Electricity

A Wire to Connect the World – Stephen Gray’s Discovery

A Wire to Connect the World – Stephen Gray’s Discovery

Today for us it’s pretty normal that electricity can be transmitted on a wire, because it’s part of our daily life. But, in the early 18th century, when the English nature-scientist Stephen Gray was able to show that electricity really can be transmitted on a string of copper, it was an unheard-of revelation. Stephen Gray Background Stephen Gray was born in Canterbury, Kent, the son of the dyer Mathias Gray, baptized on…
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Nikola Tesla – The Master of Lightnings

Nikola Tesla – The Master of Lightnings

On July 10, 1856, Serbian-American inventor, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, physicist, and futurist Nikola Tesla was born. He is probably best known for his contributions to the design of the modern alternating current (AC) electricity supply system. Although his work fell into obscurity after his death, he experienced a renaissance in the popular culture of the late 1990s, becoming a center of many conspiracy theories including UFO theories and New Age occultism.…
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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. Education and Academic Career 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…
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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 invention, researchers…
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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’. An Extraordinary Talent Ohm came from an old bourgeois family who had passed the locksmith trade from father to son for many generations. His father Johann…
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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. Early Years of Benjamin Frankflin As you might know for sure, Benjamin Franklin was not 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…
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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. “The language of experiment is more authoritative than any reasoning: facts can destroy our ratiocination—not vice versa. “ — Count Alessandro Giuseppe Antonio Anastasio Volta, Quoted in [12] First Experiments with Eletricity Alessandro…
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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. Youth and Education Pieter van Musschenbroek was born in Leiden, Holland, Dutch Republic. His…
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