Nikola Tesla | Inventions That Made Life Easier

by Mladen

Have you ever thought about your life without electric light, mobile phones, radio? Nikola Tesla gave us many inventions that made our lives easier.

Nikola Tesla, the Inventor of New Age

Tesla was great scientist, obsessed with electricity and wireless transmission of the energy.

I won't be lying if I tell that Nikola Tesla (1856-1943) was one of the greatest inventors of new age. In my opinion he was the greatest one. His life started during one dramatically stormy night, with lots of lightnings hitting the ground of his village Smiljan. Tesla's parents were Serbian priest Milutin, and Djuka, daughter of at the time rich and influential Mandic family. 

Whole his life he spent learning, and trying to prove himself to his parents, and world's intellectual elite. His brother died when he was child. Dane was extremely talented child. Every success Nikola made in his life was reminding his parents of child they have lost. This bothered Nikola a lot, and he was always trying to do more and better. This probably created some obsessive disorders in Nikola Tesla, in his later life. 

Tesla studied first in Graz, Austria. He never finished his school on this college due to lack of the money. Nikola was passionate gambler, and he was spending all of his money on gambling. Cards were his way to find friends. All of his colleagues and professors were worried about him. He was hunger for knowledge, and he studied a lot. When he joined college in Graz, Nikola was speaking nine foreign languages, and he memorized works of few famous writers, such as Shakespeare, Voltaire, Descartes...

 Later, Tesla studied in Prague. He was amazed by this city, college and professors. He was happy in this city, and inspired to work on the thing he loved. After failure in Graz, this time Tesla decided to show everyone he was capable of great things. Prague was an intellectual fortress he was seeking for. After graduating from this University, Tesla moved to Hungary, first, and later to America. 

List of Tesla's Inventiones

Tesla received patents for several inventions. He worked on the field of AC electicity, wireless energy transmission and radio.
  • Induction motor,
  • Alternating current motor,
  • Valvular conduit,
  • System for electric energy transmission,
  • Energy arc lamp,
  • Tesla Coil,
  • Tesla effect (wireless transmission),
  • Remote control,
  • System of electric lighting,
  • Blade-less turbine...

Nikola Tesla, graffito in France.

Nikola Tesla: One of the World's Greatest Inventors
Nikola Tesla: One of the World's Grea...

Tesla's Inventions That Improved Our Lives

His inventions made life easier.

Many innovations Tesla gave to world were for the reason to make life of common people easier. At the time he started learning about electricity, only the rich and famous had access to it. We cannot imagine life without electricity in this modern era. Tesla wanted to to give this, for us common thing, to whole world. 

In the time Tesla spent his childhood in, there was only direct current electricity. Edison was the father of this direct current. They were able to bring power to light bulb, but only to 1 mile away from power plant. Imagine world today with power plant on every mile or so. Tesla knew this type of electricity was insufficient. He worked on something completely new. He brought revolution to this part of science. The most important: Nikola Tesla brought light to the world!

What was Tesla's Alternating Current all about?

This remarkable scientist was working whole his life on inventing new ways of producing and transporting electric energy. Electricity was know to humanity for a long time before Tesla, but he was the first one to discover the electricity we use today. Discovery of alternating current made it possible to transport electric power to long distances with little loss. This way we were able to switch the appliances on and off. 

If we continued to use direct current, it would require one power plant to lighten one city block. Today, we use one power plant to bring electricity to few cities. Also, we are able to build power plant next to mines and on the rivers, and then bring the electricity to distant areas. In era of Edison't direct current, this was impossible. This is why Tesla was asked to bring light to Chicago for the World Fair in this city in 1893. Power plant on Niagara Falls was built for this event, following Tesla's instructions and using his patents. 

At the time, no one believed Tesla when he would say he could bring the electric power from Niagara Falls to Chicago. He did it, and Chicago became known as White City. 

For lighting Chicago for World Fair, Tesla didn't use Edison's patent for light-bulb, but he used his own version of it. All of this made Edison very angry, and for the rest of their lives they were rivals. 

To read more about producing and transporting AC, I recommend you to follow the link to Nikola Tesla's Alternating Current: generation and transportation, and to check out this Generation of Alternating Current presentation. This way you will find out more about Nikola Tesla's inventions that made life easier. 

Nikola Tesla's AC motor: Invention That Really Made Our Lives Easier

AC motor is motor powered and driven by alternating current. This is 99% of all motors in use in the world. We all learned basic parts of it in our schools. There are two main parts of AC motor: outer STATOR and inner ROTOR. 

Stator is static part of this machine. It consists of metal component covered by wires forming coil. Trough this wires flows alternating current forming magnetic field. This is rotating magnetic field we talk about here. This rotation of magnetic field is causing inner, mobile part, to rotate. 

There are two types of AC motor:

  • induction motor:

it's rotor rotates a bit slower than the supply frequency.

  • synchronous motor:

it can rotate exactly at the supply frequency, and does not rely on it at all. Most of today's motors are of this type. 

To read more about this invention and about its specifications, I recommend: Alternating current (AC) motors.

Wireless Transmission System

Tesla's discovery of wireless transmission of energy opened many doors for improving everyone's life. Less than thirty years took, from his first radio transmission, to first radio news emitted in 1920. Soon after that first television transmission happened, and whole new industries were made from his wireless transmission theories. The concepts Tesla brought to us in this field of research made it possible for us to have some devices we consider normal today, such as: mobile phones, wireless Internet, satellite television, telegraph, walkie-talkie...

NOTE: I am not claiming he invented these devices. Far from it. But he invented wireless system of transmission, which made it possible for these devices to function. 

Recently few European and American Universities applied his discoveries in wireless transmission of electric energy to all house appliances. Today it is possible to charge your phone with no wires included. Today it is possible have lap tops, PCs, fridges function without being plugged into the hub. 

Tesla effect is the application of a type of electrical conduction (that is, the movement of energy through space and matter; not just the production of voltage across a conductor). Through longitudinal waves, Tesla transferred energy to receiving devices.

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Tesla Coil: High Frequency Alternating Current Device

Nikola Tesla Inventions That Made Life EasierTesla Coil is an electrical device based on resonant transformer circuit, which Nikola Tesla received patent for in 1891. This device produces high frequency, high voltage, low current alternating current electricity.

While these devices were used in many fields, from experimenting to medicine, today, Tesla Coil is used mostly as part of exhibits, and for fun. 

Previous usage of the device:

  • phosphorescence,
  • x-ray generation,
  • electrical lighting,
  • high frequency alternating current phenomenon,
  • electrotherapy
  • and as way of wireless energy transmission. 

Tesla was called the lightning wizard. His experiments with this sort of phenomenon was considered as something extraordinary at the time. 

The 'skin effect'

"The dangers of contact with high frequency electrical current are sometimes perceived as being less than at lower frequencies, because the subject usually doesn't feel pain or a 'shock'. This is often erroneously attributed to skin effect, a phenomenon that tends to inhibit alternating current from flowing inside conducting media. In the early 1900s a major use of Tesla coils was to apply high frequency current directly to the body in electrotherapy."

His experiments with high frequency, low current, high voltage alternating current electricity marked the beginning of sci-fi era. Tesla was obsessed by making theories of new advanced weapons, new technologies, and everything that was considered sci-fi at the time. He even claimed he managed to produce electromagnetic shields that can protect objects from weapons. 

Friends and Foes of NIkola Tesla

Tesla brought to world something completely new. And many innovators felt their works were compimized by Tesla's innovations. On the other hand, he made many friendships which helped him in many ways.

Thomas Edison:

I am sure everyone heard about Tesla and Edison being rivals. There were many debates on who invented electricity. Well, the thing is, not Edison, nor Nikola invented it. Electricity was know to human kind from many centuries before them. Edison invented direct current. I already wrote about its characteristics, and compared it to Tesla's alternating current. It is obvious AC was and is superior to DC. 

This was one and enough reason for Edison to feel threatened by Nikola. Lots of things from their relationship are hunch, but there is one fact: Thomas Edison used Tesla's AC to perform first death sentence done by electrocution.

There is no doubt they both were great scientist and innovators. They both earned plenty of patents for their work. Rivalry was logical thing, I guess. 

Guillermo Marconi:

These two became rivals for the work on radio. This was one of injustices done to Nikola. Marconi received Nobel price for his works on radio, and till Tesla's death Marconi was the one who had patent for this device. After all, in year 1943, The Supreme Court of the United States, accepted Tesla as real inventor of radio. 

Guillermo Marconi didn't invent any of it's components. He just improved some of it. Most of components he used for his radio, including wireless transmission system, were created by Nikola. 

George Westinghouse:

He was one of the closest friends with this Serbian scientist. He was known as pioneer in electrical industries. Westinghouse recognized Edison's direct current as inferior to new, AC. Westinghouse was the one who gave Tesla job on lighting the World Fair in Chicago. He was the one who built the power plant on Niagara Falls. He also was the one who followed the goal of Nikola Tesla to bring the electricity to every part of USA. 

Tesla Effect: Wireless Transmission of Electric Energy

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Updated: 03/29/2012, Mladen
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curiousengineer on 06/25/2015

A great article on a great inventor

cmoneyspinner on 10/28/2013

Your article was recommended at another Wizzle.

Ralpapajan on 08/28/2013

Good article. Thank you for all the information.

cmoneyspinner on 05/07/2013

So can the late Steve Jobs trace his genius back to Mr. Tesla? One thing you can say about Nikola Tesla: he knew what he could do and he did it!

Tolovaj on 07/09/2012

Isn't amazing how are great minds still childish when they compete instead of cooperate like Edison and Tesla did?
Very interesting reading about one of the most astonishing minds in science of all times. Thanks!

Mladen on 04/13/2012

He was one fascinating inventor, and great mind, that is for sure! Thank you, vancetobin7!

Mladen on 04/05/2012

Thank you, Marko! I am happy to hear that!

Marko on 04/05/2012

Great inventor and scientist! And good article, too!

Mladen on 04/02/2012

I've only seen small Tesla Coil. Jealous! :)
Thank you for your kind comment, Angel!

Angel on 04/02/2012

One of my favorites! As an electrical engineering student we had to conduct many of Tesla's experiments as well as see a huge Tesla Coil in someone's garage! It was a great field trip that day. So cool. A spectacular page!

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