Doomed to Hunter-Gatherer Status

Average: 4.3 (7 votes)
February 13th, 2007
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“ The Problem of Increasing Human Energy ” reads like a scientist's perspective on Ecclesiastes. Whereas “The Prophet” sampled all walks of life and worldly successes only to conclude that all was vanity, and that there would be nothing new under the Sun, Tesla said the same in terms of entropy and a life of experimentation. Tesla began with the interesting assumption that the bulk of humanity possessed a kinetic energy equal to half the mass of all live persons multiplied not by the square of their motions, but the square of their intellectual virtues. Human energy, then, could be increased... continue reading »


Average: 4.3 (4 votes)
January, 1943
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Nikola Tesla, one of the great leaders of electrical development, died on Thursday, January 7, 1943, at 85. He was found by a maid in his suite at the Hotel New Yorker, New York City, having apparently passed away peacefully. Tesla's greatest achievements were in the realm of alternating currents for power work, and his development of the rotating magnetic field which made possible distribution of power to great distances, as exemplified in the Niagara Falls network. Nikola Tesla, at the Age of 30 His dream, however, lay in the realm of higher frequencies, and even before he harnessed himself... continue reading »

Tesla: a scientific saint, wizard or carnival sideman?

Average: 3.4 (5 votes)
June, 1986
Page numbers: 
120-128, 130, 132-134
History has not been kind to the showy inventor of alternating-current motors and more, but the tide is at last turning As showman in 1894, Tesla astonished crowds with his cordless, phosphor-coated bulb lit by radio waves. The laboratory, infamous among neighbors, was located on the fourth floor of a building on south Fifth Avenue, just above Bleecker Street. Strange glows and flashes of blue lightning emanated from it in the middle of the night. In Victorian New York, these were silent, eerie announcements that the age of electricity would soon similarly glow and flash all across America... continue reading »

Tesla: Inventor of Radio and Modern-Day AC

Average: 5 (2 votes)
April, 2002
Page numbers: 
31-37, 57
(Marconi and Edison notwithstanding.) Popular beliefs in history are often not factual and cannot bear scrutiny. Such is the case for the history of electricity, which ultimately led to radio. From the time man started his upward march toward an advanced technological society, only a few exceptional scientists have left indelible marks. Nikola Tesla was one of those few. Born in 1856 of Serbian parents in what was once the great Austro-Hungarian Empire, and educated at the Austrian Polytechnic School in Graz, he emigrated to the United States in 1884 and became an American citizen. Tesla... continue reading »

Nikola Tesla's Bold Adventure

Average: 5 (1 vote)
March, 1971
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Strange experiments conducted by an electronic wizard at the turn of the century On the afternoon of May 17, 1899, inventor Nikola Tesla stepped from the train at Colorado Springs obsessed with electrifying the earth. The elite of Little London turned out to welcome the stranger from New York City and they were not disappointed — Tesla was a striking figure. His tall slenderness, wavy black hair, piercing gray eyes, and European mannerisms never failed to capture the emotions of those about him. Of the several dignitaries who made it their business to be on hand, few were able to comprehend... continue reading »

Making Ball Lightning to Order

Average: 1 (1 vote)
February, 2001
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The phenomenon of ball lightning has been a fascination over the centuries but remains a mysterious riddle to scientists, partly due to its transient and elusive nature. Typically although not exclusively occurring during thundery weather, this electrical artefact can take various forms — most commonly appearing as a globe of light, about the size of a grapefruit, which fades out harmlessly after a few minutes. However, historical records also report metre-wide fireballs which exploded like a bomb, wrecking houses and tearing off limbs from those caught in the blast. Consider, for example,... continue reading »

Nikola Tesla, Forgotten Genius of Radio

Average: 5 (1 vote)
September, 1978
Others have received credit for ideas developed by Tesla, a brilliant, eccentric engineer and scientist who battled Thomas Edison, worked for George Westinghouse and befriended Mark Twain. The names are familiar. Faraday, Crookes, Edison, Marconi, Armstrong, Sarnoff, DeForest. All were great pioneers in the early development of electrical science and its offspring, electronic communication. And all are members of an elite fraternity of men whose achievements have been recorded for future generations to study. But there is one name that is not familiar; it is found in few history books. It is... continue reading »

Dr. Tesla Claims New Discoveries

No votes yet
October, 1935
Dr. Nikola Tesla is shown here as he was being interviewed by the press on his discovery of an apparatus for transmitting energy to any distance. He kept the details secret. Claiming that the propositions of relativity are false, and asserting that he has discovered a new apparatus for transmitting mechanical energy without wires and to any distance, Dr. Nikola Tesla, world famous scientist made formal announcement of his discoveries on his 79th birthday recently. Should his announced energy transmitter prove successful, it would become the most sought for device in the world.

Some Personal Recollections

Average: 3.7 (3 votes)
June 5th, 1915
An Autobiographical Sketch I am glad to be accorded this opportunity for two reasons. In the first place I have long since desired to express my great appreciation of the Scientific American and to acknowledge my indebtedness for the timely and useful information which its columns are pouring out in a steady stream. It is a publication remarkable for the high quality of special articles as well as for the accurate review of technical advances. The knowledge it conveys is always reliable and rendered still more valuable through the scrupulous observance of literary courtesy in the quotation of... continue reading »

Inventors of Radio - Nikola Tesla

Average: 1.5 (2 votes)
April, 1963
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Nikola Tesla was an extremely visionary person — even bordering on the neurotic — who had the uncanny habit of making most of his visions come true. This is attested to by the more than 900 patents to his credit, many of which were fundamental. His other visions were mostly ahead of his time. Like others who have accomplished things, he preferred his workshop to society.