Monthly Archives: January 2016

Tesla’s unique place in the history of invention

We are very privileged to publish the article written by Professor Robert Curl, Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry, who generously contributed to our book “The Essential Nikola Tesla: Peacebuilding Endeavor” :

I am interested in the behavior of molecules in a magnetic field and the units I use for the field are T. Thus receiving the Tesla Award is a particular pleasure for me because I am reminded constantly in my scientific research of Nikola Tesla. Among inventors Nikola Tesla occupies a unique position that I cannot imagine will ever be taken away from him . Let me explain. In science, every discovery is timeless. Once a new fact about Nature has been uncovered, it can never be discovered again. As a scientist, I like that. On the other hand, a new technology, no matter how radically new, usually is superseded by an even better technology. The phonograph has been replaced by digital music. Silver salt photography has been replaced by digital photography. Fluorescents have largely replaced incandescent lights (a development that Tesla foreshadowed). And fluorescents are being replaced by LEDs. Vacuum tubes are almost completely replaced by solid state devices.

Aleksandar Protic with Nobel laureate Robert Curl

Almost by its very nature, invention is transient. Improved technologies replace older technologies. Tesla’s unique place in the history of invention is that I cannot imagine that his AC motors will ever be replaced. They are irreplaceable today more than one hundred twenty years after Nikola Tesla invented them. Likewise three phase AC power is not likely to be superceded. The other long-lived invention made around the turn of the twentieth century, the airplane, has been altered by its development to an extent that the modern jetliner would almost be unrecognizable to the Wright brothers. But the AC motor of today has scarcely been changed from Tesla’s designs. Nikola Tesla was the inventive giant essential to development of the uses of electrical power. He envisioned the importance of what might be, the electric motor. He combined his vision with deep insight into the properties of electricity and magnetism to make the AC motor real. And of almost equal importance to the invention process, with great charm and personal magnetism, he excited those in profession and the general public about the value of his inventions. When people had been getting along as things were for millennia, it takes great effort to convince them that their lives will be greatly improved by choosing the new. Today we still enjoy the fruits of his labors. I do not minimize Tesla’s many other inventions. The exact number of his patents worldwide appears to be unknown, but his known patents are well over two hundred. Here I emphasize his AC motor as the invention of greatest current impact.

Djordje Djurdjevic, Robert Curl, Aleksandar Protic

The life and achievements are well worth study by all students.  Students will learn what it takes to be an inventor and what kind of inventor Tesla was.  There is a great contrast in styles between Nikola Tesla and the other great inventor of his time, Thomas Edison.  Edison would have an idea and then attempt to bring it to fruition by  tinkering with models.  Tesla, on the other hand, would think very deeply about what he was trying to create drawing on paper a number of versions of what he wanted.  When he then made a working model it would be very close to the final machine.  Both Tesla and Edison were men of determination, who were willing to work long and hard in order to achieve ultimate success.  While Edison did much to advance technology, no invention of his has an important place in modern society – his incandescent lamp is rapidly being replaced. There is nothing yet imagined that will replace Tesla’s AC motor, a key element of the modern world.

Robert Curl, Nobel Prize in Chemistry ; Professor, Rice University, USA

Tesla’s economic environment

How to place a man beyond historic context in the economic environment of his time, inventor which looked on money just as means to realize ideas that he regarded as benefit to humanity living his life beyond greed for wealth and power. It seems that his path was already destined for circumstances that he lived in.

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 Tesla emigration to United States in 1884 looks at the first glance as move of a man which searched for a fertile ground where he can further develop his science and ideas. His mission and thrive to leave a legacy for all humanity, was a far more calculated event then mere change of the ground where he just lived and played by his destiny as precise as his inventions was.

At that time United States was in the first international crisis known where stock price bubbles fears originated in Europe spread across the world. USA was tightening monetary policy to get back on the gold standard after US Civil war, and money in circulation become scarce. Prices of Silver started to fall and caused all different assets class devaluation. Railways was in overbuilding peak at that time and tight monetary policy resulted in collapsed bubble in 1973. Some believes that shortages of gold  and consequent subsequent gold rush in US and Africa helped alleviate this crises.  Kondratieff cycles suggest the Second Industrial Revolution has just spurred initial costs and financial systems in countries eager to ride the cycle experienced large shifts in to their economies and over cost in attempt to make a new daring step in to the new future.

Exactly there in 1884 precise destiny mathematically orchestrated his arrival and made  him as prominent tool for Industrial revolution that his inventions has initiated. Why US? Because that was the only place at that time that had power to let him ride his life wave and give birth to his already well designed apparatus for harnessing the universal powers in to our use. This power of Zeus has been given trough him to humanity and made irreversible revolution in world future.

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During his life Tesla has been a contemporary of internal US and world events that would lay foundation in technology where we are today. World war I, great depression in 1930 and stock market crash, World war II all can be described as events which pushed technology and financial development ahead  despite catastrophic effect of war on human population and horrors of war. If one nation can be named as one which has started to monetize technology in to bankable US dollar terms, It is United States.

His life was interwoven  with financial world at that time which looked to exploit his inventions and push the Industrial revolution ahead. His constant need for financial means for his experiments provoked on other side unwilling compromises with financial moguls of the time. His abandonment of the same compromises left him alone at the end with a bear means to complete his life mission respectably. If you look what happened after his life on this earth, you would see exponential expansion of economies, financial and credit expansion and technologies. I guess he already knew since he was a master of mechanics in movement.

Are we just one giant machine guided by universe? He for sure displayed enough evidence for that answer.

Aleksandar Koprivica, Director, Associates Treasury Solutions