invention of radio

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pages: 478 words: 131,657

Tesla: Man Out of Time by Margaret Cheney

Charles Lindbergh, dematerialisation, fudge factor, invention of radio, luminiferous ether, Menlo Park

But, by a few years, it precedes Marconi’s inventions and practical demonstrations of wireless telegraphy.”2 Figures 165 and 185, referred to in the United States Supreme Court case, are from Tesla’s 1893 lecture and are frequently cited as evidence supporting his claim of invention of radio. Anderson points out that some have confused the argument with respect to the principles of transmission and reception of radio signals with the matter of transmitting voice—an important improvement made practical by DeForest’s Audion, or triode vacuum tube. “In a discussion of priority in the invention of radio, one must be very specific about definitions,” he writes. “In the . . . case of the Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company of America vs. United States (which was decided June 21, 1943, against the Marconi Company and striking down the fundamental Marconi patent), the following definition evolved out of the exhaustive depositions taken from many technical experts in the fields of radio and the physical sciences: “‘A radio communication system requires two tuned circuits each at the transmitter and receiver, all four tuned to the same frequency.’

Edison Chapter 5: The War of the Currents Begins Chapter 6: Order of the Flaming Sword Chapter 7: Radio Chapter 8: High Society Chapter 9: High Road, Low Road Chapter 10: An Error of Judgment Chapter 11: To Mars Chapter 12: Robots Chapter 13: Hurler of Lightning Chapter 14: Blackout at Colorado Springs Chapter 15: Magnificent and Doomed Chapter 16: Ridiculed, Condemned, Combatted Chapter 17: The Great Radio Controversy Chapter 18: Midstream Perils Chapter 19: The Nobel Affair Chapter 20: Flying Stove Chapter 21: Radar Chapter 22: The Guest of Honor Chapter 23: Pigeons Chapter 24: Transitions Chapter 25: The Birthday Parties Chapter 26: Corks on Water Chapter 27: Cosmic Communion Chapter 28: Death and Transfiguration Chapter 29: The Missing Papers Chapter 30: The Legacy Bibliographical Essay Reference Notes Postscript Index ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I wish particularly to thank: Leland Anderson, one of the founders of the Tesla Society,* a coauthor of the annotated Dr. Nikola Tesla Bibliography (San Carlos, Ca., Ragusan Press, 1979), and author of the monograph, “Priority in the Invention of Radio—Tesla v. Marconi.” Mr. Anderson’s research and scholarly works on Tesla have been a major interest of his life. An electrical engineer and former computer consultant, he reviewed my manuscript and generously shared his collection of Tesliana, including many previously unpublished materials and photographs. Maurice Stahl, a physicist formerly with the Hoover Company and now a consultant for the McKinley Historical Museum in Ohio (featuring a Tesla exhibit), also reviewed the manuscript and advised on technical aspects.

Thanks to Science & Mechanics for permission to quote from the article, “Our Future Motive Power,” by Nikola Tesla, Everyday Science & Mechanics, December 1931, and to reproduce an illustration therefrom. Especially thanks to M. Harvey Gernsback, president of Gernsback Publications, Inc., for permission to reprint photos, illustrations of the artist Frank Paul, and quotes from “My Inventions,” by Nikola Tesla, that appeared in the Electrical Experimenter and Science & Invention, formerly published by Hugo Gernsback. And to Leland Anderson for permission to quote from “Priority in Invention of Radio, Tesla v. Marconi,” Antique Wireless Association, March 1980. In addition the author is indebted to the Nikola Tesla Museum for words quoted from Colorado Springs Notes, 1899–1900, by Nikola Tesla; to King Peter II for a quotation from A King’s Heritage, Putnam, New York, 1954, and for lines from T. C. Martin, ed., The Inventions, Researches and Writings of Nikola Tesla, reprinted from The Electrical Engineer, 1894 (reissued by Omni Publications, Hawthorne, Calif., 1977).


pages: 272 words: 76,089

Billions & Billions: Thoughts on Life and Death at the Brink of the Millennium by Carl Sagan

addicted to oil, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, clean water, cosmic abundance, dark matter, demographic transition, Exxon Valdez, F. W. de Klerk, germ theory of disease, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of agriculture, invention of radio, invention of the telegraph, invention of the telephone, Isaac Newton, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, pattern recognition, planetary scale, prisoner's dilemma, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, stem cell, the scientific method, Thomas Malthus, zero-sum game

The real binding up and deprovincial-ization of the planet requires a technology that communicates much faster than horse or sailing ship, that conveys information all over the world, and that is cheap enough to be available, at least occasionally, to the average person. Such a technology began with the invention of the telegraph and the laying of submarine cables; was greatly expanded by the invention of the telephone, using the same cables; and then enormously proliferated with the invention of radio, television, and satellite communications technology. Today we communicate—routinely, casually, with hardly ever a second thought—at the speed of light. From the speed of horse or sailing ship to the speed of light is an improvement by a factor of almost a hundred million. For fundamental reasons at the heart of the way the world works, codified in Einstein's special theory of relativity, we know that there is no way we can send information faster than light.


pages: 384 words: 89,250

Made to Break: Technology and Obsolescence in America by Giles Slade

Albert Einstein, Alexey Pajitnov wrote Tetris, American ideology, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Buckminster Fuller, business cycle, Cass Sunstein, Charles Lindbergh, creative destruction, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, global village, housing crisis, indoor plumbing, invention of radio, Joseph Schumpeter, Marshall McLuhan, Mikhail Gorbachev, more computing power than Apollo, mutually assured destruction, Ralph Nader, rent control, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, the market place, the medium is the message, Thorstein Veblen, unemployed young men, upwardly mobile, Vladimir Vetrov: Farewell Dossier, white picket fence, women in the workforce

Others, including Norman Cousins, John Kenneth Galbraith, Marshall McLuhan, Archibald MacLeish, and Victor Papanek, would follow Packard’s lead in pointing out how the media create artificia needs within vulnerable consumers.The sheer volume of print Americans have devoted to this topic since 1927 demonstrates that obsolescence has become a touchstone of the American consciousness. The book you have in your hand is a collection of stories that emerged during my search for obsolescence in uniquely American events: the invention of packaging, advertising, and branding; the rivalry between Ford and GM; “death dating”; the invention of radio, television, and transistors; the war and the postwar competition with Japan; rock and roll, the British Invasion,and male fashions; universal home ownership; calculators, integrated circuits, and PCs; the space race, tailfins and TelStar; and the looming crisis of e-waste. The theory and practice of obsolescence play a central role in each of these American milestones. At each juncture, vested interests struggled and competed to achieve repetitive consumption through obsolescence, in its many forms and combinations.


pages: 330 words: 99,226

Extraterrestrial Civilizations by Isaac Asimov

Albert Einstein, Cepheid variable, Columbine, Edward Charles Pickering, Harvard Computers: women astronomers, invention of radio, invention of the telescope, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, Louis Pasteur, Magellanic Cloud, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence

Radio waves could easily be produced in coherent fashion, so that a tight beam could go long distances, and could easily be modified to carry messages. For all these reasons radio waves were clearly ideal for longrange communication, and that, too, without the wires that telegraphs and cables required. The first to make practical use of radio waves in this way was the Italian electrical engineer Guglielmo Marconi (1874–1937). In 1901, he sent a radio-wave signal across the Atlantic Ocean, a feat generally recognized as the invention of radio. From that day on, with further improvements and refinements, radio became a more and more important means of communication. It was clear to many people that any technological civilization would surely make use of radio communication in preference to anything else. Therefore, when the planet Mars made a closer than usual approach to Earth in 1924, there was some attempt to listen for radio signals from the presumed civilization that had built its canals.


pages: 309 words: 101,190

Climbing Mount Improbable by Richard Dawkins, Lalla Ward

Buckminster Fuller, computer age, Drosophila, Fellow of the Royal Society, industrial robot, invention of radio, John von Neumann, Menlo Park, phenotype, Robert X Cringely, stem cell, trade route

But it is an argument against intelligent, technically sophisticated life being spaced densely enough to be within easy radio range of other islands of life. If life when it starts has anything other than a low probability of giving rise to intelligent life, we might take this as evidence that life itself is rare. An alternative conclusion to this chain of reasoning is the bleak proposal that intelligent life may arise quite frequently, but typically only a short time elapses between the invention of radio and technological self-destruction. Life may be common in the universe, but we are also at liberty to speculate that it is exceedingly rare. It therefore follows that the kind of event we are seeking, when we speculate about the origin of life, could be a very very improbable event: not the kind of event that we can expect to duplicate in the laboratory and not the kind of event that a chemist will deem ‘plausible’.


pages: 398 words: 100,679

The Knowledge: How to Rebuild Our World From Scratch by Lewis Dartnell

agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, clean water, Dava Sobel, decarbonisation, discovery of penicillin, Dmitri Mendeleev, global village, Haber-Bosch Process, invention of movable type, invention of radio, invention of writing, iterative process, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, lone genius, low earth orbit, mass immigration, nuclear winter, off grid, Richard Feynman, technology bubble, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, trade route

Different crops prefer particular conditions of tilth; wheat, for example, likes a fairly coarse seedbed, with clods about the size of a child’s fist, whereas barley prefers a much finer tilth. Lighter harrowing is applied after sowing to cover the seeds, and can also be used between cultivated rows to tear up weeds. Once an appropriate tilth has been prepared, the next step is to put seeds into the ground. The original meaning of “broadcast”—coined centuries before the invention of radio or TV—is scattering seeds far and wide, tossing them from a sack as you walk back and forth across the field. You can distribute seeds relatively quickly this way, but you have little control over their exact placement, which makes weeding later difficult. But again, with a little bit of ingenuity you can improve this process immeasurably. A seed drill is a mechanical seed sower. At its simplest, a cart has a hopper full of seed on top, and a chain of gears driven by one of its wheels that slowly turns a paddle at the bottom of the hopper chute to release a single seed at regular intervals.


pages: 482 words: 106,041

The World Without Us by Alan Weisman

British Empire, carbon-based life, conceptual framework, coronavirus, invention of radio, nuclear winter, optical character recognition, out of africa, Ray Kurzweil, the High Line, trade route, uranium enrichment, William Langewiesche

DURING THE 1890s, a Serbian immigrant to America, Nikola Tesla, and an Italian, Guglielmo Marconi, each patented devices capable of sending wireless signals. In 1897, Tesla demonstrated sending ship-to-shore pulses across bodies of water in New York, even as Marconi was doing the same among various British isles—and, in 1901, across the Atlantic. Eventually they sued each other over the claim, and the royalties, to the invention of radio. No matter who was right, by then transmission across seas and continents was routine. And beyond: Electromagnetic radio waves—waves much longer than poisonous gamma radiation or ultraviolet sunlight—emanate at the speed of light in an expanding sphere. As they move outward, their intensity drops by a factor of one over the distance squared, meaning that at 100 million miles from Earth, the signal strength is one-fourth what it was at 50 million miles.


pages: 448 words: 117,325

Click Here to Kill Everybody: Security and Survival in a Hyper-Connected World by Bruce Schneier

23andMe, 3D printing, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Brian Krebs, business process, cloud computing, cognitive bias, computer vision, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Heinemeier Hansson, Donald Trump, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, fault tolerance, Firefox, Flash crash, George Akerlof, industrial robot, information asymmetry, Internet of things, invention of radio, job automation, job satisfaction, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, license plate recognition, loose coupling, market design, medical malpractice, Minecraft, MITM: man-in-the-middle, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, national security letter, Network effects, pattern recognition, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, ransomware, Rodney Brooks, Ross Ulbricht, security theater, self-driving car, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, smart cities, smart transportation, Snapchat, Stanislav Petrov, Stephen Hawking, Stuxnet, The Market for Lemons, too big to fail, Uber for X, Unsafe at Any Speed, uranium enrichment, Valery Gerasimov, web application, WikiLeaks, zero day

The UK created the National Cyber Security Centre in 2016 to “help protect our critical services from cyber attacks, manage major incidents, and improve the underlying security of the UK Internet through technological improvement and advice to citizens and organisations.” To my mind, both of these organizations are too closely tied to the military and therefore to the part of the government that relies on Internet insecurity, but they’re a start. There is significant historical precedent in the US for this idea. New technologies regularly lead to the formulation of new government agencies. Trains did. Cars did. Airplanes did. The invention of radio led to the formation of the Federal Radio Commission, which became the Federal Communications Commission. The invention of nuclear power led to the formation of the Atomic Energy Commission, which became the Department of Energy. We can debate the specifics, and the appropriate limits of this new agency. We can debate the organizational structure. But whatever the format, we need some government agency to be in charge of this.


pages: 538 words: 141,822

The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom by Evgeny Morozov

"Robert Solow", A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, borderless world, Buckminster Fuller, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, computer age, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, don't be evil, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, global village, Google Earth, illegal immigration, invention of radio, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Marshall McLuhan, Mitch Kapor, Naomi Klein, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, peer-to-peer, pirate software, pre–internet, Productivity paradox, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Sinatra Doctrine, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, social graph, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, The Wisdom of Crowds, urban planning, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce

One observer at the time, apparently oblivious to the economic forces of global capitalism, mused that airplanes opened up “the realm of absolute liberty; no tracks, no franchises, no need of thousands of employees to add to the cost,” while in 1915 the editor of Flying magazine—the Wired of its day—enthusiastically proclaimed that the First World War had to be “the last great war in history,” because “in less than another decade,” the airplane would have eliminated the factors responsible for wars and ushered in a “new period in human relations” (apparently, Adolf Hitler was not a subscriber to Flying). As much as one could speak of utopian airplane-centrism of the 1910s, this was it. But it was the invention of radio that produced the greatest number of unfulfilled expectations. Its pioneers did their share to overhype the democratization potential of their invention. Guglielmo Marconi, one of the fathers of this revolutionary technology, believed that “the coming of the wireless era will make war impossible, because it will make war ridiculous.” Gerald Swope, president of General Electric Company, one of the biggest commercial backers of radio at the time, was equally upbeat in 1921, hailing the technology as “a means for general and perpetual peace on earth.”


pages: 607 words: 133,452

Against Intellectual Monopoly by Michele Boldrin, David K. Levine

"Robert Solow", accounting loophole / creative accounting, agricultural Revolution, barriers to entry, business cycle, cognitive bias, creative destruction, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Dean Kamen, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, en.wikipedia.org, endogenous growth, Ernest Rutherford, experimental economics, financial innovation, informal economy, interchangeable parts, invention of radio, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jean Tirole, John Harrison: Longitude, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, linear programming, market bubble, market design, mutually assured destruction, Nash equilibrium, new economy, open economy, peer-to-peer, pirate software, placebo effect, price discrimination, profit maximization, rent-seeking, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, software patent, the market place, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, transaction costs, Y2K

Because, you see, now like then, the game of patenting and intellectual monopoly is not all that democratic and open to the little guys as Ms. Khan’s recent and altogether interesting book would like us to believe. So, it is the case that Marconi, supported by the likes of Edison and Carnegie, kept hammering the U.S. Patent Office until, in 1904, it reversed course and gave Marconi a patent for the invention of radio: “The reasons for this have never been fully explained, but the powerful financial backing for Marconi in the United States suggests one possible explanation.”43 We will spare you the sad story of Nikola Tesla’s hapless fight against Marconi, you can figure that out by yourself. In fact, we are also sparing you the stories of the P1: PDX head margin: 1/2 gutter margin: 7/8 CUUS245-08 cuus245 978 0 521 87928 6 April 29, 2008 15:42 206 Against Intellectual Monopoly many other fights poor Tesla lost against some of the great “inventors” and “entrepreneurial geniuses” of the time, Edison foremost.


pages: 611 words: 130,419

Narrative Economics: How Stories Go Viral and Drive Major Economic Events by Robert J. Shiller

agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, Andrei Shleifer, autonomous vehicles, bank run, banking crisis, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, business cycle, butterfly effect, buy and hold, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, collective bargaining, computerized trading, corporate raider, correlation does not imply causation, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, debt deflation, disintermediation, Donald Trump, Edmond Halley, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, full employment, George Akerlof, germ theory of disease, German hyperinflation, Gunnar Myrdal, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hacker Ethic, implied volatility, income inequality, inflation targeting, invention of radio, invention of the telegraph, Jean Tirole, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, litecoin, market bubble, money market fund, moral hazard, Northern Rock, nudge unit, Own Your Own Home, Paul Samuelson, Philip Mirowski, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, publish or perish, random walk, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, Satoshi Nakamoto, secular stagnation, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, stochastic process, stocks for the long run, superstar cities, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, Thorstein Veblen, traveling salesman, trickle-down economics, tulip mania, universal basic income, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We are the 99%, yellow journalism, yield curve, Yom Kippur War

New Technology Will Change Contagion Rates and Recovery Rates Notable changes in information technology, with changes in contagion rates and recovery rates, have occurred over the course of history. The early invention of printed books in China, the invention of Gutenberg’s printing press in the fifteenth century, the invention of newspapers in Europe in the seventeenth century, the invention of the telegraph and telephone in the nineteenth century, the invention of radio and television in the twentieth, and the rise of the Internet and social media have all fundamentally altered the nature of contagion, but to date there has been no systematic quantitative study of these inventions’ impact on contagion. Social media and search engines have the potential to alter the fundamentals of contagion. In the past, ideas spread in a random, non-systematic way. Social media platforms make it possible for like-minded people with extremist views to find each other and further reinforce their unusual beliefs.


pages: 488 words: 144,145

Inflated: How Money and Debt Built the American Dream by R. Christopher Whalen

Albert Einstein, bank run, banking crisis, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, buy and hold, California gold rush, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, commoditize, conceptual framework, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, cuban missile crisis, currency peg, debt deflation, falling living standards, fiat currency, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial intermediation, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, global reserve currency, housing crisis, interchangeable parts, invention of radio, Kenneth Rogoff, laissez-faire capitalism, liquidity trap, means of production, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, non-tariff barriers, oil shock, Paul Samuelson, payday loans, plutocrats, Plutocrats, price stability, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, special drawing rights, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transcontinental railway, Upton Sinclair, women in the workforce

Many of the motivations and flows within the political dialog over the nature of money still welled up from local and particular regional influences. Yet the U.S. monetary system was an unresolved national question in large measure because the nation remained so dependent upon foreign capital flows. More, the ebb and flow of financial markets was slowly becoming a daily political referendum on the job done by Washington regarding the economy in general, an influence that would be made acute with the invention of radio, television, and eventually the internet over the next century. The public’s concern regarding the adequacy of the money supply in the first decade of the twentieth century is all the more ironic since it was growing at a pretty brisk pace compared with the nation’s population, which was at about 76 million at the turn of the century and reached 97 million by 1913. This increase represented between 1.5 and 2 percent growth annually.


pages: 519 words: 155,332

Tailspin: The People and Forces Behind America's Fifty-Year Fall--And Those Fighting to Reverse It by Steven Brill

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airport security, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, asset allocation, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Blythe Masters, Bretton Woods, business process, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carried interest, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, computerized trading, corporate governance, corporate raider, corporate social responsibility, Credit Default Swap, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Donald Trump, ending welfare as we know it, failed state, financial deregulation, financial innovation, future of work, ghettoisation, Gordon Gekko, hiring and firing, Home mortgage interest deduction, immigration reform, income inequality, invention of radio, job automation, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, laissez-faire capitalism, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, obamacare, old-boy network, paper trading, performance metric, post-work, Potemkin village, Powell Memorandum, quantitative hedge fund, Ralph Nader, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Robert Mercer, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, telemarketer, too big to fail, trade liberalization, union organizing, Unsafe at Any Speed, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, working poor

That often led to relying on news and facts that produced a one-sided spin, as well as being exposed to what came to be called “fake news” that had been piped into news feeds by interests (such as hackers working for Russia) deliberately trying to deceive readers. BuzzFeed News, after conducting an analysis of web traffic and engagement following the 2016 American election, found that “the top-performing fake election news stories on Facebook generated more engagement than the top stories from major news outlets, such as the New York Times, Washington Post, Huffington Post, NBC News, and others.” The invention of radio had united the country by allowing everyone to share the same experience. They could listen together to an FDR fireside chat or an Edward R. Murrow report from London as the bombs fell. With the coming of television, they could watch together as Murrow took on Joseph McCarthy, as John Kennedy, Jr., saluted his father’s coffin, as Walter Cronkite reported on the Vietnam War, or as Neil Armstrong walked on the moon.


pages: 501 words: 145,097

The Men Who United the States: America's Explorers, Inventors, Eccentrics and Mavericks, and the Creation of One Nation, Indivisible by Simon Winchester

British Empire, Charles Lindbergh, clean water, colonial rule, discovery of the americas, distributed generation, Donner party, estate planning, Etonian, full employment, Hernando de Soto, hive mind, invention of radio, invention of the telegraph, James Watt: steam engine, Joi Ito, Khyber Pass, Menlo Park, plutocrats, Plutocrats, transcontinental railway, Works Progress Administration

He was also afflicted with an obsessive-compulsive disorder; he refused to shake hands, he would feel a need to read all the books written by any author he encountered, and he had a peculiar devotion to the number three and to any other number divisible by it. Though the Serbian-born inventor Nikola Tesla, clever, fragile, and an eccentric showman, was until recently widely overlooked, it is now generally accepted that he made vast contributions to the development of alternating electrical current and the invention of radio, long before Marconi. He has lately won legions of new admirers, mostly young, who see him as a forgotten hero of American science. Nikola Tesla was, in short, the classic exemplar of the mad scientist, and the fact that he made dangerously interesting inventions by the score resonates still with today’s imaginative fans of the far-fetched. He made devices like the Tesla coil, a step-up transformer that could raise current into the tens of thousands of volts and then generate Niagaras of gigantic electrical sparks.


pages: 733 words: 184,118

Tesla: Inventor of the Electrical Age by W. Bernard Carlson

1960s counterculture, Albert Einstein, Clayton Christensen, creative destruction, disruptive innovation, en.wikipedia.org, Henri Poincaré, invention of radio, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Joseph Schumpeter, Menlo Park, packet switching, popular electronics, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, undersea cable, yellow journalism

Howeth, History of Communications-Electronics in the United States Navy, chap. 19, “Operations and Organization of the United States Naval Radio Service during Neutrality Period,” sec. 3, “Operation of the Tuckerton and Sayville Stations,” http://earlyradiohistory.us/1963hw19.htm. 16. “Tesla Sues Marconi on Wireless Patent,” New York Times, 4 August 1915; NT, Radio Testimony; Peterson quote is from http://www.tfcbooks.com/teslafaq/q&a_022.htm; Leland I. Anderson, Priority in the Invention of Radio—Tesla vs. Marconi (Breckenridge, CO: Twenty-First Century Books, n.d.); A. David Wunsch, “Misreading the Supreme Court: A Puzzling Chapter in the History of Radio,” Antenna 11, no. 1 (November 1998), http://www.mercurians.org/1998_Fall/Misreading.htm. 17. Branimir Jovanović, “Nikola Tesla-Research Methodology in the Light of Facts Discovered during Reconstruction of His Work on Bladeless Pumps from 1908–1911” (paper presented at ICOHTEC meeting, Belfort, France, July 1998), 8. 18.


pages: 678 words: 216,204

The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom by Yochai Benkler

affirmative action, barriers to entry, bioinformatics, Brownian motion, call centre, Cass Sunstein, centre right, clean water, commoditize, dark matter, desegregation, East Village, fear of failure, Firefox, game design, George Gilder, hiring and firing, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, information asymmetry, invention of radio, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jean Tirole, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Kenneth Arrow, longitudinal study, market bubble, market clearing, Marshall McLuhan, Mitch Kapor, New Journalism, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, pre–internet, price discrimination, profit maximization, profit motive, random walk, recommendation engine, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, RFID, Richard Stallman, Ronald Coase, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social software, software patent, spectrum auction, technoutopianism, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, Vilfredo Pareto

During periods of perturbation, more of the ways in which society organizes itself are up for grabs; more can be renegotiated, as the various other components of human stability adjust to the changes. To borrow Stephen Jay Gould's term from evolutionary theory, human societies exist in a series of punctuated equilibria. The periods of disequilibrium are not necessarily long. A mere twenty-five years passed between the invention of radio and its adaptation to the mass-media model. A similar period passed between the introduction of telephony and its adoption of the monopoly utility form that enabled only one-to-one limited communications. In each of these periods, various paths could have been taken. Radio showed us even within the past century how, in some societies, different paths were in fact taken and then sustained over decades.


pages: 1,396 words: 245,647

The Strangest Man: The Hidden Life of Paul Dirac, Mystic of the Atom by Graham Farmelo

Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Arthur Eddington, Berlin Wall, cuban missile crisis, double helix, Ernest Rutherford, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial independence, gravity well, Henri Poincaré, invention of radio, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Murray Gell-Mann, period drama, Richard Feynman, Simon Singh, Solar eclipse in 1919, Stephen Hawking, strikebreaker, University of East Anglia

Robertson, M. (1985) ‘Recollections of Princeton: The Princeton Mathematics Community in the 1930s’, available at http://www.princeton.edu/~mudd/finding_aids/ mathoral/pm02.htm (accessed 22 May 2008). Roqué, X. (1997) ‘The Manufacture of the Positron’, Studies in the Philosophy and History of Modern Physics, 28 (1): 73–129. Ross, S. (1962) ‘Scientist: The Story of the Word’, Annals of Science, 18 (June): 65–85. Rowlands, P. and Wilson, J. P. (1994) Oliver Lodge and the Invention of Radio, Liverpool: PD Publications. Rozental, S. (ed.) (1967) Niels Bohr: His Life and Work as Seen by His Friends and Colleagues, New York: Wiley. Russell, B. (1972) The Collected Stories, London, George Allen & Unwin. Sachs R. G. (ed.) (1984) The Nuclear Chain Reaction: Forty Years Later, Chicago, Ill.: University of Chicago Press. Salam, A. (1987) ‘Dirac and Finite Field Theories’, in J. G.


pages: 782 words: 245,875

The Power Makers by Maury Klein

Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, animal electricity, Augustin-Louis Cauchy, British Empire, business climate, invention of radio, invention of the telegraph, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Louis Pasteur, luminiferous ether, margin call, Menlo Park, price stability, railway mania, Right to Buy, the scientific method, trade route, transcontinental railway, working poor

Its gradual departure as a concept marked an end to the physical picture on which Faraday and Maxwell alike had relied to conceive their theories. After Maxwell, mechanical explanations of electric phenomena no longer sufficed, yet theoretical knowledge of their nature remained far from complete.64 Stupendous discoveries and developments flowed from Maxwell’s concepts. They led most directly to the invention of radio and more abstractly to Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity. At the time, however, many physicists shrank from Maxwell’s argument despite its solid grounding in mathematics. They could not accept the notion that insulators, which confined electric currents within prescribed paths, could also be the seat of electric action. A curious irony arose. Faraday struggled for acceptance because he could not root his theories derived from experiments in mathematics.