September 22, 2011 AT 11:13 pm

Happy 220th Birthday, Michael Faraday

Today would be Michael Faraday’s 220th birthday. From Wikipedia:

Michael Faraday, FRS (22 September 1791 – 25 August 1867) was an English chemist and physicist (or natural philosopher, in the terminology of the time) who contributed to the fields of electromagnetism and electrochemistry.

Faraday studied the magnetic field around a conductor carrying a DC electric current. While conducting these studies, Faraday established the basis for the electromagnetic field concept in physics, subsequently enlarged upon by James Maxwell. He similarly discovered electromagnetic induction, diamagnetism, and laws of electrolysis. He established that magnetism could affect rays of light and that there was an underlying relationship between the two phenomena.[1][2] His inventions of electromagnetic rotary devices formed the foundation of electric motor technology, and it was largely due to his efforts that electricity became viable for use in technology.

As a chemist, Faraday discovered benzene, investigated the clathrate hydrate of chlorine, invented an early form of the Bunsen burner and the system of oxidation numbers, and popularised terminology such as anode, cathode, electrode, and ion.

Although Faraday received little formal education and knew little of higher mathematics, such as calculus, he was one of the most influential scientists in history.[3] Historians[4] of science refer to him as the best experimentalist in the history of science.[5] The SI unit of capacitance, the farad, is named after him, as is the Faraday constant, the charge on a mole of electrons (about 96,485 coulombs). Faraday’s law of induction states that magnetic flux changing in time creates a proportional electromotive force.

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  1. Thanks for featuring the Great Michael Faraday today. I’ve always thought "Faraday" would be a fine name for an electric car, honoring his discovery of electromagnetic induction, as the Tesla EV honors its induction motor’s inventor.

    Especially if the Faraday EV has enough range to go far a day.

  2. A very good paraphrase of one of Faraday’s quotes……

    “Nothing is too wonderful to be true.”

    ie don’t always give up on zebras when you hear the sound of hooves.

    best -tefman

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