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Michael Faraday: The Quiet Revolutionary Who Made Electricity Work for Us

Michael Faraday Biography 

Michael Faraday : Michael Faraday was a British scientist known for his brilliant discoveries of electromagnetic induction, electro-magnetic rotations, the magneto-optical effect, diamagnetism, field theory and much more. Many famous historians consider him to be the most influential and exemplary experimentalist in scientific history. Faraday’s work had an incredible scope and profundity that spanned 60 years.

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He is regarded as one of the most important figures of the nineteenth century due to his significant contribution to the field of electricity.

Faraday was born in Newington Butts, London on 22 September, 1791 as the third-child in a poor family, where his father James was a blacksmith.

Due to his poor family background, young Faraday was unable to enjoy the luxuries of a large school and was forced to educate himself. After becoming an apprentice to a local bookbinder and bookseller, he developed a strong passion for reading. After reviewing the work, of great scientists and authors he developed an interest in science, particularly in electricity. It was his early reading and experiments with the idea of force that enabled him to make Imperative discoveries in electricity later in life.

Michael Faraday: The Unassuming Scientist Who Changed the World

Faraday was always extremely curious and inquisitive. After the end of his apprenticeship (at the age of twenty), he began to attend lectures of different famous chemists in the quest to learn more. During this time he also applied for a job to Humphry Davy, his Chemistry lecturer who later appointed him as Chemical Assistant at the Royal Institution in 1813. Few years later in 1821, Faraday married Sarah Barnard.

During his time as an assistant to Professor Davy, Faraday discovered two new carbon chlorides, conducted experiments on gas diffusion, investigated steel alloys, and created several new types of glass for optical purposes. After Davy retired in 1827, Faraday replaced him as lecturer of chemistry at the Royal Institution and published all his research work related to condensation of gases, optical deceptions and the isolation of benzene from gas oils.

His early work centred on chemistry. He made a special study of Chlorine and new chlorides of carbon. Faraday was a great practical Inventor and one of the most useful pieces of chemistry equipment he developed was an early form of the Bunsen burner. By mixing air with gas before lighting, Faraday found an easily accessible form of higher temperature. His model of the Bunsen burner was developed, and is still used in laboratories around the world.

Michael Faraday Electric Motor

Faraday is best recognized for his contributions to electricity and magnetism. In 1821 after being inspired by the work of Danish physicist and chemist, Hans Christian, he began experimenting with electromagnetism and by signifying the conversion of electrical energy into motive force, devised the electric motor. For the next few years he continued conducting experiments from his initia electromagnetic discovery.

In 1831 Faraday discovered the induction of electric currents and constructed the first electric dynamo. In 1839 he conducted several experiments to determine the fundamental nature of electricity and established that electrostatic force consists of a field of curved line of force and conceived a specific inductive capacity. This led to the development of his theories on light and gravitational systems. His other prominent discoveries include: the process of diamagnetism, the Faraday Effect, Faraday cage and many more.

During the later years of his life he made several other achievements: received a Doctor of Civil Law degree in 1832 by the University of Oxford, elected as a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 1838 and the French Academy of Sciences in 1844. He refused to help the British government’s request that he might develop chemical weapons for the Crimean war.

Faraday’s health began to deteriorate in the early 1840s, and he began to conduct less research. He died on August 25, 1867, at Hampton Court, where he had been granted official lodgings in recognition of his scientific contributions.


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