Interesting Facts About Nikola Tesla: A Fascinating And Enigmatic Figure

Nikola Tesla

Nikola Tesla

Nikola Tesla was a Serbian-American inventor, an electrical engineer, and one of the most outstanding physicists in the history of science. He was born on July 10th, 1856, in Smiljan (now Croatia).
But beyond his excellent work, certain aspects of his life remain hidden in the history pages. Tesla is well-known for his remarkable contributions to the design of the modern A.C (alternating current) electricity system.
Tesla was born around midnight during a lightning storm. During his birth, and based on the story recounted by his family, the midwife wrung her hands and decided to declare the lightning a bad omen. “This child will be a child of darkness,” she reportedly said. Tesla’s mother replied: “No. He’ll be a child of light.”
Though Tesla died poor in 1943, his inventions and reputation have led to a modern popular culture resurgence, where he is now being depicted in video games, music, graphic novels, and movies.
In 1960, the General Conference on Weights and Measures announced the introduction of the term “tesla” to the International System of Units for the SI unit measure for the magnetic field strength.
As one of the greatest inventors in history, Tesla registered over 300 patents and became a popular figure for coming up with AC (alternating current). His inventions became the basis of developments in the wireless communications, laser X-rays, radar, robotics, lighting, and several other fields.
While his contributions to the science field were underappreciated for many years, the world finally acknowledged his work, and the captivating details of his private life keep interest in him alive. Below are interesting facts you probably didn’t know about this genius.
1. Tesla may have suffered from insomnia and obsessive compulsive behavior. He claimed that only 2 hours of sleep was enough for him. But it is not clear whether this was intentional or because he could not sleep any more than that.
He was also very obsessed with the number 3, and always used 18 napkins (a number divisible by 3) to clean his dining room before taking his evening meals. He hated jewelry, round objects, and even touching the hair.
2. Tesla had a strong memory capacity. His memory was eidetic, which just means he could recall whole books and the pictures in detail. He reportedly used his powerful imagination to temper the intense nightmares he had when he was a kid.
3. Nikola Tesla was a humanist. He believed in enhancing the quality of human life but not for any financial gains. This is the reason, despite his several inventions and contributions to the society, Tesla died poor.
4. He was an environmentalist. The inventor was apprehensive about how people were consuming the resources on Earth quickly and started advocating for renewable fuel. He researched ways of using natural energy from the sky and the ground to reduce the human effect of fossil fuel consumption. In fact, he developed artificial lightning in his lab.
5. Tesla and Edison weren’t arch-nemeses. It would be amazing to imagine Tesla and Edison as bitter enemies; one-upping each other constantly with their newest inventions. But, in fact, they worked together to design DC (direct current) generators before Tesla left to chase his big dream of the AC (alternate current) induction motor. Perhaps, a perfect description of their relationship is as ‘business rivals.’
6. Tesla was planning to illuminate the whole earth, literally. He believed that his entire work could light our atmosphere, removing darkness and setting up a new era of light.
He came up with a theory that gasses in the Earth’s upper atmosphere could carry high-frequency electrical currents.
Thus, effective transmission of such currents there could develop a “terrestrial night light” that would make airports and shipping lanes safer and illuminate entire cities. But like most of his loftier aims, Tesla never realized this goal, and its potential remains unproven.
7. Contrary to inventor-attitude of Tesla’s mother, his father expected him to join priesthood since he was a priest himself. His father was a writer too.
8. Tesla relocated to the US in 1884 anticipating to work with Thomas Edison. Edison was not only a renowned inventor but was a tenured businessman as well. Edison made his fortune by selling Direct Current across the US.
When Edison got Tesla’s request, he took him in. Both of them collaborated to improve Edison’s inventions for some months. It was just a matter of time that rivalry between the two inventors began. Tesla lacked business acumen, and he was more charitable by nature as opposed to the capitalist nature of Edison. Thus, they parted ways.

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