TESLA 2 sos still

Cinema Arts Centre Huntington, NY


Sebastian White

High Energy Physicist

Tesla— Nikola Tesla and his place in the American Renaissance

A mind-expanding exploration of the pioneering scientist Nikola Tesla, featuring a lecture by Sebastian White, who discusses some of the inventions with which Tesla is correctly credited and others that relate to developments today. He also explores the broadness of Tesla’s interests as seen in his friendships with Mark Twain, Vivekananda and Stanford White, among others.

Cinema Arts Centre Huntington, NY

Film Synopsis

Through Promethean struggles, Nikola Tesla attempts to transcend entrenched technology—including his own previous work—by pioneering a system of wireless energy that will change the world.

Brilliant, brooding inventor Nikola Tesla (Ethan Hawke) fights an uphill battle to bring his revolutionary electrical system to fruition. Increasingly displeased by the greed of fellow inventor Thomas Edison (Kyle MacLachlan), Tesla forges his own virtuous but arduous path toward creating the innovative alternate-current motor. His European nature is at odds with budding American industrialism, and the landscape of intellectual property is treacherous—and Tesla slowly becomes jailed in his overactive mind. His associate Anne Morgan (Eve Hewson) analyzes and presents his story as it unfolds, offering a distinctly modern voice in this scientific period drama.

Sundance Film Festival veteran Ethan Hawke returns in this informative and engaging historical piece directed by Michael Almereyda (A Hero of Our Time, Marjorie Prime). With Tesla's controversies, legal battles, entrepreneurial clashes, and romantic interests, Almereyda weaves together a portrait of a man struggling against the interests of his time. The profundity of his electrical mind is unearthed through this rediscovery of the development of electricity in the United States, ultimately posing existential questions about invention, industry, greed, love, and lightning. (Sundance Institute)

Photo credit: IFC Films

About the Speaker

Sebastian White is a High Energy physicist who, like many radio amateurs growing up in the New York area, learned early on about the life and work of Nikola Tesla. Only later, following a (2009) New York Times article about Tesla’s laboratory “Wardenclyffe” in Shoreham, NY, did he learn of the friendship and collaboration between his great-grandfather, Stanford White and Tesla. White now serves as a science advisor to Wardenclyffe, which had its groundbreaking ceremony this past April. He studied physics at Harvard and received a Ph.D. from Columbia University for work on the first hadron collider (the CERN ISR). Since then he has performed experiments at all 5 Hadron Colliders, most recently the CERN LHC.