Saturday, June 22, 2013

Nikola Tesla: Maverick, Visionary & Master of Light

Nikola Tesla: Maverick, Visionary & Master of Light: It’s almost a cliché. Working alone, an inventive genius pioneers new devices that ultimately change the world but his genius is barely recognised and he goes on to die in relative poverty; and whilst he dies, virtually alone and unrecognised, his inventions eventually transform life across the planet.

Unfortunately it’s pretty much the story of Nikola Tesla, the scientific visionary whose inventions shaped much of the 20th century, whilst the man himself has been all but forgotten. And it is no exaggeration to call Tesla a visionary.

In contrast to many scientific pioneers who spent years developing their projects, Tesla’s ideas were often conceived and perfected in his mind’s eye in an instant.

“Birth, growth and development are phases normal and natural,” said Tesla, but, “It was different with my invention(s). In the very moment I became conscious of it, I ‘saw’ it fully developed and perfected…”

In fact these extraordinary powers of memory and visualisation were to characterise much of his life and work. One day while walking with a friend in Budapest, Tesla was reciting lines from Goethe’s Faust when the idea of a rotating magnetic field suddenly appeared before him, literally. In an instant Tesla knew how to produce the alternating current.

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