Nikola Tesla invented radio, robots, and remote control. His electric induction motors run our appliances and factories. In the early 1900s, he designed plans for cell phones, the Internet, death-ray weapons, and interstellar communication. His ideas have lived on to shape the modern economy, yet he has been largely overlooked by history. In Tesla, Richard Munson presents a comprehensive portrait of this farsighted and underappreciated mastermind. Drawing on letters, technological notebooks, and other primary sources, Munson pieces together the magnificently bizarre personal life and mental habits of the enigmatic inventor whose most famous inventions were the product of a mind fueled by both the humanities and sciences--Tesla conceived the induction motor while walking through a park and reciting Goethe's Faust. Clear, authoritative, and highly readable, Tesla takes into account all the phases of Tesla's remarkable life and career.
In this "informative and delightful" (American Scientist) biography, Margaret Cheney explores the brilliant and prescient mind of Nikola Tesla, one of the twentieth century's greatest scientists and inventors.In Tesla: Man Out of Time, Margaret Cheney explores the brilliant and prescient mind of one of the twentieth century's greatest scientists and inventors. Called a madman by his enemies, a genius by others, and an enigma by nearly everyone, Nikola Tesla was, without a doubt, a trailblazing inventor who created astonishing, sometimes world-transforming devices that were virtually without theoretical precedent. Tesla not only discovered the rotating magnetic field -- the basis of most alternating-current machinery -- but also introduced us to the fundamentals of robotics, computers, and missile science. Almost supernaturally gifted, unfailingly flamboyant and neurotic, Tesla was troubled by an array of compulsions and phobias and was fond of extravagant, visionary experimentations. He was also a popular man-about-town, admired by men as diverse as Mark Twain and George Westinghouse, and adored by scores of society beauties.
From Tesla's childhood in Yugoslavia to his death in New York in the 1940s, Cheney paints a compelling human portrait and chronicles a lifetime of discoveries that radically altered -- and continue to alter -- the world in which we live. Tesla: Man Out of Time is an in-depth look at the seminal accomplishments of a scientific wizard and a thoughtful examination of the obsessions and eccentricities of the man behind the science.
Despite being incredibly popular during his time, Nikola Tesla today remains largely overlooked among lists of the greatest inventors and scientists of the modern era. Thomas Edison gets all the glory for discovering the light bulb, but it was his one-time assistant and lifelong arch nemesis, Tesla, who made the breakthrough in alternating current technology. Edison and Tesla carried on a bitter feud for years, but it was Tesla's AC generators that illuminated the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago; the first time that an event of such magnitude had ever taken place under artificial light. Today, all homes and electrical appliances run on Tesla's AC current.
Born in Croatia in 1856, Tesla spoke eight languages and almost single-handedly developed household electricity. During his life, he patented more than 700 inventions. He invented electrical generators, FM radio, remote control robots, spark plugs and fluorescent lights. He had a photographic memory and did advanced calculus and physics equations in his head.
Nikola Tesla was the ultimate mad scientist. Like many other geniuses throughout history, Tesla was wildly eccentric. He was prone to nervous breakdowns, reported receiving odd visions in the middle of the night, spoke to pigeons, and occasionally thought he was receiving electromagnetic signals from Mars. If he'd lived today, he'd likely be diagnosed with an obsessive compulsive disorder: he hated round objects and disliked numbers that weren't divisible by the three.The Oxford People series offers deep dives into the most influential people, subjects, and cultures from history. From horror-fiction legends like H. P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allen Poe, to historical heavyweights like Houdini and JFK, to the supernatural world of vampires, werewolves, and ghosts--Oxford People encompasses it all. Other titles in this series include: Angels, Che, Creating Sherlock Holmes, Edgar Allen Poe, Extreme Science, Gettysburg, Ghosts, Gunfighters, Houdini, HP Lovecraft, John F. Kennedy, Myths and Legends, Privates and Privateers, Roosevelt and Churchill, Royal Weddings, Skies of WWII, Tesla vs. Edison, Vampires, Vikings, Werewolves, Women of Invention, Zombies.
Who was Nikola Tesla? A visionary inventor? Eccentric genius? Outsider rebel? An immigrant from what is now Croatia, Tesla would move to America and go on to create groundbreaking inventions including some that would change the world. This book reveals the life, drama and mystery surrounding the romantic figure.
Imagination is bigger in Texas, too. This collection of inspiring and often quirky stories highlights dozens of examples of innovation from Lone Star history. The Hamill brothers devised a better oil well to reach gushers at Spindletop. The first Neiman-Marcus store opened in Dallas in 1907, revolutionizing the retail fashion world. Astroturf emerged at the Astrodome in 1966. Fritos and corn dogs are just two ubiquitous snack foods claimed as Texan originals. Houston native, and civil rights activist, Congresswoman Barbara Jordan rose to national prominence as a voice of unity during the Watergate scandal. Author Alan C. Elliott details these and many more lessons in success in Texas Ingenuity.
A perfect balance of science, history, and sociology, Time's Pendulum traces the important developments in humankind's epic quest to measure the hours, days, and years with accuracy, and how our concept of time has changed with each new technological breakthrough. Written in an easy-to-follow chronological format and illustrated with entertaining anecdotes, author Jo Ellen Barnett's history of timekeeping covers everything from the earliest sundials and water clocks, to the pendulum and the more recent advances of battery-powered, quartz-regulated wrist watches and the powerful radioactive clock, which loses only a few billionths of a second per day, making it nearly ten billion times more accurate than the pendulum clock. A tour of the discoveries and the inventors who endeavored to chart and understand time, Time's Pendulum also explains how each new advance gradually transformed our perception of the world.
Over the centuries, clocks have slowly, methodically and inextricably come to regulate every aspect of our lives. Timepieces tells the history of clocks and how the pursuit of an ever better clock has had a remarkable influence on scientific and technological developments. The 800-year journey to a perfect clock involved the greatest thinkers, scientists and mechanical geniuses, including those who improved the accuracy of mechanical clocks to such a degree that sailors could successfully determine longitude. That advance alone resulted in an explosion of travel, commerce and political expansion that would change the world map.
Tracing the history of "the key machine of the modern industrial age" is a remarkable way to trace the histories of technology and society. Each chapter focuses on one era of the clock's growth:
- The Celestial Clock A Call to Prayer The Priceless Possession of a Few From Tabletop to Waistcoat and Beyond The Craft Era in Watchmaking The Industrial Revolution Swiss Watchmaking The Standardization of Time The Quartz Revolution
Illustrated with beautiful artworks and photographs from museums and clock collections, Timepieces is a thorough and attractive historical survey.
From its earliest years, the United States was a nation of tinkerers: men and women who looked at the world around them and were able to create something genuinely new from what they saw. Guided by their innate curiosity, a desire to know how things work, and a belief that anything can be improved, amateurs and professionals from Benjamin Franklin to Thomas Edison came up with the inventions that laid the foundations for America's economic dominance. Recently, Americans have come to question whether our tinkering spirit has survived the pressures of ruthless corporate organization and bottom-line driven caution. But as Alec Foege shows in The Tinkerers, reports of tinkering's death have been greatly exaggerated.
Through the stories of great tinkerers and inventions past and present, Foege documents how Franklin and Edison's modern-day heirs do not allow our cultural obsessions with efficiency and conformity to interfere with their passion and creativity. Tinkering has been the guiding force behind both major corporate-sponsored innovations such as the personal computer and Ethernet, and smaller scale inventions with great potential, such as a machine that can make low-cost eyeglass lenses for people in impoverished countries and a device that uses lasers to shoot malarial mosquitoes out of the sky. Some tinkerers attended the finest engineering schools in the world; some had no formal training in their chosen fields. Some see themselves as solo artists; others emphasize the importance of working in teams. What binds them together is an ability to subvert the old order, to see fresh potential in existing technologies, and to apply technical know-how to the problems of their day.
As anyone who has feared voiding a warranty knows, the complexity of modern systems can be needlessly intimidating. Despite this, tinkerers can - and do - come from anywhere, whether it's the R&D lab of a major corporation, a hobbyist's garage, or a summer camp for budding engineers. Through a lively retelling of recent history and captivating interviews with today's most creative innovators, Foege reveals how the tinkering tradition remains, in new and unexpected forms, at the heart of American society and culture.
Where do our things really come from? China is the most common answer, but Thomas Thwaites decided he wanted to know more. In The Toaster Project, Thwaites asks what lies behind the smooth buttons on a mobile phone or the cushioned soles of running sneakers. What is involved in extracting and processing materials? To answer these questions, Thwaites set out to construct, from scratch, one of the most commonplace appliances in our kitchens today: a toaster. The Toaster Project takes the reader on Thwaites s journey from dismantling the cheapest toaster he can find in London to researching how to smelt metal in a fifteenth-century treatise. His incisive restrictions all parts of the toaster must be made from scratch and Thwaites had to make the toaster himself made his task difficult, but not impossible. It took nine months and cost 250 times more than the toaster he bought at the store. In the end, Thwaites reveals the true ingredients in the products we use every day. Most interesting is not the final creation but the lesson learned. The Toaster Project helps us reflect on the costs and perils of our cheap consumer culture and the ridiculousness of churning out millions of toasters and other products at the expense of the environment. If products were designed more efficiently, with fewer parts that are easier to recycle, we would end up with objects that last longer and we would generate less waste altogether. Foreword by David Crowley, head of critical writing at the Royal College of Art and curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum.Follow Thomas Thwaites in his newest book GoatMan.