Michael Faraday

11 November 2016

Michael Faraday was the third son of a London blacksmith. He became a self- taught scientist whose greatest discoveries concerned electricity. In 1831, Faraday proved that magnets can be used to produce an electric current. This discovery enabled him to build an electric generator. It was a forerunner of the giant dynamos that keep the modern world supplied with power. Faraday was born on September 22, 1791, in Newington, England. When he was five, his family moved to London, where he attended elementary school.

Born to a poor family, Michael left school to work as an errand boy in a bookshop when he was about twelve years old. The bookseller liked him and offered to teach him to bind books. During the next seven years, Michael read all kinds of books while he cut and bound the pages. He became particularly interested in scientific books, especially ones about chemistry and the new science of electricity. One of the customers was impressed by the young man’s interest. He gave Michael tickets to a series of lectures by a famous British scientist, Sir Humphry Davy, in 1812.

Michael Faraday Essay Example

The lectures convinced Faraday that his future lay in science. What he wanted most was to work for Davy. He had taken detailed notes on Davy’s lectures. Carefully he copied the notes, bound them into a booklet, and sent them to Sir Humphry. In the spring of 1813, Davy hired Faraday as a laboratory assistant. That fall, Davy set out to visit some European scientists. He took Faraday along as his secretary. During the next year and a half, Faraday met some of the world’s famous scientists, which included Volta, Ampere, and Humboldt.

When Davy and Faraday returned to London in 1815, he was no longer just a secretary; he now worked side by side with Sir Humphry. Faraday, who became one of the greatest scientists of the 19th century, began his career as a chemist. As a professor of chemistry he was an excellent lecturer; Faraday used his oratory skills to popularize science. He had a schedule of lectures that he would deliver on Friday evenings and these lectures popularized many advances made by nineteenth century scientists.

These lectures were restarted and presented several times over at different locations to different audiences by the Royal Institution, which was previously directed by Davy. He believed in capturing impressionable and curious young minds. He, therefore, he initiated a series of scientific lectures for children also. Most of his time, however, was devoted to research. In his laboratory Faraday made discoveries that opened up new area of science. In 1823, he discovered the liquefaction of chlorine, and in 1825 he discovered a new substance, benzene, used as a base for permanent dyes.

He produced the first stainless steel and was the first to compress certain gases until they became liquid. He discovered laws of electrolysis, which describe what happens when electricity passes through solutions. In Faraday’s time, scientists were just beginning to learn about electricity and magnetism. Davy had been interested in electromagnetism, and Faraday experimented with it himself. Gradually it took more and more of his time and became his main work. On October 17, 1831, he described in his notebook one of his famous experiments.

He wound a coil of wire around a paper cylinder and attached the ends of the wire to a galvanometer, which was a current detector. When he pushed a straight magnet into the cylinder, the needle of the galvanometer jumped, showing that a current was passing through the wire. As long as he kept the magnet moving, the needle moved. When the magnet was still, there was no current. Faraday had discovered that a moving magnet makes an electric current in a wire, and was able to build the first electric motor.

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, and he was able to create the first generator. Faraday lived his whole life in England, where he died on August 25, 1867. Michael Faraday, English physicist and chemist, laid the foundation of many electro-technology inventions.

His many experiments contributed greatly to the understanding of electromagnetism. His work led to the making of many devices which gave us devices that modern man cannot do without. Many consider him the greatest experimentalist who ever lived. Several concepts that he derived directly from experiments, such as lines of magnetic force, have become common ideas in modern physics. Many have acknowledged him as the “Father of Electrical Engineering. ” To honor his accomplishments and success, a unit of electricity was named after him. The “farad” measures capacitance, an amount of electrical charge.

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