Tesla was not only a great engineer and inventor, but also a philosopher, poet and intellectual.
By (Mrs.) Narinder Chauhan,
Tesla greeted me for the first time when my plane landed in the Serbian capital: Belgrade Airport is called Nikola Tesla Airport. I was given a coin with the image of Nikola Tesla (1856-1943) in Belgrade, where I was charged. Tesla, an American Serbian, was one of the most notable inventors and visionaries of his time.
Most people have heard of its name, but few know its origin and place in modern science and technology. In 1856, Nikola Tesla was born Serbian in the town of Smiljan, now part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in Croatia. His father, Milutin Tesla, was pastor of the Serbian Orthodox Church. His mother, Georgina-Dujuka Tesla, described him as “a truly great woman, with rare ability, courage and strength.” She invented and developed all kinds of tools and devices, and he inherited her ingenuity and skill. Nicola is said to have been born during an electric storm, so her mother prophesied that she would be a child of light. The proverb says that one day when the little boy gave birth to a cat, the electric current became a permanent interest in his life.
At school, Nikola Tesla was a child prodigy with remarkable skills in solving mathematical problems. As a young man, he became seriously ill and recovered after his father agreed to allow him to study engineering instead of becoming a priest. In the 1870s, he studied at the Cross University of Technology in Austria and the University of Prague, after which he worked as a telegraph teacher and electrician. He moved to the United States in 1884 at the age of 28 to work for Thomas Edison. Edison’s DC-based electrical work became standard in the United States Edison was hired several months later to split due to a controversial relationship between Tesla companies and scientists.
Nikola Tesla is an engineer and scientist who is known for designing alternating current (AC) systems, the leading electrical system in use around the world today. He developed the Tesla coil, which is still used in radio technology. Tesla invented, predicted or developed hundreds of technologies that play an important role in our daily lives, such as remote control for television, neon and fluorescent lighting, wireless transmission, computers, smartphones, lasers, X-rays, robotics. And, of course, our current AC power system.
The often-described ‘war of currents’ between Tesla and Edison erupted in the late 19th century. At risk was the foundation of the entire power system in the United States and then the entire world, and the industry standard for power transmission. Edison said air conditioning was dangerous and could kill people; Tesla publicly demonstrated its safety by striking 250,000 volts on its body. AC won the fight. In a way, we live in the Tesla era. It is no exaggeration to say that the world has changed.
Nikola Tesla designed the first hydroelectric station at Niagara Falls using the power of waterfalls; The energy thus generated first flowed to the houses in Buffalo on November 16, 1896. The statue of Tesla on Goat Island looks at the waterfall today.
He wrote in the January 27, 1897, issue of Electrical: “Electronic science has revealed to us the true nature of light, and has given us innumerable precision tools and instruments, and has thus made an enormous contribution to the accuracy of our knowledge.” . Tesla sold several patents to George Westinghouse, including patents for its AC machines. The Society of Engineers awarded Tesla the Edison Medal in 1917.
Thanks to Tesla’s early work, wireless power transfer takes place today, from electric toothbrushes and wireless chargers for smartphones to wireless charging of electric vehicles. The intensity of the magnetic field for equipment such as MRI scanners is also measured at the Teslas unit in his memory. He had more than 300 patents when he died in 1943 at the age of 86. He led a life from rags to wealth. He had a little business acumen.
Tesla was not only a great engineer and inventor, but also a philosopher, poet and intellectual. Tesla met Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902), who introduced the Indian philosophies of Vedanta and Yoga to the Western world, for example, through his famous Chicago speech at the Parliament of Religions. They both expected the mutual confirmation of theology and physics. It is said that under the influence of Vivekananda, Tesla became a vegetarian and started using Sanskrit words like ‘Akasha’ and ‘Prana’ to describe the power and substance around us. He was very happy to promote the graphic novel “The Inventor” about Tesla and Vivekananda by Indo-American Rao Mehta. Finally, in 1905, Einstein demonstrated the similarity between matter and energy.
Tesla received a congratulatory letter from Einstein on his 75th birthday and appeared on the cover of Time magazine. Tesla measured great heights to bring lightning to the earth.
Today, Tesla Motors, the world’s largest electric car maker, is named after him. Tesla Motors has registered its brand in India and employs talented people. 4 The next Tesla cars are expected to be officially launched in India in 2021-23. The Model 3, Model S, Model X and Model Y Model 3 will be launched in December 2021. Elon Musk, co-founder and CEO of Tesla Motors, has said he will set up a factory in India only if he gets one of his imported vehicles. Here is the answer. Indians who already own Tesla cars include Mukesh Ambani and Prasanth Rua. Other premium electric vehicle manufacturers like Mercedes Benz and Audi have already started in India.
Tesla’s ashes were buried in Serbia as desired by his close relatives. I had the privilege of visiting the state-of-the-art Nikola Tesla Museum in the center of Belgrade several times. It is a science museum dedicated to his life and work, as well as his final resting place. Some of the objects for the museum were shipped from New York City to Belgrade in 1951, as a result of the efforts of his son-in-law, Sava Kozonovich. It is housed in the UNESCO Memory of the World program, including several thousand projects, drawings, books and magazines, and interactive 3D presentations in the Tesla Archive.
Even in death, Tesla is embroiled in controversy for reasons that have nothing to do with his work. The Serbian Orthodox Church wanted to bury his remains in St. Chava Church in Belgrade, the world’s largest Orthodox church, along with other Serbian national heroes, including 14th-century Prince Lazarus, who fought against the Ottomans. The local scientific community opposed the move. Now, as Croatia plans to join the currency in 2023, it wants to put Tesla’s face on its euro coins. Serbia, a non-EU country, has strongly objected to the move, saying it violates Serbian heritage.
(The author is a former Indian Ambassador to the Republic of Serbia.
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