed the Office of Alien Property to take possession of his papers and property, despite his US citizenship. At the time of his death, Tesla had been working on some form of teleforce weapon, or death ray. It appears that his proposed death ray was related to his research into ball lightning and plasma. After the FBI was contacted by the War Department, his papers were declared to be top secret. All of his personal effects were seized on the advice of presidential advisors, and J. Edgar Hoover declared the case "most secret", because of the nature of Tesla's inventions and patents. [25]

Tesla's Serbian-Orthodox family and the Yugoslav embassy struggled with American authorities to gain these items after his death due to the potential significance of some of his research. Eventually, his nephew, Sava Kosanovich, got possession of some of his personal effects which are now housed in the Nikola Tesla Museum in Belgrade, Serbia[26]. Tesla's funeral took place on January 12, 1943, at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in Manhattan, New York City. Upon his funeral, Tesla's body was cremated, and his ashes taken to Belgrade, then capital of the Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia. The urn was placed in the Nikola Tesla museum, where it resides to this day. In 1976, a bronze statue of Tesla was placed at Niagara Falls, New York. A similar statue was also erected in Tesla's hometown of Gospić, Croatia in 1981.

Dr. Nikola Tesla : deemed "the man who invented the twentieth century," and affectionately given the title of "Father of Free Energy" [1].
Dr. Nikola Tesla : deemed "the man who invented the twentieth century," and affectionately given the title of "Father of Free Energy" [1].

In the years after, many of his innovations and theories have been used, sometimes unsuitably in particular occasions and at other times with some controversy, to support various bodies of knowledge and practices that are regarded as unscientific by some (though much of Tesla's own work conformed with the principles and methods used in science), to extrapolate about anomalous unidentified flying object (especially concerning their propulsion systems but includes other fringe theories), and in spiritual exploration by spiritual seekers for 'hidden knowledge' (in the sense of that some knowledge has been kept hidden). Many contemporary admirers of Dr. Tesla have affectionately deemed him "the man who invented the twentieth century". Tesla's house in Smiljan is nowadays open for visitors, as a memorial museum.

Personal views

Tesla believed that war could not be avoided until the cause for its recurrence was removed, but was opposed to wars in general.[27] He sought to reduce distance, such as in communication for better understanding, transportation, and transmission of energy, as a means to ensure friendly international relations. [28] A system for "Projecting Concentrated Non-Dispersive Energy Through Natural Media" known as teleforce was reportedly developed later in his life. Teleforce was supposed to have been a type of defensive particle-beam weapon.

Like many of his era, Tesla became a proponent of an self-imposed selective breeding version of eugenics. The totality of his ideas, though, are difficult to place in any eugenicist school of thought. In a 1937 interview, he stated,

[...] man's new sense of pity began to interfere with the ruthless workings of nature. The only method compatible with our notions of civilization and the race is to prevent the breeding of the unfit by sterilization and the deliberate guidance of the mating instinct [...]. The trend of opinion among eugenists is that we must make marriage more difficult. Certainly no one who is not a desirable parent should be permitted to produce progeny. A century from now it will no more occur to a normal person to mate with a person eugenically unfit than to marry a habitual criminal. [29]

In 1926, Tesla in an interview, commenting on the ills of the social subservience of women and the struggle of women toward sex equality, indicated that humanity's future would be run by "Queen Bees". He believed that women would become the dominant sex in the future. [30]


Tesla was fluent in seven languages (English, Serbian, Czech, Hungarian, French, German, Italian)

  • Elementary school: Gospić (Austria-Hungary)
  • Secondary school: Karlovac (Austria-Hungary)
Graduate studies
Docteur Honoris Causa

For his work Tesla received numerous honorary doctoral degrees from a number of universities to include: Columbia University, Graz Polytechnic Institute, Polytechnic Institute of Bucharest, University of Beograd, University of Brno, University of Grenoble, University of Paris, University de Poitiers, University of Prague, University of Sophia, University of Zagreb, Vienna Polytechnic Institute, and Yale University

Further reading

For a detailed outline of Dr. Tesla's education and certifications, see:

W.C. Wysock, J.F. Corum, J.M. Hardesty and K.L. Corum, "Who Was The Real Dr. Nikola Tesla? (A Look At His Professional Credentials)". Antenna Measurement Techniques Association, posterpaper, October 22-25, 2001 (PDF)

Recognition and honors

Scientific societies

As the result of his achievements in the development of electricity and radio, Nikola Tesla received many awards and accolades. He was selected as a fellow of the IEEE (at the time the AIEE) and was awarded its most prestigious prize, the Edison Medal. He was also made a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and accepted invitations to become a member of the American Philosophical Society, and the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts. Because of his research in electrotherapy and his invention of high frequency oscillators, he was also made a fellow of the American Electro-Therapeutic Association.

SI Unit

The scientific compound derived SI unit measuring magnetic flux density or magnetic induction (commonly known as the magnetic field B), the tesla, was named in his honor (at the Conférence Générale des Poids et Mesures, Paris, 1960).

IEEE Nikola Tesla Award

In 1975 the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) created a Nikola Tesla Award via an agreement between the IEEE Power Engineering Society and the IEEE Board of Directors. It is given to individuals or a team that has made outstanding contributions to the generation or utilization of electric power. The Tesla award is considered the most prestigious award in the area of electric power. [31]

Yugoslavian/Serbian currency
100 Serbian dinars front. Photo courtesy of National Bank of Serbia[2].
100 Serbian dinars front. Photo courtesy of National Bank of Serbia[2].
100 Serbian dinars back. Note the drawing of the electric motor.
100 Serbian dinars back. Note the drawing of the electric motor.

Nikola Tesla was featured on the currency of the former Yugoslavia. The current 100 Serbian Dinar banknotes issued by the National Bank of Serbia have a picture of a handsome young Tesla on the obverse (front side). On the reverse side there is portion of drawing of an induction motor from his patent application and a photograph of Tesla holding a Gas filled tube emitting light as a result of electric induction.

Cosmological objects

In honor of Tesla's achievements, the Tesla crater on the far side of the moon was named after him. It is 43 km in diameter and is located at selenographic coordinates 38.5° N, 124.7° E. As well the minor planet 2244 Tesla, discovered by Milorad Protic, is named after Tesla. 2244 Tesla is approximately 29.6 km in diameter, and has a orbital period of 4.7 years.

Electric power stations

Two of the coal fired power stations run by Electric Power Industry of Serbia, TPP Nikola Tesla A and TPP Nikola Tesla B, are named in honor of Tesla[32]. Together these power plants have a combined generating capacity of 2262 Megawatts producing 47% of the total power within the Electric Power Industry of Serbia.

Science fiction and computer games

Tesla technology is recurring in alternate history works like steampunk, or stories concerning secret pre WWII technology

  • Tesla appears as a character in the 1995 novel The Prestige by Christopher Priest.
  • Tesla also makes a brief appearance as a character in the 1989 novel "Moon Palace" by Paul Auster.
  • Tesla is a continuing character in a series of novels by Spider Robinson concerned with Callahan's Crosstime Saloon.
  • In the ZBS series of audio plays The Adventures of Ruby, Tesla is considered to be the deity of technicians and engineers and can be summoned with a special chant near a reproduction of a Tesla Coil.
  • The Tesla Coils of the PC games Command & Conquer: Red Alert and Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 are named in his honor.
  • The super person Nikola Tesla is a Japanese comic (manga).
  • Tesla is a character in the DC Elseworlds comic, JLA: Age of Wonder
  • Tesla is a playable character in the game Martian Dreams, from the Worlds of Ultima spin-off series by Origin games
  • The Tesla Cannon in the Blood series of computer games is a weapon that shoots electric projectiles, possibly intended to represent ball lightning.
  • The Tesla Gun in the computer game Return to Castle Wolfenstein is a weapon that projects lightning-like electrical arcs.
  • The Tesla Armor of the Fallout series of computer games provides excellent protection against laser and plasma/electrical attack types.
  • The Tesla Shield in the PS2 game Ratchet & Clank is a powerful force field that protects the player and kills nearby enemies with electricity.
  • The Tesla Claw in the PS2 game Ratchet & Clank is a powerful weapon shooting electricity arcs which are self-guiding due to the fact that the lighning grounds itself in the nearest enemy.

The rock band Tesla is named after him. They referenced his life and works a number of times, such as in the song Edison's Medicine (and accompanying music video) and the album The Great Radio Controversy.

Further readings and films

Movies and films

There are at least two films describing Tesla's life. In the first, arranged for TV, Tesla was portrayed by Rade Šerbedžija. In 1980, Orson Welles produced a Yugoslavian film named Tajna Nikole Tesle (The Secret of Nikola Tesla), in which Welles himself played the part of Tesla's patron, J.P. Morgan. Documentary film



  • Carlson, W. Bernard, "Inventor of dreams". Scientific American, March 2005 v292 i3 p78(7).
  • Jatras, Stella L., "The genius of Nikola Tesla". The New American, July 28, 2003 v19 i15 p9(1)
  • Rybak, James P., "Nikola Tesla: Scientific Savant". Popular Electronics, 1042170X, Nov99, Vol. 16, Issue 11.
  • Lawren, B., "Rediscovering Tesla". Omni, Mar88, Vol. 10 Issue 6.

External links

Wikibooks has more about this subject:
Wikiquote has a collection of quotations by or about:
Wikisource has original works written by or about:

History and family


Radio shows


Reference articles

Tesla's publications
Source information
Personal views
  • ^  Viereck, George Sylvester, and Nikola Tesla, "A Machine to End War - A Famous Inventor, Picturing Life 100 Years from Now, Reveals an Astounding Scientific Venture Which He Believes Will Change the Course of History". Liberty, February 1937.
  • ^  Kennedy, John B., "When woman is boss, An interview with Nikola Tesla". Colliers, January 30, 1926.

General information


  • Nichelson, Oliver, "Nikola Tesla's Energy Generation Designs", Eyring, Inc., Provo, Utah.
  • Nichelson, Oliver, "The Thermodynamics of Tesla's Fuelless Electrical generator". American Fork, Utah. (American Chemical Society, 1993. 2722-5/93/0028-63)

Personal tools