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 On the other hand, a new technology, no matter how radically new, usually is superseded by an even better technology. The phonograph has been replaced by digital music. Silver salt photography has been replaced by digital photography.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 Likewise three phase AC power is not likely to be superceded.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

Nikola Tesla – a pure genius and ultimate humanitarian

Famous NYC Columbia University Professor Dr Gordana Vunjak Novaković, recipient of many science awards, is a Member of the National Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies in USA.
She is our friend and colleague on our recent book “The essential Nikola Tesla: peacebuilding endeavor” which we together released at Harvard University on 11th February 2015. 

Gordana Vunjak Novakovic
“Nikola Tesla has been a part of my life since I was a little girl. He was born to a Serbian family in Lika, the Military Frontier where Serbs have lived for many centuries, the very same area my father’s family comes from; the two families are even distantly related. Every day, I would look at one of the most beautiful monuments to Nikola Tesla, in front of the School of Engineering in Belgrade, where I studied and later worked. Another bust of Tesla is due to be erected in front of the Saint Sava Church in downtown Belgrade, the largest Orthodox church in the world. Now in New York, I often see the Nikola Tesla Corner, at his last residence at Bryant Park. Needless to say, I have many books about him and his legacy. And most recently I was delighted to join the “Tesla Village”, a virtual town of 33,000 people from all around the world who joined forces to save Tesla’s last laboratory and build the Tesla museum.  Shortly after I came to Columbia University, there was a symposium celebrating his contributions to our civilization, on the 150th anniversary of his birth.

 Tesla book

His bust is also in the Fu Foundation School of Engineering where I now work. Columbia University is the place where Tesla presented, in May 1888, one of the most significant lectures in the history of science, describing the rotating magnetic field that is at the heart of alternating current motors and today’s use of electrical energy. The impact of this discovery was transformative – through harnessing the power of the Great Falls of Niagara and into the era of light and power. Within just two years, Tesla developed the first neon and fluorescent illumination – fifty years before these came to use, took the first x-ray photographs, and illuminated a vacuum tube wirelessly – marking the beginning of his lifelong obsession – the wireless transmission of energy. 

As Charles F Scott said: “The evolution of electrical power from the discovery of Faraday to the initial great installation of the Tesla polyphase system in 1896 is undoubtedly the most tremendous event in all engineering history.” LaGuardia said it in just a few words: “Should Tesla’s work be suddenly withdrawn, we would slump into darkness”.  We know that Tesla – the patron saint of electricity – was very tall (6’6”), handsome and well dressed, and ascetic. He was grateful for his creativeness to both his parents – his mother Djuka (“able to make three knots on an eyelash”) and his Serbian priest father. He was imaginative without being bound to what existed or seemed to be possible, passionate about discovery, and fanatic about work. He had many unusual talents: spoke 8 languages, could memorize an entire book, and visualize complete devices in his head and build them without making a drawing. A story says that he drew a diagram of the AC motor in the sand with a stick, while reciting Goethe’s Faust. He was a pure and natural genius and a true humanitarian – at the level of greatness that goes beyond caring for money or recognition. He generously allowed Westinghouse to renegotiate a patent deal that enabled the financially strapped company to establish the electricity standard we have today.   I was recently asked to speak for the Harlem Biospace, a technology incubator in New York City, about what an entrepreneur can learn from Tesla’s legacy. This was quite a challenge, as Tesla was the principal architect of the modern age without being an entrepreneur like Edison or Westinghouse who commercialized his timeless discoveries.
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 Going back to the topic of the Harlem Biospace lecture, I thought of the following lessons we could learn from Tesla.   Dreaming big and never giving up. Tesla was destined to become a priest, but found a way to become an engineer and focus on discovery. He survived cholera, bankruptcy, the loss of two of his laboratories and a lot of hardship without ever abandoning his dream. Inventing a better world. He spent life working tirelessly and making big leaps in science and engineering towards a new and better world, without any material gain for himself.  Learning what is special about yourself. Early on, Tesla observed that he could visualize with the greatest ease even the most complex things. He could build new machines without models, drawings or experiments, just from the pictures in his mind.  Working for the humankind. Tesla said: “I do not think there is any thrill that can go through a human heart like that felt by inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success… Such emotions make a man forget food, sleep, friends, love, everything…”.  Tesla showed that being a great entrepreneur — one who commercialized a critical standard that powers innovation 125 years later — isn’t necessarily about the money. He acted as a quintessential engineer and humanist, by finding ways to utilize the resources of the planet to the benefit of humankind.”
Article from our book: “The essential Nikola Tesla: peacebuilding endeavor”

AEFE, celebrating the 70th Anniversary of the establishment of UNESCO

Tesla Memory Project had participated at this year’s edition of the Asia-Europe Forum on Education (AEFE), dedicated to an important historical landmark:

the 70th Anniversary of the establishment of UNESCO.

The Third Edition of the AEFE was the first one to be hosted on European soil, namely in Bucharest, Romania from October 7-11, 2015.

The main pillar for discussion regards current challenges to education. AEFE UNESCO 2015 was dedicated entirely to the themes regarding Sustainable Development in Education.

Europe Asia Edu Forum

The forum was organized in a manner which promotes a high level of interaction among the participants. In addition to the official forum related activities, the participants went on several tours, a field trip, visits to relevant institutions and attend several official ceremonies.

The activities were scheduled to be as educational and as dynamic as possible, in order to encourage the participants to share ideas, experiences and good practices regarding current educational methods. Participants were encouraged to present a paper during the forum meetings in order to fuel a relevant debate regarding the forum’s theme on sustainable development in education.

Europe Asia Education Forum

It is paramount that relevant personalities who are active in the educational field come together and discuss from a global perspective the contemporary dilemmas regarding educational ethics. Constant, well-organized and efficacious dialogue is the only solution to the obstacles in education determined by issues such as economic globalization, computerization and ever-increasing cultural diversity. The Asia-Europe Forum on Education was established in 2013 as an international gathering where such problems are specifically targeted.

The first edition of the forum was hosted by the Huijia School in Beijing, China in 2013. The forum was a success, bringing together a vast number of participants. The first edition was themed Ethics Education and was centered on professors’ responsibility, efficient approaches and effects. The forum launched the Passport for Global Ethics, a ground breaking document aimed at promoting ethical education on a global scale.

The second edition of the forum, themed The Multicultural Challenge, was hosted by the Jilin HuaQiao Foreign Languages University in China. The participants discussed the importance of promoting multicultural education and concrete ways of improving international communication regarding educational issues.

Main Organizers and Partners:

Ministry of Education and Scientific Research

Romanian National Commission for UNESCO

United Nations Alliance of Civilizations Romania

Romanian Government Interethnic Relations Department

Alumnus Club for UNESCO

University of Agronomic Science and Veterinary Medicine

Chinese National Commission for UNESCO

World Federation of UNESCO Clubs and Associations

European Federation of UNESCO Clubs and Associations

Asia-Pacific Federations of UNESCO Clubs and Associations

Romanian Federation of UNESCO Clubs and Associations

Chinese National Federation of UNESCO Clubs and Associations

International Bureau of Education

Chinese Association of Non-Governmental Education

Foundation for Education Development

Cultural Center of Bucharest Municipality  …

TESLA MUSIC by Branco Stoysin

Branco Stoysin, London-based guitarist, composer and tutor, had created the music dedicated to Nikola Tesla and marking  70th anniversary since passing of Tesla:

 

 

Click here to see the biography of Branco Stoysin

 

Artist have released two albums of music dedicated to Tesla, the debut, Something between the Sea and The Sky, the 4th album Lily of the Valley  (the same title music book carry text on Tesla), and the latest album ALONE with a special composition for Tesla, and the new music book of the music from ALONE album, with Tesla’s picture on the cover will be published next year to mark 160 years since Tesla’s birth.