Nikola Tesla: The Genius Who Lit the WorldThis is the documentary film about Nikola Tesla, the scientist and inventor, one of the greatest men in history. Nikola Tesla was born on July 10,1856 in Smiljan, Lika in what later became Yugoslavia. His father, Milutin Tesla was a Serbian orthodox priest and his mother Djuka Mandic was an inventor in her own right of household appliances. Tesla studied at the Polytechnic Institute in Graz, Austria and the University of Prague. He began his career as an electrical engineer with a telephone company in Budapest in 1881.

Before going to America, Tesla joined Continental Edison Company in Paris where he designed dynamos. While in Strassbourg in 1883, he privately built a prototype of the induction motor and ran it successfully. Unable to interest anyone in Europe in promoting this radical device Tesla accepted an offer to work for Thomas Edison in New York.

Young Nikola Tesla came to the United States in 1884. Tesla will spend the next 59 years of his productive life living in New York. Tesla set about improving line of dynamos while working in Edison's lab in New Jersey. It was here that his divergence of opinion with Edison over direct current versus alternating current began. This disagreement climaxed in the Battle of Currents as Edison fought a losing battle to protect his investment in direct current equipment and facilities.

Direct current flows continuously in one direction; alternating current changes direction 50 or 60 times per second, and can be stepped up to very high voltage levels, minimizing power loss across great distances. The future belongs to the alternating current. Nikola Tesla developed polyphase alternating current system of generators, motors and transformers and held 40 basic U.S. patents on the system, which George Westinghouse bought, determined to supply America with Tesla system. In February 1882, Tesla discovered rotating magnetic field, a fundamental principle in physics and the basis of nearly all devices that use alternating current.

Tesla's A-C induction motor is widely used throughout the world in industry and household appliances. This motor started the industrial revolution at he turn of the century. Electricity today is generated, transmitted and converted to mechanical power by means of his inventions. Tesla's greatest achievement is his polyphase alternating current system, which is today lighting the entire globe.

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