Electricity

The Leyden Jar Introducing the Age of Electricity

The Leyden Jar Introducing the Age of Electricity

On October 11, 1745, German cleric Ewald Georg von Kleist and independently of him Dutch scientist Pieter van Musschenbroek from the city of Leiden, Netherlands, invented a predecessor of today’s battery, the Leyden Jar. The jar worked in principle like a capacitor for the storage of electrical energy and was used to conduct many early experiments in electricity. Its discovery was of fundamental importance in the study of electricity. In the times before its…
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The misjudged Math Teacher – Georg Simon Ohm

The misjudged Math Teacher – Georg Simon Ohm

On July 6, 1854, the Bavarian physicist and mathematician Georg Simon Ohm passed away, he was best known for his research on electricity and it was him to initiate the subject of circuit theory. The SI unit of electrical resistance and Ohm’s law are named after this Bavarian ‘teacher’. Ohm’s intention was to develop a formula dealing with the effects of flowing electricity and its measurability in dependence on the material of wire. Doing this,…
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Benjamin Franklin and the Invention of the Lightning Rod

Benjamin Franklin and the Invention of the Lightning Rod

On June 15, 1752, Benjamin Franklin proved that lightning is electricity and invented the lightning rod through his experiments with kites. As you might know for sure, Benjamin Franklin wasn’t only an enthusiastic scientist, inventor, and author, but also one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. His roots lay back in Boston, where he was born in 1706 as the son of a chandler. He was one of seventeen children born to…
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Alessandro Volta and the Electricity

Alessandro Volta and the Electricity

On March 20, 1800, Italian physicist Alessandro Volta informed the British Royal Society in London about his newly invented electric power source, the Voltaic pile, the first energy source technology capable of producing a steady, continuous flow of electricity. Alessandro Giuseppe Antonio Anastasio Volta was born on February 18, 1745, in in Como, Italy, into a noble family. Volta’s parents, Filippo Volta and Maria Maddalena dei Conti Inzaghi, however, had planned a…
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Nicholas Callan and the Induction Coil

Nicholas Callan and the Induction Coil

On December 22, 1799, Irish priest and physicist Nicholas Callan was born. Callan invented the induction coil (1836) before that of better-known Heinrich Ruhmkorff. Callan‘s coil was built using a horseshoe shaped iron bar wound with a secondary coil of thin insulated wire under a separate winding of thick insulated wire as the “primary” coil. Each time a battery‘s current through the “primary” coil was interrupted, a high voltage current was produced in…
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Franz Aepinius’ Theory of Electricity and Magnetism

Franz Aepinius’ Theory of Electricity and Magnetism

On December 13, 1724, German and Russian Empire natural philosopher Franz Ulrich Theodor Aepinus was born. Aepinius is best known for his researches, theoretical and experimental, in electricity and magnetism. His Tentamen theoriae electricitatis et magnetismi (1759; “An Attempt at a Theory of Electricity and Magnetism“) was the first work to apply mathematics to the theory of electricity and magnetism. Family and Education Franz Ulrich Theodor Aepinus came from a learned family. An…
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Pieter van Musschenbroek and the Leyden Jar

Pieter van Musschenbroek and the Leyden Jar

On March 14, 1692, Dutch scientist Pieter van Musschenbroek was born. Musschenbroek is credited with the invention of the first capacitor in 1746: the Leyden jar. He performed pioneering work on the buckling of compressed struts. Musschenbroek was also one of the first scientists (1729) to provide detailed descriptions of testing machines for tension, compression, and flexure testing. Pieter van Musschenbroek was born in Leiden, Holland, Dutch Republic. His father Johannes van…
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Scientist and Politician François Arago

Scientist and Politician François Arago

On February 26, 1786, French mathematician, physicist, and astronomer François Arago was born. Arago discovered the principle of the production of magnetism by rotation of a nonmagnetic conductor. He also devised an experiment that proved the wave theory of light and engaged with others in research that led to the discovery of the laws of light polarization. Dominique-François-Jean Arago was born in Estagel, Roussillon, France. His father was the small town’s mayor and…
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Gustav Kirchhoff and the Fundamentals of Electrical Circuits

Gustav Kirchhoff and the Fundamentals of Electrical Circuits

On March 12, 1824, German physicist Gustav Robert Kirchhoff was born. He is best known for his contribution to the fundamental understanding of electrical circuits, spectroscopy, and the emission of black-body radiation by heated objects. Gustav Robert Kirchhoff was born in Königsberg, East Prussia, to his father Friedrich Kirchhoff, a law councillor in Königsberg with a strong sense of duty to the Prussian state, and his mother Johanna Henriette Wittke. The family…
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Luigi Galvani’s Discoveries in Bioelectricity

Luigi Galvani’s Discoveries in Bioelectricity

Luigi Aloisio Galvani(1737 – 1798) On September 9, 1737, Italian physician, physicist and philosopher Luigi Aloisio Galvani was born. He is best known for his discoveries in bioelectricity. In particular, he discovered that the muscles of dead frogs legs twitched when struck by a spark. As a legacy, Galvani’s name survives in the Galvanic cell, Galvani potential, galvanic corrosion, the galvanometer and galvanization. Moreover, his reports also heavily influenced famous author Mary…
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