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The Extraordinary Inventions of Nikola Tesla

This course is expected to run but has not yet been scheduled.

Course Description

Much is speculated and little is known about one of the most brilliant inventors at the turn of the century, Nikola Tesla. With more than 1000 patented inventions, Tesla laid the foundations of modern society as well as a solid ground for this course. Students will be introduced to the theory of electricity and magnetism and its applications, the principles of wireless transmission of signals and the idea of harvesting energy from natural sources.

Tesla’s inventions, that endowed the human race, include the invention of a rotational magnetic field that found the application in the first alternating current power plant at Niagara Falls. Increasing the frequency of alternating current lead to the first remote controlled boat in 19th century and the invention of radio, but the dream that never got materialized was wireless transmission of energy. Tesla's ideas are current more so today, with the world striving for renewable sources. In this class we will introduce the basic physics concepts pertaining to the subject of electricity and magnetism, both on the blackboard and via ‘how stuff works’ experiments. This course will serve as a foundation to any rising physicist or engineer ready to embark on a path to a magical world of inventions and applications of new technologies.

In this course we will engage students into demystifying in-class-demos, as well as provide them with hands-on experience and physical intuition arising from it. Furthermore, students will be encouraged to take their newly acquired knowledge to another level and imagine different ways of making the same phenomenon work and finding its place in everyday life. This course is intended to elaborate on both the scientific and historic significance of his inventions and introduce students to his way of thinking about things. Tesla energized a wave of invention during the late 19th and early 20th century and continues to inspire engineers today. For example, even Apple is in the process of creating technology that would allow wireless charging of its devices.

This course will build basic concepts from scratch, although exposure to basic physics is highly recommended.