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Tesla fans help me out

  1. Jan 3, 2017 #1
    Hi I am writing a book on the history of electricity and I mention Tesla a bit but not a lot. I am worried that Tesla fans will be super angry with me because of it. So, I thought I would ask you nice folks what I should include.

    I do have a section on the polyphase generator and motor and a bit about his interactions with Westinghouse.

    I have a comment about how Marconi liked to steal things from others and that Tesla was a frequent victim.

    What am I missing? I know he was prophetic (mentioning television in 1900 for example) but also often ignored for being strange and foreign. Because of that I feel like many people followed other scientists even if they discovered stuff way after Tesla did.

    Anyway, thanks a lot

    Kathy
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 3, 2017 #2

    phinds

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    Tesla is seriously overrated. I suggest a forum search where this has been discussed numerous times here one PF.
     
  4. Jan 3, 2017 #3

    phion

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    It is written that Einstein was asked how it felt to be the smartest man on Earth, he replied, “I wouldn’t know. Ask Nikola Tesla”.
     
  5. Jan 3, 2017 #4

    phinds

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    WHERE is that written?

    EDIT: here's what I found on the internet:
    AGAIN: Tesla is seriously overrated. I suggest a forum search where this has been discussed numerous times here one PF.
     
  6. Jan 3, 2017 #5

    phion

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    Capture.png
     
  7. Jan 3, 2017 #6

    phinds

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    Yes, that's where I found the quote I posted. He mean it sarcastically if he said it at all. It's not in the letter you posted.
     
  8. Jan 3, 2017 #7

    phion

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    Well, you're quick.
     
  9. Jan 3, 2017 #8
    When did the whole "Tesla is the unsung hero of science" thing get so big? Seems to have resulted from a few internet memes and a webcomic iirc
     
  10. Jan 3, 2017 #9

    phinds

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    I think it started with one of those moronic pop-sci TV shows that decided that a hour long show praising him would sell soap but it may have begun as you suggest as an Internet meme. It's unfortunate that so many have been sucked in by it.
     
  11. Jan 3, 2017 #10

    phinds

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    That's not much of a response. The speed of my response is irrelevant. What is relevant is the content of my response and I notice you didn't comment on that.
     
  12. Jan 3, 2017 #11

    phion

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    Obviously I was being sarcastic. Anyone who has read Qurora in the past 24 hours would see the humor in what I wrote. I don't read German, or whatever language is written in that letter I posted, and I didn't expect anyone else to be able to read the letter. You ruined the mystery of this thread. I hate you.
     
  13. Jan 3, 2017 #12
    He didn't seem particularly interested in personal wealth.
    He was more of an engineer/inventor than a scientist like Einstein.
    It's possibly easier to compare him with Edison.
     
  14. Jan 3, 2017 #13

    Evo

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    You might want to rethink Tesla,
    http://www.smithsonianmag.com/histo...t-eliminating-undesirables-by-2100-130299355/
     
  15. Jan 3, 2017 #14

    Charles Link

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    I can read the German=I studied it in both high school and several college courses, and Einstein is wishing him continued success, (if I translated it correctly), and also does praise him for his remarkable success at explaining high frequency currents (again, if I translated it correctly). It is much clearer to read at the bottom where the handwritten message from above is typed out. Einstein does seem to be giving Tesla a fair amount of credit if the letter is authentic. editing... Einstein is also sending him birthday wishes for his 75th birthday. additional editing... A google shows Tesla was born July 10, 1856, so 75 years old would be correct for 1931... ## \\ ## Additional comment=I think there were probably quite a number of people who made very important contributions to the electromagnetic theory as we now know it that includes Maxwell's equations. Whether Nikolai Tesla was one of these major contributors, I haven't read enough historical accounts of the period from 1850-1900 to be able to make that determination...
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2017
  16. Jan 3, 2017 #15
    See I feel like Tesla was overrated - loved for being so colorful and well crazy - but I was worried that he seems to be so damn popular these days. Seriously about 90% of the people that I tell that I am writing this book say "oh like Tesla?" It is very frustrating.

    And no one has said Faraday!! Or Volta or Galvani or JJ Thompson or Henry or ... grrr
     
  17. Jan 3, 2017 #16
    But the polyphase generator and motor was v important.
     
  18. Jan 4, 2017 #17

    Evo

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  19. Jan 4, 2017 #18
  20. Jan 4, 2017 #19
    What a fabulous article. The URL should give the bias away and it's full of unsubstantiated claims of its own, but it does show very well what the difference is between on one hand these two entrepreneurs (Edison & Tesla) who wanted to be heroes to the public and on the other hand the multitude of pioneering scientists who only wanted to be recognized by their peers.

    The Niagara Falls hydroelectric plant being the first of its type is false. Redlands 1893 is two years older. Possibly Tesla was involved in that one, but it's a factual error anyway.

    Also that comic states Tesla as the "inventor of AC", which is mostly false I think, he identified AC as a technology with huge potential and set about promoting it and making it more practical. But AC research was not a field he started. This parallel may be a stretch, but saying Tesla invented AC would be far more wrong than saying Schrodinger invented quantum mechanics...
     
  21. Jan 4, 2017 #20
    I only found one PF discussion when I searched and it was, like this one, split pretty evenly between those that think Tesla is a god and Edison is a scoundrel ✱✱edited by moderator and those that think the reverse.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 4, 2017
  22. Jan 4, 2017 #21
    Things you might want to address on Tesla, if you can find photos/diagrams and/or news articles.
    * an electric car
    * the remote control boat used at the world's fair (you definitely want to mention that and his hydroelectric dam work at Niagra)
    * Radar and his work for the navy
    * and the strange experiments in Colorado
    *radio wars with marconi

    those 5 are probably the most interesting, but if you're bored, you can look into his experiments with X Rays, Magnification, or Rocket Fuel

    I think Tesla is over rated in all the wrong areas, and the stuff that made him amazing is completely glossed over.
    Incidentally, almost no scientific body today has an unbiased opinion of Tesla. That includes whatever pets you might have, like those affiliated with the Smithsonian, Edison, JP Morgan, and Westinghouse. Not to mention all the fans of Marconi. The only accurate things to say are that he had a lot of enemies, and Edison invented the electric chair to make him look bad. Oh, and the origin of the Brooklyn Dodgers is in there somewhere too.
     
  23. Jan 15, 2017 #22
    Tesla may or may not be overrated, but that is just opinion. I think the important thing is that some scientists are still studying his patents, and even coming up with apparatus to test these patents. I think there is value in studying the inventions of Tesla, as long as we stick to the scientific method.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2017
  24. Jan 18, 2017 #23

    RonL

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    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikola_Tesla

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Inventions,_Researches,_and_Writings_of_Nikola_Tesla

    From the two links above are many hyper-links that lead to much documented information.

    Overview
    "Written in 1893, the book is a record of Tesla's pioneering activities, research, and works.[2] Tesla is recognized as one of the foremost electrical researchers and inventors.[3] At the time of publication, the book was the "bible" of every electrical engineer practicing the profession.[4][5] The book contains Forty-three chapters, most of them on different areas of Tesla's research and inventions by Tesla. The first chapter is a brief biography while three chapters are transcripts of important lectures and one covers his section of Westinghouse's exhibit at the Chicago World's Fair

    Martin stated that, "No attempt whatever has been made here to emphasize the importance of his researches and discoveries".[6] The ideas and inventions are conveyed in their own way, determining by their own place by intrinsic merit. But with the fact that Tesla blazed a path that electrical development would later follow for years to come,[7][8] the compiler of the book endeavored to bring together all of Tesla's work up to that point in Tesla's life.[2] Aside from indicating the range of his thought and originality of his mind,[9] the book has historical value because it describes the scope of Tesla's early inventions." ....(Tesla is about 37 at this time)

    There was almost no mention of Tesla, anywhere, as recent as 1995 ? At which time the PC allowed the writings and research of several people to reveal the man that money-mongers had tried to eradicate (Tesla wanted his work to be mostly free to everyone, which does not set well with money and power people).
    There is a lot of overrated hype, but there is as much or more truth to his brilliance.
    If you have good reason to put in the effort, you will find his patents reflect his work and not the copying of others.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2017
  25. Jan 18, 2017 #24

    phinds

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    Seriously? This is wacko conspiracy theory at its worst.
     
  26. Jan 18, 2017 #25

    RonL

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    All I know is this information was almost impossible to find in 1995 ?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikola_Tesla_Museum

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesla_Science_Center_at_Wardenclyffe

    http://www.tfcbooks.com/tesla/contents.htm

    http://www.tfcbooks.com/tesla/1917-05-08.htm

    I think one has to be careful as to information sources, but some of these are pretty impressive (at least to me):smile:
    Based on all the nay-sayers, I would put him in with Clinton and Trump as to what you want to believe......
     
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