Tesla, Man Out of Time Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Margaret Cheney
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. In what year does the Tesla Electric Company open?

2. What does Nikola Tesla do to the oscillator?

3. Where is Nikola Tesla when he watches his Colorado Springs experiment?

4. In what subject does Nikola Tesla excel in high school?

5. Who contributed $30,000 toward the building of the new research station?

Short Essay Questions

1. In Chapter 6, "Order of the Flaming Sword," Nikola Tesla develops what he calls a carbon button lamp. For what later device does the lamp serve as a prototype?

2. Nikola produces the first x-ray picture in America. Why does he not commercialize this discovery?

3. In Chapter 3, "Immigrants of Distinction," describe the influence that Charles Bachelor has on Nikola Tesla.

4. What potential modern applications does author Margaret Cheney describe for Nikola Tesla's invention of a peculiar and sensitive vacuum tube?

5. In Chapter 5, "The War of the Currents Begins," describe several events that demonstrate that Nikola Tesla's notoriety is growing.

6. In the "Acknowledgements" section, describe the reasons Leland Anderson is interested in Nikola Tesla.

7. Describe three elements of the friendship between Nikola Tesla and Mr. and Mrs. Robert Wood Johnson.

8. In Chapter 9, "High Road, Low Road," Nikola Tesla focuses on the use of alternating current for electricity generation, while his competitor Thomas Edison refuses to endorse anything but direct current. How is the electricity generation business divided in the mid-1890s in Buffalo?

9. In Chapter 13, "Hurler of Lightning," what are some of the effects of Nikola Tesla's experiments with the magnifying oscillator in Colorado Springs?

10. Nikola's demonstration of the world's first radio-controlled boat doesn't make a big splash. Why is this?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

While Nikola is assembling his ambitious Wardenclyffe facility to broadcast radio across the Atlantic ocean, Marconi signals the letter "S" across the Atlantic from Cornwall to Newfoundland without the benefit of a great physical plant such as Nikola is building. J.P. Morgan, his financier, takes note. Compare and contrast the overall method of Marconi and Nikola in achieving this goal. Provide your opinion about the ethics involved in Marconi's use of Nikola's original radio patent of 1900 in order to achieve this feat. Why does Nikola allow people to keep beating him at his own game?

Essay Topic 2

At dinner in the Palm Room of the Waldorf Astoria, Nikola Tesla requires eighteen napkins, polishes the crystal and silver setting, has his meal served by the maitre d'hotel, calculates the cubic contents of his meal, and then departs precisely at 10:00 p.m., all while the other diners maintain their distance and pretend not to stare at him.

Part 1) Discuss how Nikola's compulsive behaviors and expectations affect his ability to produce and bring to closure his experiments, his success over the years raising funds, and his social life.

Part 2) Which of these compulsive behaviors might have helped him, and which would hinder him?

Part 3) If Nikola were alive today, do you think he would he be more likely to better manage some of his compulsions? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 3

It seems that Nikola Tesla's decision not to enter into a marriage was part of a deliberate effort to maintain the focus on his career. Yet other successful "money men" and inventors of the times had wives and children. With your knowledge of Nikola, and given the times in which he lived, explain whether you think he would have been able to envision and create the devices and ideas that he did had he been married. Select one or two married "money men" described in the book, and discuss why they were able to be successful. Are the type of women they selected for mates similar to the type of women with whom Nikola affiliated as friends?

(see the answer keys)

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