Tesla Enrolls At Austrian Polytechnic

At the Polytechnic school Tesla began his studies in mechanical and electrical engineering.

One day a physics teacher showed Tesla's class a new Gramme dynamo that—by employing direct current—could be used as both a motor and a generator. After watching it for a time, Tesla suggested it might be possible to do away with a set of inefficient sparking connections known as commutators. This, his amused professor said, would be like building a perpetual motion machine! Not even Tesla could hope to achieve such a feat. For the next several years the challenge obsessed Tesla, who instinctively knew that the solution lay in electric currents that alternated.

Tesla then studied electrical engineering at the Austrian Polytechnic in Graz (1875). While there, he studied the uses of alternating current. Some sources say he received Baccalaureate degrees from the university at Graz. However, the university claims that he did not receive a degree and did not continue beyond the first semester of his third year, during which he stopped attending lectures. In December 1878 he left Graz and broke all relations with his family. His friends thought that he had drowned in Mura.