Michael Faraday (1791–1867)

Michael Faraday

1791 On the 22nd of September, at Newinton, not far of London, Michael Faraday was born, within the family of a poor smith. This could not send him to school.

1804 When Michael was 13 years old was sent as apprentice to a bookseller and a bookbinder. Later, he shared newspapers then he learnt profession of bookbinder. Dealing with books, he read a lot and was interested in popular science. One of his clients offered him the possibility to take part in chemist Sir Humphry Davy’s lectures at Royal Institute.

1812 He finished apprenticeship and decided to devote himself to science. He succeeded to obtain a place to Royal Institute, even to Davy, where he started as assistant helper taking care of glassware washing. He continued to study hard and widen the knowledge horizon.

1815 He came back from a trip in Europe where he accompanied Davy and started to help chemical experience achieving. He obtained two compounds of chlorine and carbon. Ten years of strenuous and hard scientific activity followed, together with Davy, he made gas liquefaction experiences, works in steel alloys and thorough studies about the way to get new types of lens.

1824 Faraday was elected member of Royal Society in London.

1825 He discovered benzene, which quickly became one of the most important hydrocarbons. This year he also became director of Royal Institute Laboratory, then Chemistry teacher and after Davy’s death, his follower.

1831 This the year that brought an important Faraday’s discovery: “phenomenon of electromagnetic induction”, that is the result of a ten years period of research. It proved inductive currents existence, that arise in conductors placed in a variable magnetic field. This discovery’s applications constitute the entire electrical industry (generator of AC and DC, lighting, engines, remote transmission of energy, transformers). Therewith, Faraday created words like: electrolysis, cathode, anode, ions. Electromagnetic Induction was the   basis of the following electrical development and Faraday published this work as the first part of work series called “Experimental Research in the Field of Electricity”. Meanwhile, Faraday studied chemical effects of electricity.

1833 He discovered two important laws of electricity, laws that got later his name (“electrolysis law” and “electromagnetic induction law”).

Experiences and observation alternated with the new findings. Faraday was the first who explained correctly the EMF appearance in galvanic element, he demonstrated self-inductance existence and introduced within Physics the notion of „field”, by means of which he explained electrical and magnetic phenomena.

He also invented “transformer” and “electric generator”, in the same shape that are identical in principle nowadays. Because of hard work he started to have health trouble.

1845 After an extended stay in Alps, he recovered as well as he was able to restart his experiments. This year he discovered “diamagnetism”.

During the last years, Faraday was concerned to study magnetic force lines that are formed around electricity and magnets. He did not forget young people who he dedicated a acclaimed book, “Chemical History of Candle”.

1858 Faraday said goodbye to Royal Institute and moved to Hampton Court, not far of London, in a house that had been offered to him by the Queen. He complained that he did not have a good memory. Even if he did not have children, he had a happy marriage during all his life.

1867 He died at the 24th of August, at Hampton Court, England.

Faraday said to his assistants: “Genius creates. Talent is that which shapes what genius has given birth”.

Farad = (F) is the unit for electric capacity; it was called like this in his honour. 1 farad is electric capacity of a condenser that, at a voltage of one volt, receives an electric charge of a Coulomb. 1 F = 1C/1V. [1]

 

 

Bibliography:

    1. http://www.ro.biography.name/fizicieni/53-anglia/168-michael-faraday-1791-1867

 

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