This January 7 marks the 79th anniversary of the death, in 1943, of the engineer and physicist Nikola Tesla, inventor of the alternating current motor, who contributed to the second industrial revolution.
Tesla’s patents – of Serbian origin and nationalized American – and his theoretical work helped to forge the foundations of modern systems for the use of electrical energy by alternating current.
In addition to his work in electromagnetism and electromechanical engineering, Tesla’s work later served in varying degrees the development of robotics, remote control, radar, computer science, ballistics, nuclear physics, and theoretical physics. His thinking can be summed up in these seven quotes.
– “Our virtues and our defects are inseparable, like force and matter. When they separate, man no longer exists.”
– “If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.”
– “I don’t care that my idea has been stolen … I care that they don’t have anything of their own.”
– “Today’s scientists think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be completely insane.”
– “I don’t think you can name many great inventions that have been made by married men.”
– “I am constantly invaded by the feeling of having been the first to hear greetings from one planet to another.”
– “If your hatred turned into electricity, the whole world would light up.”
After his demonstration of wireless communication by means of radio waves in 1894 and after his victory in the ‘war of the currents’ against Edison (who advocated the use of direct current), he was widely recognized as one of the most America’s great electrical engineers, Wikipedia reports.
During this period, Tesla’s fame rivaled that of any inventor or scientist in history or popular culture, but due to his eccentric personality and incredible claims about the possible development of scientific and technological innovations, Tesla was ostracized and considered a mad scientist. He never paid much attention to his finances and is said to have died impoverished at the age of 86.