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Nikola Tesla's Dynamo Electric Machine; How It Is Used Today

Nikola Tesla, one of the greatest inventors to have ever lived, was born in Croatia in 1856. During his studies at two prestigious European colleges he pursued his studies in alternating current and helped visualize the principle of a rotating magnetic field. In addition, he develope the first plans for an induction motor. In 1884, Tesla moved to the United States to work for Thomas Edison and revolutionized the field of magnetism and electrical engineering. Tesla's brilliance outshined his contemporaries, even the revered Edison. In fact, Tesla pointed out the weak points of Edison's direct current electrical lamps. Tesla speculated that all electrical currents flowed in a cyclical fashion; therefore the use of alternating current became a necessity for efficiency. He asserted that electrical energy should pass through generators using the polyphase principle. Edison's lamps lacked long distance transmission due to their inability to increase voltage levels.

  • Tesla Biography: The Tesla Society introduces a biography of the one brilliant mind that revolutionized the world with alternating current.
  • Nikola Tesla: The Master of Lightning: The Public Broadcasting System (PBS) provides a presentation on Nikola Tesla, including teacher resources and discussions from great minds.

Direct current flows constantly in one direction. Alternating current changes direction roughly fifty to sixty times per second, which allows for the increase in varying high voltage levels. Alternating current minimizes power loss across long distances. As a result, alternating current became the road towards industrial advancement. Tesla invented the polyphase alternating current system that consisted of motors, generators, and transformers. This system boasted forty basic U.S. patents, fully endorsed by George Westinghouse, that supplied America with electrical power. Despite Tesla's success, Edison continued his efforts in direct electrical current; however, alternating current emerged as the victor.

  • The Nikola Tesla Case Files: The Franklin Institute provides information on the brilliant visionary and inventor who created the air current induction motor.
  • No. 174: Nikola Tesla: A webpage offering biographical information on Nikola Tesla, the inventor who transformed the world with his discoveries.

Tesla introduced his inventions in a paper entitled that impressed his colleagues. In 1888, he delivered a speech based on this paper in front of an assembly, which struck the interest of George Westinghouse. Westinghouse decided to pay Tesla a visit after hearing his impressive speech. Once he arrived at his laboratory, Westinghouse became amazed at Tesla's newest invention, which became commonly known as the alternating current dynamo system. In 1882, Tesla introduced the principle of the rotating magnetic field, which became the basis of all electrical devices operating off alternating current. He adopted the principle of the rotating magnetic field in order to construct the first alternating current induction motor. Tesla's alternating current induction motor has become widely used across the world in industrial and household appliances. In fact, the alternating current induction motor started Second Industrial Revolution.

Tesla helped construct the first hydroelectric power-plant in 1895, which solidified his victory of alternating current. Tesla pioneered in many fields; for instance, the Tesla coil became one of the pivotal inventions in radio and television sets. Tesla's discoveries formed the basis of modern inventions, including fluorescent light, wireless communications, laser beams, remote control, wireless transmission of energy, robotics, and turbines used in vertical aircraft. Tesla patented over 700 designs worldwide in his lifetime. His desire was to explore sustainable energy, such as solar and hydro-power. Tesla also envisioned satellites and interplanetary communications.

Nikola Tesla's legacy continues as his inventions pave the way towards a sustainable future. The world has made advancements in sustainable energy by probing further into solar and hydro-powered energy. Wireless communications have grown exponentially. Advancements in radio and television transmissions enable us to watch current events taking place on the other side of the planet. Satellite technology has provided us with GPS technology. X-ray technology has saved lives. Telephony has given us the ability to communicate with people across long distances. Tesla's inventions provide us with comfort, stability, and strengthens the way we live.

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