Did Tesla and Einstein know each other?
Albert Einstein and Nikola Tesla were both quite peculiar characters, both introverted, strong minded and arguably crazy. Both were also totally dedicated to their scientific endeavours.
Albert Einstein was a German-born theoretical physicist. He developed the general theory of relativity, one of the two pillars of modern physics. Einstein's work is also known for its influence on the philosophy of science.
And Nikola Tesla was a Serbian American inventor, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, physicist, and futurist best known for his contributions to the design of the modern alternating current electricity supply system.
Given their outspoken nature and being 2 of the leading scientific minds in the world it was inevitable that they would eventually bump heads.
In 1931 on Nikola Tesla's 75th birthday he was featured on the cover of Time magazine. Time requested a comment from Einstein to which he politely responded with, "As an eminent pioneer in the realm of high frequency currents... I congratulate you on the great successes of your life's work." It was short and to the point from Einstein.
However in the poem "Fragments of Olympian Gossip" which was thought to have been composed in the late 1920's Tesla criticised Einstein:
"Now a long haired crank, Einstein by name,
Puts on your high teaching all the blame."
Also later in 1935 when speaking with The New York Times, Tesla was critical of Einstein stating that his theory of relativity was "a beggar wrapped in purple whom ignorant people take for a king" and "a mass of error and deceptive ideas violently opposed to the teachings of great men of science of the past and even to common sense... the theory wraps all these errors and fallacies and clothes them in magnificent mathematical garb which fascinates, dazzles and makes people blind to the underlying errors.... its exponents are very brilliant men, but they are metaphysicists rather than scientists. Not a single one of the relativity propositions has been proved."
It is also rumored that when Einstein was asked how it felt to be the smartest man on Earth, he replied, "I wouldn't know. Ask Nikola Tesla".Given the nature of the relationship between Einstein and Tesla, it is assumed that if Einstein did indeed say those words, it would make sense that it was a sarcastic remark and not a compliment.
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