01 May 2011

Radio and Nikola Tesla

Once again, I want to talk about a school day question; who invented the radio? The answer is ready-made, isn't it? Marconi! But that is surely not the right answer. Fact is, no single person can be called the inventor of radio. There were many, including the familiar names Hendrich Hertz, Earnest Rutherford and even our own Jagdish Chandra Bose. 
When I went through the history of radio, I stumbled upon a name- Nikola Tesla. A name that we only hear during electromagnetism classes, as the unit for magnetic flux density. We don't often hear about him much. But, he is the highest ranked contributor to the invention of radio. The thing which had prevented the Nobel prize from being given to him was his clash with Thomas Edison, his former colleague and partner in radio related research.
He had a very remarkable personality. In almost all modern electrical inventions, you can trace at least one principle back to Tesla. It is said that he had photographic memory. He could byheart books by volumes and most of the engineering marvels he had done had no drawings! Drawing part were often done in his mind. He had so many revolutionary ideas like wireless power transmission, even in the 19th century. Many of his ideas seemed to be over-imaginative to his contemperories and he was often called a 'mad scientist'.[Read more about him] I believe he didn't get the recognition he deserved. Even our text books neglect him by confining that name to just a measuring unit.
He is, perhaps, the only real scientist who appeared as character in fictions! One of them was made into a movie, 'The Prestige' where Nikola Tesla is a character. It was that movie which made me read more about Tesla beyond that measuring unit.

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