5 Predictions of Nikola Tesla That Came True (And 5 That Didn't)

5 predictions of nikola tesla that were right, 5 wrong predictions of nikola tesla

Nikola Tesla was a genius Serbian American inventor who laid the foundations of alternate current power system. Tesla was an advocate of modern technology and made many convincing predictions about the future. Some of Tesla's predictions were proven correct in the 21st century and some have gone wrong, as you shall see in this post.

1. (Right) Alternating current

Nikola Tesla pioneered the generation, transmission and use of alternating current electricity. Tesla believed that one day in the future the entire world would use his power system over direct current.

Thomas Edison famously tried to show with experiment that alternating current was deadly. However, Tesla overcame that fear mongering by showing that AC was safe, inexpensive and usable over large distances.

2. (Wrong) Interplanetary energy exchange

One can see that Tesla and his ideas were on another level when he said that he would be able to complete interplanetary communication. In 1931, Tesla proposed a way in the future that would allow planets to transmit energy, from one planet to another, in large amounts of horsepower - regardless of distance.

3. (Right) Smartphone

In 1908, Tesla said - An inexpensive instrument, not bigger than a watch, will enable one to call up, from one's desk, and talk to any telephone subscriber on the globe. Any picture, character, drawing, or print can be transferred from one to another place.

5 right predictions of nikola tesla, 5 wrong predictions of nikola tesla

4. (Wrong) Unlimited free energy

Tesla envisioned a future in which humans are able to harness the energy of ionosphere and distribute it wirelessly to anyone anywhere on the planet. This concept, while inspiring, has not been realized because of practical reasons.

5. (Right) Thought images, MRI

Tesla: I expect to photograph thoughts. In 1893, while engaged in certain investigations, I became convinced that a definite image formed in thought must produce a corresponding image on the retina, which might be read by a suitable apparatus.

The closest machine able to do as Tesla suggested is MRI scan. An fMRI scan can tell you something about what a person is thinking. Tesla predicted - "Our minds would then, indeed, be like open books."

6. (Wrong) Wireless electricity

One notable incorrect prediction of Nikola Tesla is transmission of wireless electricity through the air. There would be no need for wires in the future for long distance transfer using his Wardenclyffe tower. This idea of Tesla was impractical on many levels and was not realized on large scale.

5 right predictions of nikola tesla, 5 wrong predictions of nikola tesla

7. (Right) Wi-fi

While wireless electricity did not succeed, wireless transfer of files - documents, photos, music, video worked. His prediction of the internet came true in the 1980s and wireless file transfer in the 1990s.

8. (Wrong) Anti gravity tech

Tesla predicted an anti-gravity technology which would allow levitation in day to day life. Despite ongoing research in this field, anti gravity remains impractical and still quite far from reality.

9. (Right) Robotics and automation

Tesla predicted that robots will replace humans in many fields. He predicted driverless cars. He predicted robots would do menial labor like lifting and loading. Today, not only this, but automation via artificial intelligence is putting human creativity at risk, as they create art and music.

10. (Wrong) Weather control

While modern science has explored temporary weather modification techniques like cloud seeding, a complete control of weather and climate as Tesla had envisioned has not come to fruition.

Paul Dirac versus Richard Feynman

dirac verus feynman physics

Feynman and Dirac, two great physicists who made invaluable contribution to quantum mechanics and Nobel prize winners, were poles apart.

While Richard Feynman idolized Paul Dirac, they disagreed on many things. One remembers Dirac as an extremely shy person, who hesitated to speak. Feynman, on the contrary, was a chatty man whose anecdotes spread contagious laughter.

Dirac won the Nobel prize for correctly predicting the existence of anti-matter. Three decades later, Feynman won the coveted prize for his work with elementary particles.

Both physicists had a very distinct view of science. Dirac was inclined towards mathematics and considered beauty in one's equations to be important. While Feynman preferred the equation to stand the test of experiment.

Feynman said - Physics is not mathematics. Mathematics is not physics. One helps the other.

Dirac was of the view - It is more important to have beauty in one's equations than to have them fit experiment.

You can say that in this regard Feynman and Dirac were rivals as they say "Raibaru" in Japanese. They did not seem to agree on this one thing.

Yet, as a young man Feynman idolized Dirac. He said - 

Dirac made a breakthrough, a new method of doing physics. He had the courage to simply guess at the form of an equation, and to try to interpret it afterwards.

This equation is now called Dirac equation. It is a beautiful, small equation that predicts counterpart of matter, anti-matter. In 1932, Paul Dirac was recognized by Nobel prize in physics for his work.

Later on, Feynman's views changed.

Being a mathematical physicist, Dirac was of the view that if an equation has beauty, then one must be working correctly, on the right path. Feynman disagreed that beauty is paramount, but he still remained a Dirac fanboy.

Feynman's evolved thought was

No matter how beautiful an equation is, no matter who made the equation or how genius he was, if it disagrees with experiment, it is wrong!

In 1962, the two great minds Feynman and Dirac met at a science conference.

dirac feynman rivalry physics

Feynman a chatty fellow talked at length while a meek old man Dirac listened quietly. In the end, Dirac blurted out a question - I have an equation. Do you have one too?

Earlier in 1948, Feynman had invented a diagram to pictorially represent the interaction of subatomic particles. For this simplification work, Feynman won the Nobel prize in 1965. It is then interesting to note that both scientists won the Nobel prize in physics for proposing a simple solution.

One key takeaway from this story is that it takes courage to challenge your idol. Feynman admired Dirac all his life, but it was not wrong for him to disagree with his hero once in a while. Isn't that how science progresses? When great minds collide?

10 Motivational Quotes By Albert Einstein

albert einstein quotes for students

Everyone would agree that Albert Einstein was the greatest physicist of all time. Einstein won the Nobel Prize for explaining the photoelectric effect thereby paving a way for quantum mechanics to bloom, but he is most well know for equation E = m c^2.

More than that, Einstein developed a new theory of universal gravitation, an improvement over Newton's version, in which Einstein imagined a curving space and time resulting in a force we call gravity. Einstein spent his last years to find the ultimate theory of the universe.

Today, Albert Einstein is remembered not only as a great scientist, but also as a wise man, who inspired students with his witty remarks. Einstein was featured in the movie Oppenheimer, giving advice to physicist Robert Oppenheimer.

Following are ten quotes by Einstein to help students succeed in academics and in life:

1. Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.

2. Never memorize something that you can look up.

3. Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.

4. Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere.

5. The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.

6. I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious. The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existence.

albert einstein famous quotes for students

7. The measure of intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.

8. What is right is not always popular and what is popular is not always right.

9. Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.

10. I speak to everyone in the same way, whether he is the garbage man or the president of the university.

Feynman's Letter To Deceased Wife Breaks Stereotype

richard feynman letter to dead wife physics science

It is said that men cannot express themselves well enough. Building upon this notion, often times TV shows tend to portray that male scientists [or as they say geeks] cannot convey feelings of love and usually get awkward in social situations.

However, there was one outspoken physicist by the name Richard Feynman who not only broke this stereotype but went beyond. Feynman was a great teacher, artist and lover.

Feynman's love for his wife knew no bounds. He wrote about it in a book titled What do you care what other people think? [a phrase his wife Arline taught him]. The book was later on adapted into a movie starring Matthew Broderick as Richard Feynman and Patricia Arquette as Arline Greenbaum in 1996.

Arline was struck by tuberculosis and was bed ridden for the latter part of her short lived life. Feynman used to commute from work to the hospital every day, a place which became their home in the last few years. He brought her presents and flowers and promised to stay by her side until her last breath. Feynman stood by his word.

When Arline passed away, every other thing reminded Feynman of the time he had spent with her. A cute dress by the window of a shop brought tears to his eyes, as Feynman imagined how his departed wife Arline would look in it.

Following is a letter that Feynman wrote 16 months after Arline had passed away. He just could not get over her for a really long time as this letter shows...

October 17, 1946


I adore you, sweetheart.

I know how much you like to hear that — but I don’t only write it because you like it — I write it because it makes me warm all over inside to write it to you.

It is such a terribly long time since I last wrote to you — almost two years but I know you’ll excuse me because you understand how I am, stubborn and realistic; and I thought there was no sense to writing.

But now I know my darling wife that it is right to do what I have delayed in doing, and that I have done so much in the past. I want to tell you I love you. I want to love you. I always will love you.

I find it hard to understand in my mind what it means to love you after you are dead — but I still want to comfort and take care of you — and I want you to love me and care for me. I want to have problems to discuss with you — I want to do little projects with you. I never thought until just now that we can do that. What should we do. We started to learn to make clothes together — or learn Chinese — or getting a movie projector. Can’t I do something now? No. I am alone without you and you were the “idea-woman” and general instigator of all our wild adventures.


When you were sick you worried because you could not give me something that you wanted to and thought I needed. You needn’t have worried. Just as I told you then there was no real need because I loved you in so many ways so much. And now it is clearly even more true — you can give me nothing now yet I love you so that you stand in my way of loving anyone else — but I want you to stand there. You, dead, are so much better than anyone else alive.

I know you will assure me that I am foolish and that you want me to have full happiness and don’t want to be in my way. I’ll bet you are surprised that I don’t even have a girlfriend (except you, sweetheart) after two years. But you can’t help it, darling, nor can I — I don’t understand it, for I have met many girls and very nice ones and I don’t want to remain alone — but in two or three meetings they all seem ashes. You only are left to me. You are real.

My darling wife, I do adore you.

I love my wife. My wife is dead.


PS Please excuse my not mailing this — but I don’t know your new address.


5 Quotes By James Maxwell To Inspire Students

james clerk maxwell quotes

James Clerk Maxwell [1831-1879] was a Scottish physicist and mathematician who is best known for equations which unified electricity, magnetism and light into one coherent subject of electromagnetism. As a result of his work, Maxwell is considered one of the greatest physicists of all time.

Maxwell lived a short but a truly fulfilling academic life, regarded on par with Newton and Einstein. He is also known as the founder of the modern field of electrical engineering. Maxwell died of stomach cancer but inspired many, including Tesla, with his words.

Following are five motivational quotes by James Maxwell:

1. The world may be utterly crazy, and life may be labour in vain; But I'd rather be silly than lazy, and would not quit life for its pain.

2. It is of great advantage to the student of any subject to read the original memoirs on that subject, when we take some interest in the great discoverers and their lives that science becomes endurable, and only when we begin to trace the development of ideas.

3. In every branch of knowledge the progress is proportional to the amount of facts on which to build, and therefore to the facility of obtaining data.

4. The equations at which we arrive must be such that a person of any nation, by substituting the numerical values of the quantities as measured by his own national units, would obtain a true result.

5. Every man has been given a progressively increasing power of communication with other creatures.  Happiness is indissolubly connected with the full exercise of these powers in their intended direction.

James Clerk Maxwell died early, but he was able to capture the attention of scientific community with his work for a long time. He was inspired by Faraday and went on to inspire the likes of Einstein and Tesla.

Physicist Who Coined Black hole & Wormhole

john wheeler blackhole wormhole

John Wheeler is best known as a physicist who popularized the term black hole. He was called the hero of black hole story by Stephen Hawking. Wheeler also coined the word wormhole for a hypothetical pathway connecting two remote points in space-time.

Wheeler [1911 – 2008] earned his doctorate degree when he was only 21 years old. He worked with such renowned scientists as Niels Bohr and Edward Teller. For most his life, Wheeler was a professor, his most notable student being Nobel laureate Richard Feynman.

Following are 5 brilliant quotes by John Wheeler:

1. Space tells matter how to move. Matter tells space how to curve. This is how Wheeler summarized Einstein's general relativity in one line.

2. The best way to learn something is to have to teach it. said in 1996

3. We live on an island surrounded by a sea of ignorance. As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance. to Scientific American, 1992

4. In any field find the strangest thing and then explore it. quoted by James Gleick

5. The universe gives birth to consciousness, and consciousness gives meaning to the universe.

John Wheeler and Richard Feynman

Wheeler joined Princeton University as a professor of physics in 1938, remaining until 1976. Wheeler supervised 46 PhD students at Princeton, more than any other professor. His most notable student was Richard Feynman.

Over the course of time, Wheeler and Feynman developed a friendship and mutual admiration. Feynman referred to Wheeler as his "spiritual father," and they maintained a lifelong connection, even after Feynman moved to Caltech.

Death and legacy

On April 13, 2008, Wheeler died of pneumonia at the age of 96. He is remembered as one of the greatest American physicists of the 20th century. After his death, the University of Texas named the John Wheeler Lecture Hall in his honor.

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