|MadSci Network: Physics|
Nikola Tesla (1856-1943) was one of the great inventors in American history and is almost single-handedly responsible for the development and acceptance of alternating-current electricity. In addition to his many inventions, Tesla was convinced that there was an underlying unifying principle in the universe - a single force that could be tapped to yield immense power for the benefit of mankind. He apparently was convinced that everything in the universe was a manifestation of a single electromagnetic reality. This idea was indeed a unification theory, but is not related to the GUTs (Grand Unification Theories) of today. For one thing, the four fundamental forces of nature that GUTs seek to unify were not all known in Tesla�s day.
Unfortunately, due to Tesla�s eccentric personality and his incredible and sometimes bizarre claims about his scientific discoveries and technological developments, Tesla was ultimately regarded as a "mad scientist�. His name has been linked to pseudo-scientific ideas and conspiracy theories such as UFOs and the �Ball-of-Light� theory. It is claimed that his experiments caused the Tunguska explosion while he was developing a weapon of unimaginable power, and that secret Government agents whisked away his files when he died. None of this should detract from the very real contributions he made to our modern way of life.
Interestingly and, perhaps, fittingly, the Tera Electronvolt Superconducting Linear Accelerator (TESLA) facility will use one of the most powerful colliders ever to explore theories like supersmmetry and GUTs.
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