Getting Started

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Tesla's introduction of a new system of [AC motors]( transformers in 1888,made possible new uses for the motor, but he also made possible the efficient generation, long distance transmission and distribution of electrical energy using the system of alternating current.

Before widespread use of Tesla's principle of poly-phase induction for rotating machines, all motors operated by continually passing a conductor through a stationary magnetic field (as in homopolar motor), using direct current; transmitting direct current was also encountering technical difficulties. These principles more or less solved the War of Currents and initiated another type of development, sometimes collectively referred to as the Second Industrial Revolution.

Initially Tesla suggested that the commutators from a machine could be removed and the device could operate on a rotary field of electromagnetic force. Professor Poeschel, his teacher, stated that would be akin to building a perpetual motion machine. This was because Tesla's teacher had only understood one half of Tesla's ideas. Professor Poeschel had realized that the induced rotating magnetic field would start the rotor of the motor spinning, but he did not see that the counter electromotive force generated would gradually bring the machine to a stop.Tesla would later obtain U.S. Patent 0,416,194, [Electronic motor]( (December 1889), which resembles the motor seen in many of Tesla's photos. This classic alternating current electro-magnetic motor was an induction motor.

Michail Osipovich Dolivo-Dobrovolsky later invented a three-phase "cage-rotor" in 1890. This type of motor is now used for the vast majority of commercial applications.