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Nikola Tesla Biography

Last updated date: 23rd May 2024
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Who is Nikola Tesla?

Nikola Tesla is regarded as one of history's most influential inventors, with discoveries in the area of electricity that were far ahead of their time and continue to have an impact on technology today. Tesla died penniless and without the acclaim that he would eventually receive over a century later, despite his achievements.

Tesla's career as an inventor began early; at the age of 26, he is said to have sketched up the concepts for a rotating magnetic field while working at the Central Telegraph Office in Budapest, an essential innovation that is currently employed in many electromechanical devices. This huge breakthrough paved the way for many of his other innovations, including the alternating current motor, and eventually brought him to New York City in 1884, where he was drawn by Thomas Edison and his groundbreaking engineering firm, Edison Machine Works.

The “genius who illuminated the world” is now memorialised with an electrical unit known as the Tesla, as well as streets, statues, and a prominent engineer's award in his honour, but he wasn't always so successful in life. But Tesla was a scientist, who had deep theories always in mind. Let’s discuss Nikola Tesla Information here completely. 

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Where Was Nikola Tesla Born?

Nikola Tesla was born in 1856 in the town of Smiljan, which is now part of Croatia but was once part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. His father was a priest, while his mother, despite her lack of formal education, worked with machinery and was known for her incredible memory. Keep reading the article for the entire Nikola Tesla biography.

Nikola Tesla Education Qualification

Tesla's family relocated to nearby Gospi in 1862, where Tesla's father served as a parish priest. Nikola finished primary school and then moved on to middle school. Tesla travelled to Karlovac in 1870 to attend the Higher Real Gymnasium, where classes were taught in German, as was the case throughout the Austro-Hungarian Military Frontier. Tesla later wrote that his physics professor sparked his interest in electricity demonstrations. These displays of this "mystery phenomenon" made Tesla want to "know more about this wonderful power," he said. Tesla's ability to complete integral calculus in his mind led his teachers to suspect he was cheating. He graduated in 1873 after completing a four-year term in three years.

Tesla returned to Smiljan in 1873. He developed cholera shortly after arriving, was bedridden for nine months, and came close to death several times. Tesla's father pledged to send him to the top engineering school if he recovered from his illness in a time of despair. Tesla escaped conscription into the Austro-Hungarian Army in Smiljan in 1874 by fleeing to Tomingaj, southeast of Lika. He went there dressed as a hunter and explored the mountains. Tesla claimed that his contact with nature made him physically and intellectually stronger. While at Tomingaj, he studied a lot of books and later claimed that Mark Twain's works had miraculously helped him recover from his former illness.

Tesla received a Military Frontier scholarship to the Imperial-Royal Technical College in Graz in 1875. Tesla never missed a lecture during his first year, obtained the highest marks possible, passed nine tests, founded a Serb cultural society, and even received a letter of congratulations from the dean of the technical college to his father, stating, "Your son is a star of the first rank." Professor Jakob Pöschl's thorough lectures on electricity enthralled Tesla while he was in Graz.

Tesla Discoveries

Tesla discovered, designed, and developed ideas for a number of significant innovations, the majority of which were officially patented by other inventors, including dynamos (electrical generators comparable to batteries) and the induction motor, over the course of his career. He was also a pioneer in the development of radar, X-ray, remote control, and the rotating magnetic field, which is the foundation of most AC machinery. Tesla is most recognised for his contributions to AC power and the Tesla coil, which he invented.

1. AC Electrical System

Alternating current (AC), perhaps Tesla's most famous and essential innovation, was a response to his old boss Edison's inefficient (as Tesla called it) use of direct current (DC) in the new electric age. Unlike DC power plants, which carry energy in a straight line in one direction, alternating currents change direction quickly and at a significantly greater voltage. Because of DC, Edison's power lines that crossed the Atlantic coast were short and weak, whereas AC could deliver current considerably further. Tesla's AC power grids finally became the standard, despite the fact that Thomas Edison had more resources and a better reputation.

2. Hydroelectric Power Plant

At Niagara Falls, Tesla developed one of the first AC hydroelectric power facilities in the United States in 1895. It was used to power the city of Buffalo, New York the next year, a feat that was widely recognised around the world and aided AC electricity's progress toward becoming the world's power system.

3. Tesla Coil

Tesla patented the Tesla coil in the late 1800s, which established the groundwork for wireless technology and is still used in radio technology today. The Tesla coil is an inductor that was used in many early radio transmission antennas as the heart of an electrical circuit. The coil and a capacitor work together to resonate current and voltage across the circuit from a power source. Tesla studied fluorescence, x-rays, radio, wireless power, and electromagnetic radiation in the earth and its atmosphere with his coil.

4. Death Ray

Tesla subsequently returned to work, largely as a consultant, after suffering a nervous breakdown following the end of his free energy project. Tesla even caught the FBI's attention with his claims of developing a strong "death ray," which had attracted the Soviet Union's interest during WWII.

5. Free Energy

Tesla began work on his most ambitious project yet around 1900, after becoming obsessed with the wireless transmission of energy. He planned to build a global, wireless communication system — to be transmitted through a large electrical tower — for sharing information and providing free energy throughout the world. Tesla began work on the free energy project in earnest in 1901, with finance from a group of investors that included financial titan J. P. Morgan, constructing and building a facility with a power plant and a gigantic transmission tower on a site on Long Island, New York, that became known as Wardenclyffe.

Tesla also experimented with radio waves as early as 1892, displaying a radio wave-controlled boat in 1898 at an electrical show in New York's Madison Square Garden to much acclaim. Expanding on the technology, Tesla patented more than a dozen radio communication ideas before Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi beat Tesla to the punch and completed the first transatlantic radio transmission using Tesla's research. The dispute for intellectual recognition between Marconi and Tesla lasted decades before the United States Supreme Court cancelled part of Marconi's patents in 1943, restoring Tesla as the founder of radio, at least legally.

Nikola Tesla vs. Thomas Edison

Tesla came to the United States in 1884 with nothing but the clothing on his back and a letter of introduction to Thomas Edison, the renowned inventor and business mogul whose DC-based electrical works were quickly becoming the industry standard. Edison hired Tesla, and the two men spent the next few years working side by side on improving Edison's innovations. Several months later, the two parted ways due to a tense business-scientific relationship, which historians attribute to their polar opposite personalities: while Edison was a powerful personality focused on marketing and financial success, Tesla was commercially out-of-touch and fragile.

Nikola Tesla Facts

  • Tesla was a scientist, physicist, engineer, and inventor. Alternating current (AC), the form of electricity that fuels civilization and is essential for lighting, was one of his greatest innovations.

  • Tesla became close friends with Mark Twain after claiming that reading author Mark Twain's writing helped him recover from a terrible illness.

  • Tesla was given $50,000 by Thomas Edison to upgrade his existing electricity-generating technology. Tesla was successful, although Edison later stated that he was joking. Tesla abruptly resigned.

  • According to several who recounted Tesla's obsessive rituals and superstitions, he may have suffered from what is now known as Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

  • Tesla never married. Tesla once expressed his view that he would never be worthy of a lady. He devoted himself to scientific research.

  • Tesla was a multilingual genius with a photographic memory.

  • Tesla's alternating current (AC) clashed with Edison's direct current (DC), which required power plants to be built every square mile, rendering DC wasteful in comparison to AC.

  • To show that AC was too unsafe to utilise, Edison staged gruesome public demonstrations of animal electrocutions.

  • Tesla once stated that he was in love with a white pigeon because he feared that personal connection would interfere with his study.


Nikola Tesla was a Serbian-American inventor and engineer who developed the rotating magnetic field, which is the foundation of most alternating-current machines. He also invented the three-phase electric power transmission system. In 1884, he immigrated to the United States and sold George Westinghouse the patent rights to his system of alternating-current dynamos, transformers, and motors. He created the Tesla coil, an induction coil that is widely utilised in radio technology, in 1891. Tesla was born into a Serbian family. His father was an Orthodox priest, and his mother, though uneducated, was quite brilliant. He developed incredible imagination and originality, as well as a poetic touch, as he grew older. Historians believe that several of Tesla's patents have yet to be discovered, hence the precise number of patents he holds is contested. He is credited with at least 300 innovations (many of which are related), as well as many unpatented ideas that he developed over the course of his career.

FAQs on Nikola Tesla Biography

1. When is Nikola Tesla’s Birthday?

Ans: Nikola Tesla was born in Smiljan, Austrian Empire, on July 9th or 10th, 1856. (now in Croatia).

2. How Did Nikola Tesla Die & Nikola Tesla Age at Death Was?

Ans: Tesla died of coronary thrombosis at the age of 86 in New York City, where he had lived for nearly 60 years, on January 7, 1943. The legacy of Tesla's work, on the other hand, continues to this day. Near the site of his former New York City laboratory, at the intersection of 40th Street and 6th Avenue, a street sign identifying "Nikola Tesla Corner" was put up in 1994.

3. Why Was Tesla’s Lab Burned?

Ans: During the construction of the tower, Tesla ran out of money and was foreclosed on twice. Assets were liquidated to pay off his debts, much as they did with his prior Colorado Springs lab. The US government detonated a bomb in the tower in 1917, thinking that it was being used by German spies during World War I.