It is well known that a true great man always has an open mind, open eyes and is ears to others. Dr. Nikola Tesla too had a very distinctive quality of always seeing all the things without any fixed assumptions in his mind. For Dr. Tesla, a phenomenon or even a discovery of his own had multiple aspects and viewpoints. This always led him towards a spectrum of uses of a particular thing and this imprinted in his every invention. His ‘Out-of-the-box’ thinking had actually made him master the technique of ‘Jugaad’ that is currently been viewed as ‘The Strategy of the New Millennium’ and actually is considered to be a saviour of the whole world with fast depleting resources. This strategy encompasses the creativity of doing ‘more from less’.
Even in the Madison Square electrical exhibition, only a few people knew that Dr. Nikola Tesla had actually constructed two boats, one that could remotely be controlled above the water and another one that had a hidden antenna and could be controlled from under the water. The untold inference to drive from this is actually to make all the readers understand that Dr. Tesla had infact and actually developed the world’s very first ‘underwater wireless submarine’. But with his customary way and habit of envisioning his own inventions in multitude of ways, Dr. Tesla did not stop there. What Dr. Tesla had in his mind is clearly spelt in the letter that he wrote to Prof. B.F. Meissner of Purdue University.
In his letter Dr. Tesla writes, “I treated the whole field broadly, not limiting myself to the mechanisms controlled from distance but to the machines that possessed of their own intelligence. Since that time I advanced greatly in the evolution of the invention and think that the time is not distant when I shall show an automaton which, left to itself, will act as though possessed of reason and without any wilful control from the outside. Whatever be the practical possibilities of such and achievement, it will mark the beginning of a new epoch in mechanics.” Dr. Nikola Tesla’s statement is indeed self-explanatory. Here Dr. Tesla is indicating of developing such an automaton(robot) that if left to its own ‘will’ be able to do assigned work in automated and self-propelled manner. This automaton will have its own intelligence and reasoning ability. Today it’s been 116 years since Dr. Nikola Tesla made this statement and it is just a few years back that we have actually started to understand it. Scientists and researchers working on Tesla technologies today have been able to establish that by this path breaking statement Dr. Tesla actually meant a humanoid robot which involved use of artificial intelligence as well as cognitive sciences. It is one more example of the beyond-horizon foresight of this great visionary.
In our last few articles we have also read about Dr. Nikola Tesla using the concepts of logic gates while building his dream tele-automaton. Moreover even some of patents that Dr. Tesla filed contained the basic principles of the logical ‘AND’ circuit element. Contrary to this, it is a pity that 50 years after Dr. Tesla’s demonstration of actually a working tele-automaton, Nobel Prize in Physics was given out for designing just a menial transistor which actually was a device that formed just the basic of logic gates that Dr. Tesla had built. It was clear that invention of Dr. Nikola was completely ignored and people were kept in dark. Here we have to note that the logic gate is the foundation of not only the modern computers but also remote control technology, robotics, wireless technology and also the radio industry. Hence it essentially means that Dr. Nikola Tesla was the real inspiration behind all of these branches of science and technology and the industries developing from them.
Coinciding with this invention was another research of Dr. Nikola Tesla. It featured study of something called as ‘Shadowgraphs’ and their biological effects. While working with high frequency electrical currents, Dr. Tesla observed a mysterious damage to photographic plates that were kept in his laboratory. This pushed the inquisitiveness in Dr. Tesla and he began to investigate this effect by performing multiple experiments. The strange patterns that he observed during these experiments on photographic plates were termed by him as ‘Shadowgraphs’. For experimenting with photographic plates, Dr. Nikola Tesla even invented his own vacuum tube. A coil called ‘Tesla Coil’ which again was developed by Dr. Tesla himself was used to run the vacuum tube in these experiments. Further while actually conducting the experiments, Dr. Tesla observed that, rays were observed to have been produced with very minute particles which were able to pass through human body but were obstructed by human bones and were responsible for developing patterns (images) on the photographic plates.
In the further experiments conducted during his investigation, Dr. Nikola Tesla had produced shadowgraph images when he attempted to obtain an image of his friend Mark Twain (the famous American author and humourist) with the vacuum tube. Surprisingly, instead of showing Twain, the resulting image showed the screw for adjusting the camera lens which was in the same room near the photographic plate. With this and with his further experiments in this regard, Dr. Tesla was indeed successful in obtaining shadowgraph images of actually the human body. Years later, physicists have described these particles as photons and the mysterious rays as ‘X-rays’. The main reason why Dr. Tesla’s contribution to the discovery of X-rays could not be known to the public and scientific community was the fire that had engulfed his New York laboratory. On the 13th of March 1895 all of his work was lost in this burn down. On November 8, 1895 just within a few months from this incident, a scientist named Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen published his discovery of X-rays and later even won the Noble Prize in Physics for this discovery. Inspite of his lab being burnt down and his work being lost, Dr. Tesla gave Roentgen full credit for his discovery of X-Rays. Moreover Dr. Tesla himself even sent Roentgen the images that he had captured on his photographic plates. In admiration, Roentgen also modestly thanked Dr. Tesla for sending such sophisticated images. This truly selfless and humble deed of Dr. Nikola Tesla is enough for us to conclude that Dr. Tesla was never behind popularity and fame but all he wanted was the betterment of human life and advancement of sciences. Only a true devotee and strong believer in Almighty can do so.
Dr. Tesla continued his research on X-rays in his newly constructed laboratory and put forth some of the very important findings with respect to the uses and biological effects of X-Rays even after a life-wrecking fire of 1895 and after not getting the rightful credit for the discovery of the X-Rays. In the next article we are going to see those findings and further contributions of Dr. Nikola Tesla in the field of X-Rays.
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