Nikola Tesla was a brilliant inventor, mechanical engineer, and physicist who is best known for his work on alternating currents. Even one hundred years after he recorded them, his innovations have been proven to function better than anticipated. No one can, however, be correct 100 percent of the time, and Nikola Tesla made his fair share of grave errors.
Tesla rejected Einstein’s theories: Tesla disliked relativity, calling it “a beggar clothed in purple whom uneducated people take for a king,” according to Tesla.
For the obvious reason that it cannot have any qualities, I maintain that space cannot be curved. God has attributes, which is the same as saying he does.
He lacks traits, which we have created ourselves. Only when dealing with substance occupying the space can we speak about properties, he said.
“To suggest that space becomes curved in the presence of massive masses is to say that nothing can be acted upon. I, for one, will not support such an opinion.
Of course, he was mistaken, and it was obvious. For instance, galaxies and other enormous space objects can bend space-time in a way that we can observe using telescopes, occasionally magnifying background objects in a process called “gravitational lensing.”
Tesla believed he had obtained a faster-than-light measurement: He felt he had observed faster-than-light travel, a cosmic ray from Antares, the brightest star in the constellation of Scorpio, which he thought was moving at speeds 50 times faster than the universe’s speed limit. This was one of the reasons he was so certain Einstein was mistaken.
He had a pigeon as his girlfriend: Although this isn’t technically him doing something that is “wrong” in the sense of “right or not,” it seems worth mentioning. Tesla had a really unusual last few years, which included his falling for a pigeon that used to frequently visit him.
He reportedly claimed of the pigeon, “I loved that pigeon like a man loves a lady, and she adored me. I had a reason to live as long as I had her.
He had no faith in electrons: Tesla believed that atoms were the smallest units of the universe, which is a strange belief considering his work on electricity (which is the passage of electrons through a conductor). He also claimed that if electrons existed, they would only exist in a perfect vacuum. He held to the 19th-century theory that electrical currents were transferred by the “ether” or “aether.”
He believed it was impossible to divide an atom: Naturally, his lack of belief in electrons led him to think that splitting atoms were impossible.
Although I have been preaching against it for 25 years, he added, “the thought of atomic energy has such a great hold on the minds that there are still individuals who believe it to be realizable.”
One of my best innovations, a high-potential vacuum tube that I introduced in 1896, allowed me to disintegrate atoms in my experiments with it. I have used pressures ranging from 4,000,000 to 18,000,000 volts to run it. Recently, I developed a device for 50,000,000 volts that should yield numerous results of major scientific significance.
However, atomic energy is not released during the process of disintegration, contrary to what one might assume based on current theories, as demonstrated by my experimental observations.