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List of Nikola Tesla's Inventions

Out of all Nikola Tesla's inventions, Tesla was best known for developing the modern alternating current (known as AC) electrical supply system.

Tesla's many incredible developments in electromagnetism were based on theories discovered by Michael Faraday. Nikola Tesla's patents and theoretical work also formed the basis of wireless communication and the radio.

This section of our website will showcase detailed information and pictures of Nikola Tesla's most important inventions.

Wardenclyffe TowerWardenclyffe Tower

The Wardenclyffe Tower (1901-1917) which also went under the name of The Tesla Tower, was a pioneered idea by Nikola Tesla. The tower was to be a wireless telecommunications tower intended for commercial trans-Atlantic wireless communications, broadcasting, and to show that that the transmission of power with interconnecting wires is possible.

The tower wasn't completed unfortunately due in the most part because of financial problems, the tower never became fully operational.

The Wardenclyffe Tower was named after James S. Warden who was a lawyer that purchased the land the tower was built on. The Tower was located in Shoreham, Long Island, New York.

Construction of the Wardenclyffe tower began in 1901. The tower was financed by J.P. Morgan. In 1902 Nikola Tesla moved his laboratory operations from his Houston Street lab to Wardenclyffe. Close to completion of the tower it wasn't yet functional due to last-minute design changes. The fact that the Tesla tower could not be metred (and power sold), J.P. Morgan didn't like that idea.

In short the Wardenclyffe tower exceeded the money the investors were willing to invest and the tower was never completed.

In 1905 the entire project was shut down, due to a lack of financial support.
In September of 1917 during World War 1, the Wardenclyffe tower was blown up with dynamite. It was blown up by the United States Government which feared German spies were using it, and that it could be used as a landmark for German submarines.

The site where the tower was built was made a historic site in 1967.


tesla induction motor

Above is the original tesla induction motor, this is the induction motor built by Nikola Tesla.

Tesla Induction motor

Nikola first thought of a rotating magnetic field in 1882 and then Nikola Tesla went on to invent the first induction motor in 1883.

An induction motor is a type of AC motor where power is supplied to the rotor by means of electromagnetic induction. Induction motors are widely used in industrial drives, particularly polyphase induction motors.

In an induction motor the stator is powered with AC current and the stator is designed to create a rotating magnetic field which rotates in time with the AC oscillations. In an induction motor the rotor rotates at a slower speed then the stator field. The magnetic field through the rotor is changing (rotating). The rotor of the induction motor has windings in the form of closed loops of wire. The changing magnetic flux induces currents in the windings like in a transformer, these currents create their own magnetic fields. These magnetic fields interact with the stator field to create torque to turn the rotor.

In order for the currents to be induced, the speed of the physical rotor must be slower then the speed of the stator's rotating magnetic field or the magnetic field would not be moving relative to teh rotor conductors and no currents would be induced.
The synchronous speed of an AC motor is the rotation rate of the rotating magnetic field creator by the stator.


tesla coilThe Tesla Coil

A tesla coil is a type of resonant transformer circuit that was invented by Nikola Tesla around the year 1891. A tesla coil is used to produce high voltage, low current, high frequency alternating current electricity. Tesla coils higher current then the other source of high voltage discharges, electrostatic machines. Nikola Tesla used these coils to conduct innovative experiments in electrical lighting, phosphorescence, x-ray generation, high frequency alternating current phenomena, electrotherapy, and the transmission of electrical energy without wires.

Tesla coil circuits were used commercially in sparkgap radio transmitters for wireless telegraphy until the 1920s, and in pseudomedical equipment such as electrotherapy and violet ray devices. Today the main usage of tesla coils is for entertainment and educational displays.

Here is another picture of the tesla coil, this picture features Nikola Tesla in it.

Nikola Tesla

Picture of a Tesla coil in action.

the tesla coil


Alternating Current (AC)

In alternating current the movement of electric charge periodically reverses direction. In DC current the flow of electric charge is only in one direction.

Alternating Current (AC current) is the form of electrical power that is delivered to homes and businesses. Nikola Tesla developed the modern alternating current electrical supply system.

Modern Radio - Remote Controlled Boat - Wireless Transmission of Energy

Radio first began as "wireless telegraphy". Many disputes exist as to who could actually claim credit for the invention of radio. This was an important subject at the time for economic, and political reasons.

In 1891 Nikola Tesla began his research into radio and applications of radio. In 1892 he gave a lecture before the Institution of Electrical Engineers of London, in this lecture he suggested that messages could be transmitted without the use of wires. Transmission and radiation of radio frequency energy was a feature exhibited in the experiments by Tesla which he proposed might be used for the telecommunication of information.

Nikola Tesla applied for 2 key radio patents in the US.

There is still debate today as to who should go the prize of "The inventor of radio". Many believe several people contributed to the invention or radio. Many believe that Tesla had some of the most important contributions to the invention of radio.

Remote Controlled Boat and Wireless Transmission of Energy

In 1898 Tesla demonstrated a radio controlled boat in Madison Square Garden that permitted secure communication between transmitter and receiver. In between 1895 and 1897, Nikola Tesla received wireless signals transmitted via short distances in his lectures.

Tesla believed that electrical power could someday be transmitted over long distances without wires.

Here is a picture of the radio controlled boat built by Tesla.

tesla boat

fluorescent light teslaFluorescent Lighting

Many people believe that Nikola Tesla is the true inventor of fluorescent lighting. Tesla preferred to call them phosphorescent lamps. Tesla's investigations in the area of high-voltage RF power processing techniques resulted in the very first high efficiency, high frequency lighting ballasts.

It is only since the late 1980's that more efficient high-frequency ballasts, some with several similarities to those developed by Nikola Tesla over 100 years ago, began to gain wider acceptance.


death rayDeath Ray

The death ray or death beam as it was sometimes called, was a theoretical particle beam or electromagnetic weapon of the 1920's through the 1930's that was claimed to have been invented by Nikola Tesla and other inventors.

In about 1918 Tesla apparently had a laser-like apparatus that he shot at the moon. After studying his work, many conclude that it is apparent that the button lamp he invented had all the necessary components to create a laser beam.

This button lamp was constructed in this fashion, you place a piece of matter such as carbon, or a diamond or ruby, in the center, and then you bombard this "button" with electrical energy that will bounce off the button onto the inside of the globe and bounce back onto the button. If a ruby were used and Nikola Tesla did work with rubies, then this is exactly how a ruby laser is created. Tesla refers to a pencil-thin line of light in his INVENTION papers that was created with this device.

Many people believe that Tesla is the true inventor of the ruby laser, and that he invented it in 1893.

It is believed that in 1918 Tesla used the same or similar technology to send laser pulses to the moon.

Tesla's death ray idea came to him from a pop gun that he used as a boy. Funny but true. Tesla realized that a ray would not have enough energy to be destructive enough. And with just a laser the laser would disperce over long distances. So instead he would shoot microscopic pellets in his death ray. The stream could not disperse in this way.

After studying the Van de Graaff electrostatic generator, which used a cardboard belt to generate the high voltages, Tesla came to utilize the same essential setup to generate tremendous charges, but he replaced the belt with an ionized stream of air and then used this electrified stream to "repel" the small pellets which were made out of tungsten. These pellets were shot out of an open-ended vacuum tube which was shaped in the form of a cannon.

bifilar coilBifilar Coil

A bifilar coil is an electromagnetic coil that has in it two closely spaced, paralles windings. In engineering,
the word bifilar means wire which is made of two filaments or strands. It is often used to denote special types of winding wire for transformers.

The bifilar coil is used in modern electrical engineering as a means of constructing wire-wound resistors with
negligible parasitic self-inductance.

An early example of the bifilar coil can be seen in Nikola Tesla's US patent 512,340 of 1894.

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