Tesla Definitions

Do you know the three definitions for the word Tesla?  I think most Tesla car owners know the two common ones, both which are proper nouns.

Nikola Tesla

Nikola Tesla

1. The Tesla cars, company and brand.

2. The man Nikola Tesla.  He was born in Serbia and emigrated to the US in 1884 to work for Thomas Edison.  He soon struck out on his own setting up companies to develop a range of electrical devices.  He held a number of patents and was quite a unique personality.

I had no idea there was a third definition for the word Tesla.  Embarrassingly enough, the only reason I discovered this was during a game of Scramble With Friends with a person who I don’t know but rarely beats me.  I was curious what words this person found, and low and behold the word was Tesla.

Scramble With Friends

Scramble With Friends

I thought Tesla was only a proper noun, so that would not qualify for a game of Scrabble, and likely also Scramble With Friends.  But when I looked it up I found the third definition:

3. The tesla is the SI derived unit of magnetic field strength or magnetic flux density. One tesla is equal to one weber per square meter, and it was defined in 1960 in honor of Nikola Tesla.

And another shameful fact, I have a degree in Electrical Engineering, and through that career I made enough money to afford my Teslas.  I have to admit, my Electromagnetics  class in college was my least favorite as both the textbook and the teacher were terrible.  And I never used this particular branch of EE in my career in Silicon Valley.

So exactly what is magnetic flux density?  We all are familiar with magnetic fields as the Earth’s magnetic field allows us to use compasses.  The magnetic flux density is the strength of that field over a particular surface.  For a great explanation, watch the following short youtube video.

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