The Kinetic Inventions of Nikola Tesla

Nikola Tesla's kinetic experiments

Nikola Tesla was born in Smiljan, a quiet village on the military frontier of the Austrian empire or modern day Croatia. His father was an Orthodox priest and his mother a homemaker, whom he later credited for having most significantly contributed to his creative genius.

Electrifying Science

Tesla was fascinated by physics and often attended demonstrations of experiments involving electricity. Initially, his experiences with electricity inspired him to go work for the European wing of the Edison Company in Paris. There, his talent was quickly put to work developing dynamos and tinkering away at filaments and after being reduced to doing a number of menial tasks, Tesla left Edison and would eventually go on to invent his famous induction motor, by and large… the rest is history.

Patented inventions of Tesla
Patented inventions of Tesla

While the man and his legend have fluctuated in and out of popularity, many of us know his story. But what about Tesla’s other inventions, his other interests? Certainly, there is a lot more to discover about him, simply by going through his innumerable other creations.

The Moon's Rotation

In the 1919 Edition of the “Electrical Experimenter” Tesla was able to conclude and prove that in a rotating body such as a planet or even a comet all its kinetic energy is purely translational. For example, in the case of the moon, this means it has no rotational energy on its own. This demonstration took him hours of experimentation and kinetic sculptures were very helpful in this, in fact he used these moving elements to test and plot out a body’s use of energy.

Tesla's moon rotation experiment

Tesla and His Kinetic Models

Likewise, during his tireless search for a motor that could be started without sparking or fuel, Tesla conceived a number of interactive or kinetic models that he built himself. And not to mention that the bladeless turbine required for his motor needed to interact with water in order to move, which he invented shortly after, he realizing he could not simply extrapolate energy from the “cosmos”.

Nikola Tesla kinetic experiment

In many ways Kinetic sculptures propagate that same idea and can be used for experimentation and innovation as effectively as they are used for enjoyment and relaxation. Certainly, an objects simplicity can often be very deceiving, because great things often have humble beginnings.

Nikola tesla quote


For this reason here at Kinetrika, we believe that science is an art form and that the motivation behind all art is the same: curiosity and passion for the world around us. In fact, this attitude drives the discovery of new ways to reinvent life as we know it.  And above all, it will never stop us from experimenting something new and extraordinary. 

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