Logic Circuits/Remote Control/Communications
Tesla was a pathfinder in rf communication and communication theory. In the early 1890s, Tesla entertained the scientist and general public alike with his demonstrations of high frequency, high voltage experiments. This type of electricity was virtually unheard of, indeed, even unimaginable, before Tesla developed the Tesla coil and demonstrated it before the IEE at an 1891 lecture in London, England.
Tesla's experiments with high frequency, high voltage electricity continued throughout the decade. During this period, he invented several types of lights based on this unique power source. In fact, he utilized fluorescent lighting in his laboratory thirty years before it was to be in general use in industry. Perhaps it is because of these experiments, Tesla believed that wireless power was possible!
In 1898, at Madison Square Gardens he publicly demonstrated a remote control submersible boat. This clearly established that Tesla was a man years-decades-ahead of conventional science and technology! In this amazing feat of engineering, he incorporated the use AND gates (logic circuits), digital communication, electromechanical interfacing (robotics), and radio--all of which were virtually undeveloped (and unimaginable) at the time! Despite the Madison Square demonstration, the Navy turned its back on Tesla's invention at the time because it was too advanced for them to comprehend.
Wireless Transmission of Power
Tesla considered his crowning achievement to be the wireless transmission of power at Colorado Springs in 1899. In 1900, upon his return to New York, Century Magazinepublished Tesla's article, The Problem of Increasing Human Energywhich was amply illustrated with photos from Tesla's Colorado Springs lab.
Tesla's work in Colorado Springs allowed him to return to New York to pursue the next phase of the wireless technology development... the construction of a full scale transmitter at Wardenclyffe on Long Island. To do this required immense amounts of money... money which Tesla did not have at the time. To get the money, Tesla approached the one person in New York who would have the sums necessary... J. Pierpont Morgan.
In The Problem of Increasing Human Energy, Tesla laid out his vision for the evolution of power production and the furtherance of mankind. It is quite a remarkable philosophical work in that it gives us deep insight to Tesla's thought formation processes. Perhaps when J.P. Morgan read this fine essay, he realized how dangerous Tesla was to the status quo and decided to fund Tesla's work in order to control the direction that Tesla's work took.
Unfortunately, Tesla's funds ran out halfway through the project and the Morgan interests refused to further fund Tesla's work. Tesla was forced into bankruptcy and his beloved Wardenclyffe tower was destroyed on the pretext of "national security!" Bankrupted and cutoff from funds, Tesla nevertheless continued his work in a new field... mechanical engineering.
Tesla Bladeless Turbine
In an effort to return to profitability, Tesla developed a new type of bladeless pump and turbine that would have reduced the conventional pumps and turbines to the scrap heap. His initial work at the Watertown Power Station in New York indicated that his method could take advantage of the latent power of vaporization by using saturated steam. Later, he worked with Allis-Chalmers engineers in Milwaukee to develop the turbine. However, internal friction led to the disruption of the project and it was abandoned.
Although the technology was promising, it had run up against the wall of "organized opposition." This was typical of Tesla's inventions. Tesla was a true inventor in that he did not merely improve on existing technology, but instead he had a tendency to create entire new industries with his radical ideas.
Today, Tesla's turbine and pump work is seeing a revival. Tesla's original pumps were based on pumping fluids. Since then, Max Gurth has done research in the process of moving materials using liquids. His patents go far beyond the scope of Tesla's patents.
In the turbine field, as of this writing, there are two groups doing active and productive research using Tesla turbines. One has a solar/coolant based turbine driving electrical generators and the other has a steam turbine.
Many of Tesla's ideas have the potential to disrupt and displace current technologies. Furthermore, in many circles his ideas are so radical that it forces adherents of the orthodox doctrines of physics to change their belief systems. This is the real tragedy that Tesla unveiled.
Over the decades, many in academia abandoned the "scientific method" and have built up a belief system. This belief system is so ingrained that when something is proposed that defies their belief, they instinctively go into denial. Woe be unto the student who dareth' question the teacher's knowledge... That's definitely "F-grade" material. From the day Tesla questioned the practicality of DC, he was marked as someone to be watched... and controlled.
In the 1890s as he outshone his contemporaries and overthrew the laws of physics as understood then, he gathered the attention of jealous associates and corrupt businessmen alike. Tesla's bankruptcy (which may have been engineered by Morgan) gave them an opportunity to tarnish, then demolish Tesla's reputation and career. It was an opportunity they could not let go by!
Given the number of inventions that the major corporations tried to steal from Tesla (most prominent is radio) it is no wonder that they tried to make his name disappear from the face of the earth. As for his fellow contemporaries, they have no excuse. Throughout the decades, Tesla's name has been kept alive through the efforts of a number individuals.
The International Tesla Society(formed in 1984)is only one of the latest groups to help the cause of Tesla. Its purpose is to increase public awareness of Tesla and his inventions through news releases, educational programs, publications, and conferences. Their conferences provided an amicable setting in which inventors and engineers can demonstrate their devices... a place where many skeptics become ferevent converts, and true believers are transformed into disillusioned skeptics!
Although much of Nikola Tesla's work remains to be reconstructed, he will be an active topic of discussion well into the 21st century.
Who was Nikola Tesla?
Scientist, inventor, discoverer of nature's secrets... Tesla was all of these and more.__SRE
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More on Tesla's discovery of the "brush effect" can be found in....
Inventions, Researches and Writings of Nikola Tesla by Thomas Cummerford Martin
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