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Nikola Tesla: Experiments and Discoveries

Posted by  $  ObjectiveAnalyst 9 months, 4 weeks ago to Books
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Nikola Tesla: Experiments and Discoveries
Book Review
Author Nikola Tesla, Introduction by W. Bernard Carlson with a brief biography and other un-credited notes, 133 pages
ISBN 978-1-4351-6037-8

Dear Reader,

In his time, Nikola Tesla was the man that created the motor! He was born in 1856 in Smiljan, Croatia in what was then the Austrian Empire. He emigrated to the United States in 1884 to work for Thomas Edison. Before dying in New York in 1943, he discovered, invented and created the foundation necessary for many of the electric devices we take for granted today. His list of patents is purported to be in the hundreds.

Though an enigmatic figure, with eccentricities and even a nervous breakdown in 1905, this book only briefly goes into his personal story. It is primarily composed of a lengthy lecture and some illustrations of his experiments with alternate currents of high potential and high frequency as well as a shorter examination of the transmission of electric energy without wires. The bulk of the writing is that of Nikola himself. The language can be a bit odd, but if you are interested in the mechanics of his inventions and his discoveries, like basic electronics and the phenomena that electricity is capable of then you may enjoy this book.

If not, then this book may be dull reading for you. I find this kind of information fascinating, but it still assisted me in a nap or two.

Happy Reading,
O.A.


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  • Posted by  $  Dobrien 9 months, 3 weeks ago
    Hi OA,
    This is a great book recommendation. Tesla a brilliant mind who had an incredible life story.
    His contributions are widely adopted today.
    Wireless ,check, sound and resonance, check,
    AC , check.
    The most under rated and unknown genius of the electrical revolution. 3-6-9
    Regards,
    Dobrien
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    • Posted by  $  9 months, 3 weeks ago
      Hello Dobrien,
      Thank's. I try to post reviews here that I believe may interest our members and/or that are at least tangentially related to Rand's philosophy or stories. I also post reviews of books written by our members. In a few days I will be posting another review of a book written by one of our members.
      Happy reading,
      O.A.
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      • Posted by  $  Maritimus 9 months, 3 weeks ago
        I would like to point out two things about Tesla.

        He was undoubtedly the first human to visualize a rotating magnetic field generated from a 3-phase winding carrying alternating currents.

        His name was Nikola, not Nickola, and although born in a part of the defunct Austrian-Hungarian empire which is present day Croatia, he was a Serb, very conscious of that, son of a Serbian Orthodox priest.

        Records must be kept straight.
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        • Posted by  $  9 months, 3 weeks ago
          Hello Martimus,
          Yes, he must have had amazing vision and in-sight.
          Thank you very much for noticing my spelling error and bringing it to my attention. I have made corrections and mental note for the future.
          Respectfully,
          O.A.
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  • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 9 months, 3 weeks ago
    It's amazing progressive history ignores Tesla but promotes Edison, whom was a vial, evil man and did not (personally) "Create" many of the inventions they give him credit for.
    However, looking back, I think some sort of Local DC system, maybe made better by Tesla...would have been a better choice.
    (I don't think transmitting high voltage AC through the air would of been very healthy for life nor earth.)
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    • Posted by  $  9 months, 3 weeks ago
      Hello Olduglycarl,
      Having no expertise in this field, I always wondered if the exposure may have contributed to Tesla's idiosyncrasies. A few years ago they were telling us that cell phone emissions and living under high tension wires could cause cancer...
      Respectfully,
      O.A.
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      • Posted by  $  Radio_Randy 9 months, 3 weeks ago
        None of the claims of AC or RF causing cancer have ever been definitively proven. It's also why they call it "non-ionizing" radiation.

        It all stems from the same people who brought you man-made Climate Change, gas pump explosions due to cell phones, etc...no evidence, just lot's of "faith".
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        • Posted by  $  9 months, 3 weeks ago
          Faith is a poor substitute for science... I do not know enough about it, but I too have generally been a skeptic. As you can see below OUC is not fully convinced.
          One thing that left me wondering about was the levels that Tesla routinely exposed himself to. Conjecture... speculation...?
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          • Posted by  $  Radio_Randy 9 months, 3 weeks ago
            Tesla live to his 80's, even after being subjected to the millions of volts he generated in his lab. To me...he lived an "average" life span, regardless of his exposure.

            If his body was damaged by any of the voltages he worked with (other than the occasional RF burn or DC shock)...I'm not seeing it.
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            • Posted by  $  9 months, 3 weeks ago
              Ah yes. My Grandmother had a healthy body and "lived" to a ripe old age with Alzheimer's. I know of his age, but I wondered if anyone ever questioned if his mind was adversely affected. The book also made note of his bout with Cholera as a child...
              I found something... here is an interesting article on point. https://www.quora.com/What-mental-dis...
              What do you think?
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              • Posted by  $  Radio_Randy 9 months, 3 weeks ago
                I'll let you know, after I retire from 40 years of working in the RF field (two way radio) and being a Ham operator.

                Speaking of brains/minds, have you ever wondered how much smarter many of us could be, if it weren't for the bombardment of television from the 50's, on? The brain cells that stored the theme song from "Leave It To Beaver" might have served me, quite well, otherwise.
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      • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 9 months, 3 weeks ago
        Seems there is something too this, cell phones for sure...(Microwaves) but AC does drain the body of some energy; but more to the point in regards to both...DNA/cellular damage. In moderation and a healthy immune system, you'll deal with it fine; but how many people do you know with a healthy immune system?... (if you get the common cold, your immune system is on the weak side)... Not many these days...one prescription or over the counter drug will weaken your immune system. Never mind anything else.
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  • Posted by mminnick 9 months, 3 weeks ago
    Tesla was a true genius. A large amount of his notebooks papers etc were taken by the government when he died (it is reported) and never seen again.One wonders what was in that collection of information that could have changed the world then and might still change it if known.
    It is something like the Great Library of Alexandria. If the manuscripts stored there had been saved from the fire, what we we know now with that treasure of information to build on. The lost opportunities of humanity are staggering and unknowable.
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    • Posted by  $  9 months, 3 weeks ago
      Hello mminnick,
      I have no doubt that the lost contents of the Great Library of Alexandria contained information and discoveries that we have yet to rediscover. As far as the Tesla papers go, I suspect our government has made use of his work in ways we would both be aghast and astounded by. More often than not our government seems to look for ways to weaponize new discoveries.
      Respectfully,
      O.A.
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      • Posted by  $  Dobrien 9 months, 3 weeks ago
        It would be astonishing if his papers and notes and technology was not weaponized and didn't help make smart bombs and guidance systems.
        When someone dies and the govt combs through his home and extracts all his written work with in hours that is certainly looting but it wasn't cash they wanted.
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    • Posted by  $  Radio_Randy 9 months, 3 weeks ago
      I read a very good biography on Tesla. From what I could ascertain, the claims of his secrets, being taken by the government, are just that...claims. After the atom bomb, does anyone really believe that, if Tesla had the weapons people claim he did, our own government would not have put them to use, yet?

      Tesla was getting weird(er), and more desperate, in his later years. At one point, he made a claim to the military that he had a "death ray" in the works...likely to keep the government interested in his work.

      To this day, over half a century after his death, no proof of his undiscovered "weapons" has ever been brought forward. I'm not demeaning the man, he WAS a wizard, but the conspiracies surrounding his life and works are just that.
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  • Posted by  $  DrZarkov99 9 months, 3 weeks ago
    What's a little ironic is that while Tesla created the alternating current technology that made long range transmission of electric power possible, the high power lines today use Edison's direct current. What has been discovered is that DC transmission carries the power over the external surfaces of the transmission lines, with much fewer losses than AC. Edison's original lines were of small diameter unsuited to reduced loss and unable to carry high power, so with a little more thought, he might have won the battle over AC.
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    • Posted by ProfChuck 9 months, 3 weeks ago
      It was the invention of high voltage semiconductors that made DC transmission lines possible. This technology was at least 50 years in Edison's future. Transformers don't work with DC so there was no practical way to generate the million volts necessary for long distance power transmission. There are two important mechanisms for power loss in long distance transmission lines; electrical resistance and induction loss. High voltage solves the first and DC solves the second.
      Tesla's invention of the high frequency high voltage transformer (Tesla coil) powered TV sets for over 70 years. It wasn't until the development of solid state flat screen displays that his invention stopped being used.
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  • Posted by ohiocrossroads 9 months, 3 weeks ago
    Tesla's biggest success was the invention of the alternating current power system. He sold the technology to George Westinghouse for a huge amount of money, then spent it pursuing his other ideas. He mostly spent it on wireless power transmission.
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  • Posted by term2 9 months, 3 weeks ago
    Tesla was a smart dude. Made Edison look like a fool for sticking with DC over AC.
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    • Posted by  $  allosaur 9 months, 3 weeks ago
      Edison tried to make Ac look bad by publicly zapping animals, including a condemned for being dangerous elephant named Topsy.
      (That one person cruel and stupid enough to feed Topsy a lit cigarette deserved what he got).
      https://www.wired.com/2008/01/dayinte...
      Me dino decided not to bring here what Edison filmed. It's in YouTube.
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      • Posted by term2 9 months, 3 weeks ago
        Interestingly enough, Edison wanted to preserve his investment in DC, and used the fact that at the time, the transformer had not been invented yet for AC, making the transmission advantages of AC dependent on using very high voltages from generator to the end user. When the transformer was invented, transmission could be done at high voltages but the end user could reduce the voltage right before using it, making AC just as safe as DC. Edison should have kept Tesla on as an employee and adopted AC when the transformer was invented.
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        • Posted by  $  allosaur 9 months, 3 weeks ago
          I read 5 or 6 Clive Cussler novels (with assorted co-authors who I'm sure did most of the work) before I got tired of him.
          In more than one book, Edison was portrayed as a greedy S.O.B. who crapped on people he dealt with when it came to inventions.
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  • Posted by Technocracy 9 months, 3 weeks ago
    Thanks for posting this.

    Nickola Tesla was absolutely one of the most fascinating people of the era.
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    • Posted by  $  9 months, 3 weeks ago
      Thank's Technocracy,
      He was the Galt of his time, I think.
      Regards,
      O.A.
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      • Posted by  $  Dobrien 9 months, 3 weeks ago
        I think that his mysticism would disqualify him as an objectivist's hero. I am a big fan of Tesla and have posted this quote and received many down votes in Galts gulch online previously.
        "If you only knew the magnificence of 3,6 and 9 then you would have the key to the universe "
        Tesla
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        • Posted by  $  9 months, 3 weeks ago
          Indeed. His Galt like attributes are not all encompassing. It is only his creative genius that really qualifies. He did create not only motors, but a means of extracting power without wires from the surrounding atmosphere, albeit from a source also of his creation.
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  • Posted by  $  Radio_Randy 9 months, 3 weeks ago
    Actually, Tesla did not "create" the motor. He invented the AC motor as the DC motor was already around.
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    • Posted by  $  9 months, 3 weeks ago
      Hello Radio_Randy,
      That is quite correct. My statement above was a bit of hyperbola. Thank's for the clarification and specificity. He invented a better motor... for many more uses. He is best recognized for the development of AC and the AC motors, but I find his experiments with various wireless light creating methods to be even more fascinating.
      Respectfully,
      O.A.
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  • Posted by Herb7734 9 months, 3 weeks ago
    Tesla was a genius, a scientist, and a bit of a mystic. His experiments with electricity and the possibility of his still untried experiments leads one to wonder what would have happened had Edison not broken him.
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  • Posted by chad 9 months, 3 weeks ago
    A very interesting man driven to invent and think of ways to advance knowledge of the use of electricity. If he had had someone who knew how to run a business and market his ideas for him he may not have died penniless.
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    • Posted by  $  Dobrien 9 months, 3 weeks ago
      Hi Chad, With all due respect .You can't take it with you. Tesla was never motivated by money.
      He said "I don't care if they steal my ideas ,I care that they don't have any ideas of their own" also "the present; is theirs the future which I have worked for is mine" Tesla credited with Alternating current. light bulb ,electric motor, X-ray, radio, wireless communication, robotics, remote control , cat scans. That he wanted to give energy free was his financial downfall as his financier JP Morgan would have none of that.
      BTW the Govt removed all of Tesla's papers within
      Hours of his death. With in a few years major breakthroughs in transistors and circuits ushered in the technological age. Who knows what value his heir's lost in inventions when they were looted.
      http://www.activistpost.com/2012/01/1...
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      • Posted by chad 9 months, 3 weeks ago
        I realize that his motivation was to create and that was noble, still I would have liked to see him prosper from his work. Interesting that the government turned out to be the worst thief and the most dangerous.
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