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Michael Faraday

Michael Faraday (1791-1867)
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 technology.

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.

Partial Information provided by the Department of Energy

Michael Faraday (1791-1867)
The IEE Archives include a significant collection of Michael Faraday's correspondence and notebooks.
Michael 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
Michael Faraday was the discoverer of electro-magnetic induction, electro-magnetic rotations, the magneto-optical effect, diamagnetism, field theory and much else besides.
Michael 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*
Micheal 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 and transformer.
Michael Faraday
Michael Faraday's biggest breakthrough in electricity was his invention of the electric motor. Electric Motors

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©Mary Bellis

*Quote Source American Institute of Physics website

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