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Nikola Tesla was a Serbian-American engineer and physicist. He was born in 1856 in Smiljan, Croatia, which was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the time, and died in 1943. Tesla's father was a priest of the Serbian Orthodox church, and his mother ran the family farm. Tesla was seven years old when his brother Daniel died in a riding accident. This event triggered the first signs of mental illness that became more severe as Tesla reached adulthood. Tesla's innovative research throughout his life led to an enduring legacy in modern technology and fascination with the man himself.

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1. AC Power

Nikola Tesla achieved dozens of breakthroughs related to electrical power. He invented the first AC, or alternating current, induction motor and developed the early generation and transmission technology for AC electrical systems in use today. Tesla investigated and utilized the rotating magnetic field that is the basis of AC machinery. Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison eventually became bitter rivals. Thomas Edison was fully invested in DC current and vehemently opposed Tesla's ideas for AC current. Edison's ideas for DC were impractical and ultimately failed.

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