If I asked you to name the scientist or inventor who had the greatest impact on modern-day society, you’d probably say Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, or Alexander Graham Bell. But you’d be wrong! Although you probably have heard the word or name “Tesla,” you likely have no idea how much we moderns owe to him.
The crazy thing is that you probably grew up singing songs about inventors like Eli Whitney, Samuel Morse, and Alexander Graham Bell if you’re familiar with Schoolhouse Rock. But there’s no mention of Nikola Tesla.
Let’s fix that today by considering Tesla’s exhilarating and extraordinary contributions to the modern world.
Elon Musk Uses Simple Math, Just Like Tesla Did
Elon Musk is a maverick in today’s world, continuing to develop technology and do what others do not even conceive as possible like reach Mars or bore tunnels through the earth. You’d think he’d need pretty complicated mathematics to do that, right?
Nope. He’s just like Tesla (and Richard Feynman for that matter). He considers the addition, subtraction, and multiplication of what he’s trying to do, even during press conferences. For example, Musk’s tunnel-boring equations and thoughts came from the back-of-an-envelope. Nothing too complicated there.
Tesla’s VTOL Plane Was the Precursor of Today’s USMC Ospreys
Tesla’s last patent issued in 1928 was for a biplane that took off vertically like a helicopter and gradually tilted through elevator devices to fly like a conventional plane. This was developed into machines like the USMC Ospreys that are $40 million helicopter-airplanes that take off like a helicopter and then the propeller rotates into the airplane position. In other words, they are raised vertically, but driven horizontally by the same propelling sources.
Tesla’s Induction Motor Paved the Way For Today’s Electrification
We can see the greatest impact in our modern life from Tesla’s induction motor, as it paved the way for the AC electric grid. In other words, we have Tesla to thank for everything that electricity has brought to society. From fans to refrigerators to washing machines, many household items are possible because of Tesla’s AC motor.
Tesla’s Name is Prolific in Modern-Day Society
While Tesla the individual may be relatively unknown, Tesla the word is not. The airport in Belgrade, Serbia is named in his honor, the world’s best-known electric car bears his name, and the magnetic field strength of MRI scanners in measured in units called teslas.
Since we modern individuals owe so much to the innovations and technologies that Nikola Tesla developed, it’s a shame that we don’t learn more about him in school. But that doesn’t mean that you can do some learning on your own. Why don’t you buy a book or movie about Tesla and see how much you really owe to this creative man?