British physicist and chemist, best
known for his discoveries of electromagnetic induction and of the laws
of electrolysis. His biggest breakthrough in
electricity was his invention of the electric motor.
Born in 1791 to a poor family in
London, Michael Faraday was extremely curious, questioning everything.
He felt an urgent need to know more. At age 13, he became an errand boy
for a bookbinding shop in London. He read every book that he bound, and
decided that one day he would write a book of his own. He became interested
in the concept of energy, specifically force. Because of his early reading
and experiments with the idea of force, he was able to make important discoveries
in electricity later in life. He eventually became a chemist and physicist.
Michael Faraday built two devices
to produce what he called electromagnetic rotation: that is a continuous
circular motion from the circular magnetic force around a wire. Ten years
later, in 1831, he began his great series of experiments in which he discovered
electromagnetic induction. These experiments form the basis of modern electromagnetic
In 1831, using his "induction ring",
Michael Faraday made one of his greatest discoveries - electromagnetic
induction: the "induction" or generation of electricity in a wire by means
of the electromagnetic effect of a current in another wire. The induction
ring was the first electric transformer. In a second series of experiments
in September he discovered magneto-electric induction: the production of
a steady electric current. To do this, Faraday attached two wires through
a sliding contact to a copper disc. By rotating the disc between the poles
of a horseshoe magnet he obtained a continuous direct current. This was
the first generator. From his experiments came devices that led to the
modern electric motor, generator and transformer.
Michael Faraday continued his electrical
experiments. In 1832, he proved that the electricity induced from a magnet,
voltaic electricity produced by a battery, and static electricity were
all the same. He also did significant work in electrochemistry, stating
the First and Second Laws of Electrolysis. This laid the basis for electrochemistry,
another great modern industry.
provided by the Department of Energy
The IEE Archives include a significant
collection of Michael Faraday's correspondence and notebooks.
Faraday : Chemist, Physicist, Natural Philosopher
This report of the famous scientist
Michael Faraday is composed principally of the transcriptions of two interviews
with Faraday, hitherto unpublished.
Michael Faraday was the discoverer
of electro-magnetic induction, electro-magnetic rotations, the magneto-optical
effect, diamagnetism, field theory and much else besides.
Faraday (1791-1867) - Photos
"The world little knows how many
of the thoughts and theories which have passed through the mind of the
scientific investigator have been crushed in silence and secrecy by his
own severe criticism and adverse examination; that in the most successful
instances not a tenth of the suggestions, the hopes, the wishes, the preliminary
conclusions have been realized." -- Michael Faraday*
Faraday Follows in Franklin's Footsteps
Michael Faraday discovered that
electricity could be made by moving a magnet inside a wire coil, he was
able to build the first electric motor. He later built the first generator
Michael Faraday's biggest breakthrough
in electricity was his invention of the electric motor. Electric
*Quote Source American Institute
of Physics website
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