The ONE secret that Nikola Tesla wrested from nature on that fateful day in a Budapest park was the design for his most famous and important invention: the Alternating Current Induction Motor. Before Tesla’s breakthrough, all electricity and motors used a direct current system, like the Gramme dynamo Professor Poeschl was demonstrating at Tesla’s Polytechnic School in Graz. Direct current motors were prone to wear and tear and sparking due to the number of moving parts brushing up against each other. Much to the disgust of his Professor, Tesla thought he could do away with the inefficiencies and sparking (in particular caused by a part known as a commutator). The genius of Tesla’s AC motor was it’s simplicity. There was no need for a commutator because the rotor moved due to a rotating electric field. This meant that the motor was more efficient, reliable, quieter and cheaper. In the ‘War of the Currents’ between Thomas Edison’s DC power and the AC system, Tesla’s alternating current prevailed and today is the basis of all modern power generation and distribution. Suck it, Professor Poeschl.
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