A Briliant Light

A Brilliant Light Nikola Tesla is one of the most well-known and influential inventors of the world and his contributions to science have had impacts on our daily lives in numerous ways. Examples of this include an alternating current, which is essential in the functionality of electronic devices. His research on X-rays contributes to our modern understanding of this crucial component to medicine. Finally, utilizing several large batteries, Tesla rigged a model boat to the very first remote control system. Derivatives of these discoveries are still prominent today and his research was a launch pad for modern science to take over. All of the aforementioned works have one thing in common: Tesla is genuinely trying to improve society with his work.

It is more important as a scientist or an inventor to focus on the betterment of society rather than monetary gain. Nikola Tesla was did not always have the stigma of a genius. He was born into a fairly average family in present day Yugoslavia. His mother was illiterate, but hard working, and his father was a priest. These are not the professions that one would expect to harbor the mind of a genius.

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It was his own determination and volition to pursue an education that would allow him to engineer his future, and the future of society, as well. When Tesla was younger, he had a knack for making tools and mechanical contraptions. One of his experiences includes saving a burning building from its impending demise at the age of seven. The pump for the fire hose was broken. He had to act quickly to try and fix it.

He managed to solve the issue and put out the fire in time. He was considered a hero of the town, but he did not expect any kind of recompense. This is the quality of a true hero. Tesla began his pursuit of education in Karlovac where he finished his four year term in a mere three years. He later proceeded to enroll in the best engineering school in Eastern Europe.

He worked long hours and achieved much more than was expected of any student. “A letter of commendation was sent to his father [who payed for Nikola to be enrolled in the university] from the dean of the technical faculty, which stated, ‘Your son is the start of first rank.'” (# 64) This determination illustrates the importance that he placed on education which caused him to be invited to work for the Continental Edison Company in France. Nikola Tesla began working for Edison in 1882 in France, before relocating to America in 1884. He spent his time designing and improving electrical equipment. His work started with smaller projects that were deemed unworthy of Edison’s full attention so they were assigned to Tesla.

As Edison began to realize the potential of the brilliant mind that he had before him, he was quickly assigned more difficult problems. Tesla was given the task of redesigning the DC generators of the Edison Company. He claimed that he could optimize both the generators and the motors powering the generators. He fulfilled this task for Edison before resigning from the company and working on his own endeavors. Tesla then began his own company called Tesla Electric Light and Manufacturing.

Here lies the largest difference between the ideology of Edison versus that of Tesla. Edison and his company was primarily focused on making money. Of course being financially successful is very important in a business, but Tesla was significantly more concerned with what he could do to better society. Edison’s most important, and subsequently most well-known, contribution was the light bulb. Although it was his design for the bulb itself and he received the credit, none of this could have been achieved without the prerequisite invention of alternating current developed by Tesla.

“I don’t care that they stole my idea… I care that they don’t have any of their own.” (Tesla)What Nikola Tesla means by this quote is that he doesn’t care if people build off of his ideas, but they need to be able to think for themselves, which further illustrates that he genuinely cares about the progress of society. Tesla’s legacy carries on to this day and his developments have been catalysts in countless scientific endeavors and crucial inventions. Although some may not seem very impressive in their own right, Tesla’s creations such as alternating current, the electric motor, radio, Tesla coil, and radio have been quintessential in continuing to advance the derivatives of this technology that we see used today. By looking past some of the immediate downside of researching technology that Tesla may or may not have been able to utilize by himself at that very moment, it set the stage for many future thinkers to carry on his work.

One of Tesla’s most notable ideas and potential contributions was what he could have done with his Wardenclyffe Tower. He built this tower as an early wireless transmission station. Although this was quite the feat on its own, Tesla believed that there was more potential to be had with the tower. He conjectured that he could use similar technologies to repurpose the tower into not only a means for wireless communication, but also a wireless power delivery system. If his theory was correct, that would mean using the Wardenclyffe tower, he could wirelessly power a significant power of New York for free. Because this concept was not monetizable, he lost funding to complete it.

This would have been the ultimate contribution to modern society because nearly everything that we use involves electricity in some way or another. Tesla was one of the most influential inventors and scientists in history, and his legacy carries on to this day. The reason why society remembers his creations so vividly is that they were the catalysts that led to countless independent advances. He focused less on monetary gain and worked tirelessly to give humanity every opportunity possible to continue to advance. Tesla was a launch pad for the next generation of inventors and following his ideologies is the key to modern progress.