Tesla, Nikola

Tesla, Nikola tĕs´lə [key], 1856–1943, American electrician and inventor, b. Croatia (then an Austrian province). He immigrated to the United States in 1884, worked for a short period for Edison, and became a naturalized American citizen (1891). A pioneer in the field of high-voltage electricity, he made many discoveries and inventions of great value to the development of radio transmission and to the field of electricity. These include a system of arc lighting, the Tesla induction motor and system of alternating-current transmission, the Tesla coil, generators of high-frequency currents, a transformer to increase oscillating currents to high potentials, a system of wireless communication, and a system of transmitting electric power without wires. He produced the first power system at Niagara Falls, N.Y. There is a museum dedicated to his work in Belgrade, Serbia.

See biographies by H. B. Walters (1961), J. J. O'Neill (1968, repr. 1986), I. Hunt and W. W. Draper (1986) J. J. O'Neil (1986), and B. H. Johnston (1989).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.