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Nikola Tesla (July 10, 1856 – January 7, 1943) was a physicist, inventor, mechanical and electrical engineer of unusual intellectual brilliance and practical achievement. He was an important contributor to the birth of commercial electricity, and is best known for his many revolutionary developments in the field of electromagnetism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Tesla’s patents and theoretical work formed the basis of modern alternating current (AC) electric power systems, including the polyphase system of electrical distribution and the AC motor. This work helped usher in the Second Industrial Revolution.
Tesla is most famous for conceiving the rotating magnetic field principle (1882) and then using it to invent the induction motor together with the accompanying alternating current long-distance electrical transmission system (1888). His patents and theoretical work still form the basis for modern alternating current electric power systems. He also developed numerous other electrical and mechanical devices including the fundamental principles and machinery of wireless technology, including the high frequency alternator, the Tesla coil, the blameless turbine, the spark plug, and numerous other inventions.
In addition to his work on electromagnetism and electromechanical engineering, Tesla contributed in varying degrees to the establishment of robotics, remote control, radar, and computer science, and to the expansion of ballistics, nuclear physics, and theoretical physics.
He pioneered modern electrical engineering and many of his discoveries were of groundbreaking importance. In the United States during this time, Tesla’s fame rivaled that of any other inventor or scientist in history or popular culture. Tesla demonstrated wireless energy transfer to power electronic devices as early as 1893, and aspired to intercontinental wireless transmission of industrial power in his unfinished Wardenclyffe Tower project (1901-1917) also known as the Tesla Tower, located in Long Island, New York.
Tesla was fluent in eight languages – Serbian, Czech, English, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, and Latin.