Nikola Tesla invented or developed many of the electrical technologies which form the basis of our technological civilization, including: alternating-current (AC) power transmission and electric motors; high-frequency (HF) communications, the basis for radio and television; neon lighting; remote radio-control; radio astronomy and X-rays. He was the man that developed the technology that electrified America and the world. He is credited by many maverick inventors as the man who almost single handedly created the future. Yet despite his great body of work he is a largely forgotten by the general public at large.
Nikola Tesla’s influence could also be seen in such diverse fields as the development of RADAR, hybrid-fuel automobiles, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) and particle beam weaponry. Tesla even foresaw the need for alternative energies sources such as geothermal and solar power and also envisioned an age where electric power would one day be transmitted wirelessly.
But, his visionary genius and technical skill was countered by his lack of business acumen and an eccentric personality.
Yet, despite his failures in life Nikola Tesla is very much revered today and has gained an almost legendary mystical aura. After dying penniless in 1943, his “missing papers” regarding the construction of a ‘death ray’ became the focus of much international intrigue. And maybe one day, late in the twenty-first century, Tesla’s work may lead to advanced beamed energy interstellar propulsion systems that will take humanity to the stars.
One such idea is already potentially being developed by Joe Davis of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in connection to a memorial dedicated to the victims of hurricane Katrina. Imagine, if you will, a hundred-foot tower to throw some of nature’s fury back into the sky. The tower will be constructed like a lightning rod, but with three vertical masts made of aluminum. When lightning strikes the tower, a resonant cavity is formed that breaks down nitrogen in the air and triggers an ultraviolet laser discharge, sending the beams back into the sky. Its possible use in spacecraft propulsion can be seen if we combine this concept with one developed by Robert L Forward of using a vast reflective sail pushed by laser beam to the outer edges of the Solar System and beyond.
Nikola Tesla’s Mad Electricity Modern Marvels