Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

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

    User Avatar
    Gold Member
    2016 Award

    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

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    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

    User Avatar
    Gold Member
    2016 Award

    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

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Capture.png
     
  7. Jan 3, 2017 #6

    phinds

    User Avatar
    Gold Member
    2016 Award

    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

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    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

    User Avatar
    Gold Member
    2016 Award

    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

    User Avatar
    Gold Member
    2016 Award

    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

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    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

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

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

    Charles Link

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    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

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

  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
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted



Similar Discussions: Tesla fans help me out
  1. Help me out (Replies: 9)

  2. Care to help me out (Replies: 24)

  3. Help me out here (Replies: 19)

Loading...