Nikola Tesla Nikola Tesla
(1856 - 1943)

A Serbian-American physicist and electrical engineer who invented fluorescent lighting, the Tesla induction motor, the Tesla coil, and developed the alternating current (AC) electrical supply system. Nikola Tesla was born on July 10, 1856 in Smiljan, Lika, which was then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire; the area now known as the Republic of Croatia. His father, Milutin Tesla, was a Serbian Orthodox Priest and his mother, Djuka Mandic, was an inventor of household appliances. He emigrated to the U.S. in 1884.

In 1885 George Westinghouse, head of the Westinghouse Electric Company, bought the patent rights to Tesla's system of dynamos, transformers and motors. Westinghouse used Tesla's alternating current system to light the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893 in Chicago. The Tesla coil, invented in 1891, is still used in radio and television sets and other electronic equipment. Tesla is considered one of the outstanding intellects who paved the way for many of the technological developments of modern times. A rock group from Sacramento, California, named themselves after this scientist, calling themselves TESLA.

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