People throughout all the ages have used various means of communication to get in touch with each other. In today’s time mobile phones and internet communication has actually become a child’s play. Even a 5 year old kid can use mobiles and tablets and surf the internet over it very easily. If someone deserves the credit for the concept of mobile phones, wire free (Wi-Fi) internet and in fact the internet as a whole then it would be our hero, Dr. Nikola Tesla.
In the year 1899, Dr. Nikola Tesla shifted his base of operations to Colorado Springs from New York as by then the alternating current power distribution system had been introduced there. Moreover in Colorado, Dr. Tesla had associates willing to give him all the power he needed for his experiments that too without charging for it. After shifting to Colorado, Dr. Tesla again began with his various experiments on extensive range of subjects.
A lot of Dr. Nikola Tesla’s future discoveries and works were based on the conclusions from his multiple experiments in Colorado Springs. He discovered that everything in the Universe has a fundamental frequency. What this means is that everything from a glass to stone has a fixed frequency. Let us consider the following example to understand this phenomenon. We have heard of singers who can break glasses with their voices. This effect has also been demonstrated and proved scientifically. So why does this happen? It happens because the vibrational frequency of the singer’s voice matches with the resonant frequency of the glass. But this concept is not just restricted to this phenomenon. Today buildings, bridges and even engines of vehicles are so designed that the mechanical resonant frequencies of the components differ from the vibrational frequencies of the structure or motors involved. This prevents what is called as ‘resonant disaster’. The damage that happens to the buildings and bridges during the earthquakes is actually because of this phenomenon. To explain this principal and make this discovery almost 115 years back was a major achievement then for all types of engineering industries.
In Colorado Springs, Dr. Nikola Tesla constructed multitude of transformers and conducted further research on tuned electrical circuits. Here Dr. Tesla also designed various sensitive devices for detecting ‘received’ electrical energy which was a completely novel and phenomenal concept. In simple words, what Dr. Tesla had created was a kind of ‘radio’ of electricity.Let us try to understand what this means. Today, when we want to listen to a song on radio, we tune in to a specific station with specific frequency to be able to hear the song. Dr. Tesla did the same with electricity. He laid the concept of lighting the night sky with electricity so that night would become day and whatever power was required for the working of machines would be drawn directly from the sky simply by tuning in to the frequency of the transmitted power like tuning in a radio to a particular channel and then being able to directly utilize this drawn power.
The Tesla Coils developed by Dr. Nikola Tesla himself had been designed to transmit electricity wirelessly. During his experiments at Colorado Springs, Dr. Tesla had perfected his research to such an extent that he was able to produce artificial lightning with discharges consisting of millions of volts and upto 135 feet at length. The thunder from the released energy from this lighting was so strong that it was heard 15 miles away at Cripple Creek, Colorado.
During this experimentation the people who were walking along the street not only observed but even experienced sparks jumping between their feet and the ground on their every step. The atmosphere was so charged that sparks would even spring from waterline taps when touched. Imagine the surprise and the awe that would have struck these people. Even the light bulbs within 100 feet from Dr. Nikola Tesla’s laboratory glowed, that too when turned off. But the greatness of Dr.Tesla is evident from the simple fact that even in this atmosphere insects like butterflies that are extremely delicate, could be seen swirling in circles with blue halos of St. Elmo’s fire around their wings, which meant that the current did not harm them and was thus completely safe for the biological world.
One undesired incident that happened during this experiment was the melt down of the generator that supplied power to the city. It took weeks of pleading from Dr. Nikola Tesla, along with the promise from him to fix the generator for free that the power was reconnected to laboratory of Dr. Tesla by city’s electric company. In August 1917 recounting the incident in ‘The Electrical Experimenter’, a technical science magazine, Dr. Tesla stated that “As an example of what has been done with several hundred kilowatts of high frequency energy liberated, it was found that the dynamos in a power house six miles away were repeatedly burned out, due to the powerful high frequency currents set up in them, and which caused heavy sparks to jump through the windings and destroy the insulation!”
In the year 1901, within a few months of Dr. Nikola Tesla shifting his base to Colorado Springs, news arrived that Guglielmo Marconi made his famous first-ever trans-Atlantic radio transmission.The world was abuzz that at last someone had managed the impossible. History books were written and rewritten showing how Marconi had successfully transmitted the first trans-Atlantic signal and that now wireless telegraphy would make communication so much easier. Marconi stood to make a heap of money from this bargain. This part is known to all.
But what is lesser known is the fact that in the year 1893 itself, eight years prior to so-called discovery of radio transmission by Marconi, Dr. Nikola Tesla had actually demonstrated his ideas of the same, in St. Louis, Missouri and at the Franklin in Philadelphia, where he had proposed that his wireless power technology could incorporate a system for the telecommunication of the information.Dr. Tesla had even obtained a patent for the wireless transmission of information in that too in the year 1900. Marconi’s initial patents for the telegraph were overruled until he was finally granted the patents in 1901.
At the time when Marconi successfully demonstrated wireless telegraphy, Dr. Nikola Tesla subtlety stated that it was done with the help of his seventeen patents.A point worth noting is that Dr. Tesla was working on this very discovery when his laboratory was burnt down in 1895 and that Dr. Tesla had even demonstrated a remote controlled boat,steered by using the same radio signals in the year 1898. But now it was Marconi who had laid the claim to the discovery of wireless transmission. This was the beginning of years of patent battles over radio with Dr. Tesla’s patents being upheld in 1903, followed by a reverse decision in favor of Marconi in the year 1904. This was a most unfortunate loss to Dr. Tesla because the history of the nineteen and twentieth century is in essence of the history of radio. Justice though done happened a little late. In the year 1943, the Supreme Court of the United States of America’s decision restored the patents to Dr. Tesla. Conspiracy theorists believe that this decision was actually a rebuttal to a claim laid by Marconi Company against the United States government way back during the World War I.
It does for a minute raise a question about were the world would be today if Dr. Nikola Tesla’s dreams for wireless transmission of electricity and information had been realized back then.Maybe the feats considered science fiction would have come true by now. I am indeed happy to publish this article because it is a certain pointer that brings to the fore and highlights the fact that it was indeed Dr. Nikola Tesla who was the founder of today’s Information Technology industry.
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