Nikola Tesla – Man Out of Time

Just finished(which I really wanted to read for a while) reading this fascinating biography Nikola Tesla – Man Out of Time by Margaret Cheney. A terrific insight into this enigmatic scientist, his spectacular inventions, his personality and eccentricities.

One of his really unique skills(which blew my mind) was his ability to conceptualize, develop, iterate and perfect his complex and intricate inventions(mostly induction motors, coils, turbines, and other electrical/mechanical equipment) entirely in his head, without any blue-prints on paper whatsoever, before going for the actual implementation. And, more often than not, they always worked just as he expected them to.

A quick quote from a chapter titled ‘Robots’ :
“Inventors of modern computer technology in the last half of twentieth century repeatedly have been surprised, when seeking patents, to encounter Tesla’s basic ones, already on file.”

Another interesting(but a little scary) theory he made(from a chapter called ‘To Mars’) was — that he could ‘split open the earth itself in the same way as a boy would split an apple’ by applying principles of mechanical resonance.

Among several things, the book outlines many of his great inventions in Electrical, Mechanical, Wireless and many other engineering fields. And, other interesting aspects like the war of currents(DC vs AC currents), radio invention(for which he got the patent posthumously), wireless transmission of electricity, illuminating entire oceans and its depths (so that catastrophes like ‘Titanic’ could be avoided) in methodical way and just enough detail without being extremely esoteric.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Highly recommended. Specifically, for those pursuing(or interested in) any kind of engineering discipline.



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5 responses to “Nikola Tesla – Man Out of Time

  1. Definitely Testlas was one of the most bigger scientific of his time. I loved too the way where He can imagined all the projects inside his head. It was so amazing. Unlike others on his time like Edison, He didn’t worry about the money, he always spent his time try to learn more,and do things by himself. I remember a situation on the laboratory… he was there, sit on the chair, reading some passages about a specific book, and all around was tesla coil with a bunch voltage’s quantity.

    Thanks for the post =)

    • Right. Also, the world would have had ‘Free Electricity’ if only his ‘Wardenclyffe Tower’ project was funded long enough.

      The picture you’re alluding to was taken in his Colorado Springs Laboratory where several million volts were all around Tesla, seated in his chair, reading a book. Also, apparently, the roar that accompanied such electrical discharges could be heard 10 miles away. Fascinating !

      I could recall the detail so clearly because the book is sitting right next to me :)

  2. LiesHurtMySanity

    Reblogged this on Lies Hurt my Sanity and commented:

  3. I’m reading the book right now too, and was slightly disappointed when I read that the picture you’re referring to was actually a fake done by Tesla – it is two photos superimposed on each other. He wasn’t oblivious of his image and certainly used it to his advantage when he needed to.

    • Agreed. But, I suggest you read the complete book. And you’ll notice, he was deceived multiple times(by people he trusted) which had greater consequences rather compared to these kind of slightly inconsequential things.

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