Nikola Tesla was undoubtedly one of the greatest inventors in the history of science. However, his merits have recently been so exaggerated that it is already difficult to understand which ones are true. Most of the myths about Tesla appeared during the life of the outstanding Serb. Moreover, the scientist himself never interfered with this, but on the contrary - he deliberately shrouded his person in an aura of mystery.
1. Alternating current
This is probably the biggest Tesla myth, which most people take to be the absolute truth. Although the Serbian scientist was a key figure in the improvement and diffusion of AC, this kind of electricity was invented long before Tesla was born. In fact, the pioneer of alternating current was the French engineer Hippolyte Pixie. In 1832, he developed a simple hand-held alternator based on Faraday's principle of electromagnetic induction. By the 1870s, primitive two-phase AC generators were in use in Germany, and the Italian scientist Galileo Ferraris spoke openly about polyphase AC in 1885.
2. Induction coil
Another common Tesla myth, which can sometimes be found even in school physics textbooks. The Serbian scientist did create a device partially based on the principles of induction, which he named after himself, but initially it was not his idea. In fact, the induction coil is not an invention of Tesla or even Heinrich Rumkorf, but of the talented engineer Nicholas Callan. According to Novate.ru, early induction coils were the first prototypes of transformers and were used in X-ray machines, spark-discharge radio transmitters and other devices from 1880 to 1920.
And again a miss. In 1876, Russian scientist Pavel Yablochkov received a patent for the world's first open-core transformer. The very first closed-core transformers were developed in England in 1884 by the Hopkins brothers. At this time, Tesla was still in school and did not even start his first job in the field of telephony. It is likely that while working in Budapest in the 1880s, the scientist drew attention to these developments, which later formed the basis for Tesla's transformer, patented in 1896.
Another common myth is that Tesla discovered radio. In fact, independently of Guglielmo Marconi, the Serb developed a wireless device in 1896, which he patented in 1897. Despite this, Marconi ultimately won the Nobel Prize. The U. S. Department later revoked Tesla's own patents, which led to extensive legal proceedings that lasted until the 1940s. Today Tesla is considered the official inventor of radio in America. But do not forget that physicist Alexander Popov successfully demonstrated a working radio receiver a year before Marconi and Tesla, in 1895. But all their work, including Popov, would have been impossible without the contributions of many other scientists.
Many also claim that Nikola Tesla invented the radar. But the truth is not as straightforward as it seems at first glance. The radar station on its own would not have existed without the revolutionary work of the German physicist Heinrich Hertz. He demonstrated the behavior of electromagnetic waves in the late 1880s, thus confirming the theories of James Maxwell in the 1860s. German inventor Christian Hulsmeier demonstrated in Germany and the Netherlands the principle of using radio waves to detect ships in the early 1900s. Sir Robert Watson-Watt designed the first radar station in 1935. It operated at 6 MHz and had a range of less than 13 km.
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