The Genius Nikola Tesla’s Top Inventions

According to Wikipedia, Nikola Tesla was a Serbian-American inventor, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, and futurist. Born in 1856, Tesla was one of the most influential genius engineer, the world has ever seen. He is well known around the globe because of his greatest inventions and achievements in electrical engineering.

He studied electrical and mechanical engineering and gained practical knowledge in the electric power industry in 1880s. Many laboratories were set up by him in the suburb of New York where he developed various mechanical and electrical technologies. We review some of his top inventions in this article.

#1 Alternating Current (AC)

Alternating Current (AC)
Alternating Current (AC), Courtesy of AdobeStock

Nikola Tesla was the man who invented the alternating current (AC) most practically useable in this world, especially for high voltage transmission. Before the alternating current, direct current (DC) invented by Thomas Edison was being used in power plants to provide electricity to cities.

DC electricity had major drawbacks including the commutation problem due to which electricity couldn’t be produced at high (DC) voltage also large number of power plants being required to generate electricity. With alternating current, high voltage electricity could be transmitted over long distances with very thin wires. Undoubtedly, Tesla is best known for his work on alternating current alone.

#2 Tesla Coil

Tesla Coil
Tesla Coil, Courtesy of Wikipedia

Tesla Coil is his one of the most important inventions. Tesla researched on enhancing and transmitting the electric signal in early 1890s. In 1891, He invented a transformer at high frequency to produce high voltage.

Tesla was obsessed with the wireless transmission of electricity in the cities therefore, he invented the Tesla Coil which consists of two coils with capacitor on each coil to store energy. The spark gap (just open air to create spark) is connected to both the coils. The result of this coil is to send the electrical voltage and current through the body and generate electrical winds. In today’s world, Tesla Coil is mostly used in science centers as it helps to understand the nature of electricity and its transmission.

#3 Radio-Controlled Boat

Radio-Controlled Boat 
Radio-Controlled Boat, Courtesy of AdobeStock

After the AC and wireless power coil, third biggest invention by Tesla is radio-controlled boat. This invention was way ahead of time. Today, drone technology is based merely on this invention.

Tesla came across the idea of creating something remote controlled through radio signals, when he was researching on radio waves. When he used the Tesla Coils’ technology to turn the bulbs on and off at his room, he thought of controlling other objects wirelessly. So, he started to design the unmanned remote controlled boat.

In 1890s, when every country was setting up the fleet of armed boats in the ocean, Tesla introduced his boat controlled by radio signals. So, next time when you see drones in the sky, remember that they were inspired by Tesla too.

#4 Radio

Radio, Courtesy of AdobeStock

People always considers the inventor of radio as Guglielmo Marconi but the truth is that Marconi used one of Tesla’s patent invented technology. In fact, Tesla sent the first radio signal forty kilometers away in 1897. He was the first scientist not Marconi who invented the antennas, and tuners associated with the radio. In fact Tesla was the man behind many inventions as the famous saying by Zorić, “Tesla invented the twentieth century”.

#5 Induction Motor (AC)

Induction Motor (AC)
Induction Motor (AC), Courtesy of AdobeStock

Back then, it was known to be impossible to invent a motor which runs by AC (alternating current). Tesla did the impossible by creating the first induction motor powered by alternating current. It was considered a breakthrough in the field of science.  Goethe’s Faust was an inspiration for Nikola Tesla’s this invention. He used the concept of rotating magnetic field discovered by Faust. Engine could be powered by induction motor without converting into direct current.

#6 X-ray (Radiography)

X-ray (Radiography)
X-ray (Radiography), Courtesy of AdobeStock

Tesla was the first one who successfully take images of human body with electromagnetic radiations. He called this technology as shadowgraphs. Tesla knew the X-ray technology before it was discovered by Roentgen. The fire destroyed Tesla’s laboratory before the Roentgen discovery. Tesla produced the X-Ray image using the vacuum tubes. He made the X-ray image of his foot with shoe on it and sent it to Roentgen congratulating him on his discovery. Tesla was also the first one who predicted the harms of X-ray technology.

Tesla is remembered as one of the great inventor and futurist of all time. He has contributed a lot to the world of electrical engineering.

Aimal Khan is the founder & CEO of Engineering Passion. He is an engineer and has obtained his bachelor's degree in energy engineering from Kandahar University.