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Cordell Taylor

Professor Howard Lytle

RHET 1312
Rhetorical Analysis
Serbian inventor Nikola Tesla is well known for the invention of the alternating current systems that we
rely on so heavily today. However, his works on the wireless transmission of energy, to which he
devoted nearly 50 years of his life, remain largely unknown. His discoveries in the field of electrical
engineering, especially those having to do with wireless technology, continue to shape and define the
modern world. Yet no one considers the higher potential of Tesla's work. Aleksander Marincic, in his
article Nikola Tesla And The Wireless Transmission Of Energy effectively sheds light on the ideas
and vision of Nikola Tesla, and explains why they should receive the attention of the public.
In 1891, while extremely little was known about electromagnetic waves, Tesla patented
his high voltage, high frequency transformer, known today as the Tesla coil, under the title System of
Electric Lighting. Tesla had discovered that using his transformer, he could transmit energy with only
1 wire, and sometimes no wires at all, to light lamps around his laboratory. This was the beginning of
his mission to give the world free, wireless electricity. Later, in 1897, Tesla concluded that the single
wire could be removed all together. The earth could be used as 1 conductor, while the conductive layers
of the atmosphere could be used as the other. Instead of attempting to reach these high, conductive
layers of the atmosphere, Tesla devised a way to create an artificial ionosphere at a much lower altitude
for the transmission of current. While improving these methods, Tesla discovered the existence of
stationary waves, reproduced them using his oscillator, and calculated the earths natural resonant
frequencies. With this new information Tesla concluded that electricity could be transmitted through
the diameter of the earth with great efficiency at low frequencies, and that the wireless transmission
system could be realized on a global scale. Tesla immediately began work on this World Telegraphy

project, using Niagara falls to generate the electricity that would be transmitted around the world.
However, halfway into the construction of this plant, Tesla's sponsor J.P. Morgan ceased funding the
project, as free energy would not be profitable. Despite giving the world affordable power with his
alternating current systems, Tesla did not manage to draw enough attention from the public to see his
projects continued. Although experiments actually based on his work result with very poor efficiency,
modern experiments with extremely low frequencies continue to result as predicted by Tesla. Models
and notes left behind are oversimplified thus making precise understanding of Tesla's work difficult,
and so we are left to wonder whether or not the global transmission of wireless energy, as devised by
Tesla, would be possible.
Marincic presents a highly logos argument, heavily relying on facts, dates, and scientific
data. The article is aimed mainly at other electrical engineers, especially those interested in Tesla's
works, in an attempt to draw more attention to the possibilities that could be realized with further study.
Being very informative, the logos elements are actually responsible for the pathos. For example, the
author describes how in filing for a patent, it was not believed to be possible to transmit energy through
the air, basically by having to create an artificial ionosphere at low altitudes. It sounded outrageous. To
receive the patent, Tesla actually had to perform an experimental demonstration in front of an official
of the patent office. The explanations of Tesla's ideas make the reader marvel at his genius, and creates
a feeling of awe. Marincic does little within his writing to support his own credibility, confident that his
heavy use of factual information, and multiple degrees in electrical engineering, including a PhD, will
suffice in establishing him as a credible source. He is confident with good reason. The article is
effectively persuasive: anyone would agree that much more attention should be put into the study and
research of Nikola Tesla's ideas.
Nikola Tesla is the man responsible for the modern world. He created the future that we call the
present. Yet had we given him our attention, we may well be much further along. We utilize his
inventions to power our cities, to change the channels on our tv and connect to wifi, to call friends and

family, even to take X-rays. Perhaps we could be doing all of these things without any wires or cables
at all, and with free, renewable energy, if we had recognized what was being done for us. We have all
heard of Thomas Edison, but Nikola Tesla, who invented and improved much more, and went much
further in every aspect, remains largely unknown. It is unacceptable that the inventor of the simple light
bulb and direct current is famed while the inventor of superior systems of lighting, alternating current,
induction motors, and wireless technology including radio and remote control, remains vastly
unknown. Aleksander's argument is therefore extremely important, because it shows that we have
limited ourselves by not paying attention to the changes happening around us. Tesla's works should be
reviewed, reconsidered, and evaluated for feasibility. And we as a people, should be more conscious of
those whose actions shape our world.
Works Cited
Marincic, Aleksander Nikola Tesla And The Wireless Transmission Of Energy 10 October 1982