At a time when humanity is bereft of hope, and progress has come to a standstill, we shift our gaze towards the future, pondering how we can craft a safer, better world. In order to do that, we need to peer into the past – the wonders of science have made life easier for billions around the world, while sounding the clarion call of progress for humankind. Students enrolled in the best engineering colleges are taught the importance of the marvels of engineering that have inspired generations and sparked a chain of necessary inventions in various fields. However, any conversation about scientific inventions is incomplete without Nikola Tesla, one of the greatest visionary engineers of all time.
Born in Croatia to an orthodox family, Nikola Tesla went on to explore solar energy, harness the power of oceans, and lead extraordinary advancements in the realm of wireless communications, lasers, X-rays, radar, lighting, and robotics – most of which form the base of our day-to-day communication and the primary mode of survival during the current pandemic. Unfortunately, due to his surmounting rivalry with Edison, and constant difficulties on several fronts, Tesla’s genius has not been granted the commemoration and value that is due. Till date, Tesla’s recognition in terms of his contributions to engineering has been abysmal, making him inaccessible to young minds who can derive much-needed inspiration from his work.
Hence, as some of the best private engineering colleges in India would do, let us look back at the engineering marvels that have been made possible due to the ingenious contributions of Nikola Tesla:
1. The Alternating Current (AC) Motor
Upon conceiving the idea of an AC motor, Tesla envisioned an alternating current fed to stator windings would help create reversing poles without aid. This method was both sustainable and durable, and a slight variation of this mode is used in the functioning of everyday appliances today, starting from refrigerators to induction motors.
2. The Tesla Coil
The Tesla Coil is an apparatus that widened the ambit of our understanding of electricity. Its design and operation was able to achieve exceptional results, wherein it used polyphase alternating currents to create a transformer which held the ability to produce extremely high voltages. When the radio first became popular, these appliances used the Tesla Coil in their transmission antennas. Various versions of this invention were used by the maker to explore fluorescence and the electromagnetic nature of the Earth. To this date, the Tesla Coil is used in some capacity in electronics
3. The Radio
Circuits were invented by Tesla in a way that they would respond only when a certain set of frequencies were detected in a set sequence. This invention was the first practical application of the transmission of radio waves – however, this monumental discovery was completely sidelined and the credit was instead handed over to Guglielmo Marconi ( hailed as the father of radio). It was in 1943 that Marconi’s patents were deemed invalid, and this is important to note that most communication systems today are based on the principles founded by Tesla.
4. The Remote Control
A demonstration was staged by Tesla at Madison Square in 1898, wherein he used a radio-controlled boat – something never witnessed by the crowd ever before. This invention eventually paved the way for the launch of the Space Age, along with the successful orbiting of commercial and military satellites, all of which are remote-controlled.
Let’s show a little appreciation and love for one of the most influential engineers on earth – Nikola Tesla, whose legacy lives in the form of the world’s most trailblazing electric car company, headed by Elon Musk. Let us validate the fact that Tesla is nothing short of an icon of our times, and a man worth remembering for his endeavours.