Modern society owes a lot to Nikola Tesla.
The Serbian-American scientist's inventions led to the radios and power grids used today. Over the course of his life, Tesla registered some 300 patents under his name, and traces of his inventions can be found in many modern-day devices, including in some unexpected places, such as remote-controlled boat toys and letter-shaped neon lights.
But not all of Tesla's futuristic visions came to fruition. Some of the inventor's most far-out and ambitious dreams went unrealized, such as his vision for the wireless transmission of energy. In other cases, what Tesla invented was simply not practical enough to replace existing systems, such as the bladeless steam turbine, or was too dangerous to use, such as a steam-powered electric generator that came to be known as the "earthquake machine," after Tesla claimed the generator caused an earthquake in New York City in 1898.
And there were other times when Tesla's ideas were just too revolutionary to fathom, or were so bizarre that they were ridiculed by other scientists. Some of Tesla's theoretical inventions, such as a "death ray" weapon and force field, existed only in science fiction.
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