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Nikola Tesla

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Inventor, Engineer and Scientist.

Nikola Tesla (10 July 1856 – 7 January 1943) was a Serbian-American inventor, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, physicist, and futurist best known for his contributions to the design of the modern alternating current (AC) electrical supply system.

Tesla started working in the telephony and electrical fields before immigrating to the United States in 1884 to work for Thomas Edison. He soon struck out on his own with financial backers, setting up laboratories/companies to develop a range of electrical devices. His patented AC induction motor and transformer were licensed by George Westinghouse, who also hired Tesla as a consultant to help develop an alternating current system. Tesla is also known for his high-voltage, high-frequency power experiments in New York and Colorado Springs which included patented devices and theoretical work used in the invention of radio communication, for his X-ray experiments, and for his ill-fated attempt at intercontinental wireless transmission in his unfinished Wardenclyffe Tower project.

Tesla's achievements and his abilities as a showman demonstrating his seemingly miraculous inventions made him world-famous. Although he made a great deal of money from his patents, he spent a lot on numerous experiments over the years. In the last few decades of his life, he ended up living in diminished circumstances as a recluse in Room 3327 of New Yorker Hotel, occasionally making unusual statements to the press. Because of his pronouncements and the nature of his work over the years, Tesla gained a reputation in popular culture as the archetypal "mad scientist". Tesla died penniless and in debt on 7 January 1943.

In 1960, in honor of Tesla, the General Conference on Weights and Measures for the International System of Units dedicated the term "tesla" to the SI unit measure for magnetic field strength.


Tesla was raised as an Orthodox Christian. Later in his life, he did not consider himself to be a "believer in the orthodox sense" and opposed religious fanaticism. He had a profound respect for both Buddhism and Christianity.

In his article, "The Problem of Increasing Human Energy", published in 1900, Tesla stated:

"For ages this idea [that each of us is only part of a whole] has been proclaimed in the consummately wise teachings of religion, probably not alone as a means of insuring peace and harmony among men, but as a deeply founded truth. The Buddhist expresses it in one way, the Christian in another, but both say the same: We are all one."

However, his religious views remain uncertain due to other statements that he made. For example, in his article, "A Machine to End War", published in 1937, Tesla stated:

"There is no conflict between the ideal of religion and the ideal of science, but science is opposed to theological dogmas because science is founded on fact. To me, the universe is simply a great machine which never came into being and never will end. The human being is no exception to the natural order. Man, like the universe, is a machine. Nothing enters our minds or determines our actions which is not directly or indirectly a response to stimuli beating upon our sense organs from without. Owing to the similarity of our construction and the sameness of our environment, we respond in like manner to similar stimuli, and from the concordance of our reactions, understanding is born. In the course of ages, mechanisms of infinite complexity are developed, but what we call "soul " or "spirit," is nothing more than the sum of the functionings of the body. When this functioning ceases, the "soul" or the "spirit" ceases likewise." - by Nikola Tesla as told to George Sylvester Viereck, "A Machine to End War"., Liberty, PBS.org, February 1937.


Other Sources:

1.) Nikola Tesla (September 11, 1932). Lawrence R. Spencer. ed. Alien Interview. New York Herald Tribune. p. 303. ISBN 9780615204604. "It might as well be said that God has properties. He has not, but only attributes and these are of our own making."

2.) "In that last interview, he said, "Everyone must have ideals. If they do not...." He shook his head in despair, then went on to talk about religion. "Religion," he said, "is simply an ideal. It is an ideal force that tends to free the human being from material bonds. I do not believe that matter and energy are interchangeable, any more than are the body and soul. There is just so much matter in the universe and it cannot be destroyed. As I see life on this planet, there is no individuality. It may sound ridiculous to say so, but I believe each person is but a wave passing through space, ever-changing from minute to minute as it travels along, finally, some day, just becoming dissolved."" - FECHA, Nikola Tesla.

3.) Philip S. Callahan (1977). Tuning in to Nature: Solar Energy, Infrared Radiation, and the Insect Communication System. Taylor & Francis. p. 32. ISBN 9780710086945. "Tesla insisted until his death that he was materialistic, rationalistic, and agnostic."