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Nikola Tesla Quotes

Profound words from the world's greatest inventor
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The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.


Now, I must tell you of a strange experience which bore fruit in my later life. We had a cold [snap] drier than even observed before. People walking in the snow left a luminous trail. [As I stroked] Mačak's back, [it became] a sheet of light and my hand produced a shower of sparks. My father remarked, this is nothing but electricity, the same thing you see on the trees in a storm. My mother seemed alarmed. Stop playing with the cat, she said, he might start a fire. I was thinking abstractly. Is nature a cat? If so, who strokes its back? It can only be God, I concluded.
I cannot exaggerate the effect of this marvelous sight on my childish imagination. Day after day I asked myself what is electricity and found no answer. Eighty years have gone by since and I still ask the same question, unable to answer it.

...for if the potential be sufficiently high and if the terminals of the coils be maintained at the proper altitudes the action described will take place, and a current will be transmitted through the elevated air strata, which will encounter little and possibly even less resistance than if conveyed through a copper wire of a practicable size.


It is probable that we shall perfect instruments for indicating the altitude of a place by means of a circuit, properly constructed and arranged, and I have thought of a number of other uses to which this principle may be put.


That is the trouble with many inventors; they lack patience. They lack the willingness to work a thing out slowly and clearly and sharply in their mind, so that they can actually 'feel it work.' They want to try their first idea right off; and the result is they use up lots of money and lots of good material, only to find eventually that they are working in the wrong direction. We all make mistakes, and it is better to make them before we begin.

If I were ever assailed by doubt of ultimate success I would dismiss it by remembering the words of that great philosopher, Lord Kelvin, who after witnessing some of my experiments said to me with tears in his eyes: 'I am sure you will do it.'


Th[e] problem was rendered extremely difficult, owing to the immense dimensions of the planet... But by gradual and continuous improvements of a generator of electrical oscillations... I finally succeeded in reaching rates of delivery of electrical energy actually surpassing those of lightning discharges... By use of such a generator of stationary waves and receiving apparatus properly placed and adjusted in any other locality, however remote, it is practicable to transmit intelligible signals, or to control or actuate at will any one apparatus for many other important and valuable purposes.


We are whirling through endless space, with and inconceivable speed, all around everything is spinning, everything is moving, everywhere there is energy. There must be some way of availing ourselves of this energy more directly. Then, with the light obtained from the medium, with the power derived from it, with every form of energy obtained without effort, from the store forever inexhaustible, humanity will advance with giant strides. The mere contemplation of these magnificent possibilities expand our minds, strengthens our hopes and and fills our hearts with supreme delight.

...these scientific developments may even affect our morals and customs. Perhaps we shall shortly get so used to this state of things that nobody will feel the slightest embarrassment while he is conscious that his skeleton and other particulars are being scrutinized by indelicate observers.


How extraordinary was my life an incident may illustrate... [As a youth] I was fascinated by a description of Niagara Falls I had perused, and pictured in my imagination a big wheel run by the Falls. I told my uncle that I would go to America and carry out this scheme. Thirty years later I saw my ideas carried out at Niagara and marveled at the unfathomable mystery of the mind.

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