Nikola Tesla
WSA Nikola Tesla.jpg
Occupation
He was an inventor, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, physicist, and futurist. Usually, he worked alone and was the stereotypical mad scientist. George Westinghouse bought his patents on his inventions and asked him to build what he invented.
Birth
He was born either July 9th or 10th 1856, but historians don’t know which one for sure.
Death
He died January 7th, 1943 at age 86.
Place of Birth
Smiljan, Croatia, which was then part of Austria-Hungary.
WSA Map of Smiljan, Croatia.jpg
Known for
Nikola Tesla was best known for inventing alternating current (AC), which is the modern way we use electricity. He patented the AC transformer and motor. He also did research on the X-ray, but that was lost in a lab fire along with $50,000 of lab equipment and research. His Tesla Coil is used in radios and TVs today to establish a good signal. By sending electrical impulses of a certain frequency into the earth, he lit lamps from a 25 mile radius with no wires and proved the earth was a conductor. A remote control boat was another one of his inventions, along with many new light bulb prototypes.
Science Explained
Alternating current is a faster and more reliable source of power. Every time you plug into a wall socket you are using alternating current. In a direct current which is the old way of electricity, electrons move in a single direction when they hop from one atom to the other. In an alternating current, electrons hop in one direction, but then change directions and go backwards. This creates electricity that makes changing the voltage (or force of electricity) of the current easy. Let’s say you have a current that has a 10V force. In an alternating current, this power will circulate through a transformer, which consists of two coils placed close together. Once it does this, the voltage could go up or down, depending on the transformer. After the desired voltage is achieved, the power circulates into your home, so you can use it.
Career
He worked in Paris for the Continental Edison Company (founded by Thomas Edison), then immigrated to the U.S., where he worked for Thomas Edison himself. The two couldn’t get along, so he built his own laboratory, and worked there for the rest of his life as an inventor.
Did you know?
  • Tesla almost won the Nobel Prize
  • He had a photographic memory
  • He attempted to invent a death ray that could destroy planes at 250 miles
  • Other things he invented were, florescent light bulbs, neon signs, the speedometer for cars, and he designed the first hydroelectric plant at Niagara Falls.
  • In front of crowds, he transmitted high frequency AC currents through his body to prove the safety of AC.
  • When he died, he had no money and had extreme germ phobia.
References
"AccessScience | Biography | Tesla, Nikola." AccessScience | Biography | Tesla, Nikola. The McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology Online, 2013. Web. 06 Sept. 2013. <http://www.accessscience.com/content/M0091070>.
Aldrich, Lisa J. Nikola Tesla and the Taming of Electricity. Greensboro, NC: Morgan Reynolds Pub., 2005. Print.
Dommermuth-Costa, Carol. Nikola Tesla: A Spark of Genius. Minneapolis: Lerner Publications, 1994. Print.
"Electronics Basics: What Is Alternating Current?" - For Dummies. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2013. Web. 10 Sept. 2013. <http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/electronics-basics-what-is-alternating-current.navId-810970.html>.
"Google Maps." Google Maps. Google, 2013. Web. 12 Sept. 2013. <https://maps.google.com/>.
"Nikola Tesla." Britannica School. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 2013. Web. 10 Sep. 2013. <http://school.eb.com/levels/middle/article/277308>.
"Nikola Tesla - Did You Know?" Nikola Tesla - Did You Know? N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Sept. 2013. <http://home.earthlink.net/~drestinblack/didyouknow.htm>.
"Nikola Tesla." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 09 Sept. 2013. Web. 10 Sept. 2013. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikola_Tesla>.
"Tesla, Nikola." Nikola Tesla: A Short Biography. Encyclopaedia Britannica., 1996. Web. 10 Sept. 2013. <http://www.neuronet.pitt.edu/~bogdan/tesla/bio.htm>.