The fascinating life of Nikola Tesla, the genius who electrified the world and dreamed up death rays

Standard

nikola tesla inventor black white age 34

July 10 is the birthday of Nikola Tesla, who would have been 161 years old today.

It’s a good time to celebrate the life of the Serbian-American engineer and physicist: Without Tesla, you might not be able to affordably power your home, let alone read this sentence.

Tesla filed more than 300 patents during his 86 years of life, and his inventions helped pave the way for alternating current (AC), electric motors, radios, fluorescent lights, lasers, and remote controls, among many other things.

Some of his ideas later in life, however, seem strange even now. He once described plans for a death ray, for example, and eluded to another idea for an impenetrable "wall of force" to block and destroy foreign invasions.

Here’s a glimpse into the remarkable life of one of history’s most important — and eccentric — geniuses.

Tanya Lewis wrote a previous version of this story.

UP NEXT: The amazing life of Albert Einstein, an underestimated genius whose childhood nickname was ‘the dopey one’

SEE ALSO: The inventor that inspired Elon Musk and Larry Page predicted smartphones nearly 100 years ago

Nikola Tesla was born on July 10, 1856 in Smiljan in the Austo-Hungarian Empire (modern-day Croatia).

His father, Milutin Tesla, was a Serbian Orthodox Priest and his mother, Djuka Mandic, was an inventor of household appliances.

Source: Tesla Society

In college, Tesla was initially interested in studying physics and mathematics, but soon became fascinated by electricity.

He attended the Realschule, Karlstadt in 1873, the Polytechnic Institute in Graz, Austria and the University of Prague. He took a job as an electrical engineer at a telephone company in Budapest in 1881.

Source: Tesla Society

He developed the concept of an induction motor while walking in a park with a friend.

Later, while he was in Strasbourg, France in 1883, he built a prototype of the induction motor (an AC motor powered by electromagnetic induction) and tested it successfully. Since he couldn’t get anyone in Europe interested in it, Tesla came to the United States to work for Thomas Edison in New York.

Source: Tesla Society

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

from SAI http://read.bi/2t09eUg
via IFTTT