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Michael Faraday

Michael Faraday

Michael Faraday (September 22, 1791 – August 25, 1867) was a British scientist (a physicist and chemist) who contributed significantly to the fields of electromagnetism and electrochemistry. He also invented the earliest form of the device that was to become the Bunsen burner, which is used almost universally in science laboratories as a convenient source of heat.

Michael Faraday was one of the great scientists in history. Some historians of science refer to him as the greatest experimentalist in the history of science. It was largely due to his efforts that electricity became a viable technology. The SI unit of capacitance, the farad (symbol F) is named after him.

Early career

Michael Faraday was born in Newington Butts, near present-day Elephant and Castle, London. His family was poor (his father was a blacksmith) and he had to educate himself. At fourteen he became apprenticed to bookbinder and seller George Riebau and, during his seven year apprenticeship, read many books, developing an interest in science and specifically electricity.

At the age of twenty Faraday attended lectures by the eminent scientist Sir Humphry Davy, president of the Royal Society, and John Tatum, founder of the City Philosophical Society. After Faraday sent Davy a sample of notes taken during the lectures, Davy said he would keep Faraday in mind but should stick to his current job of book-binding. After Davy damaged his eyesight in an accident with nitrogen trichloride, also known as trichloramine, he employed Faraday as a secretary. When John Payne of the Royal Society was fired, Davy recommended Faraday for the job of laboratory assistant. Faraday eagerly left his bookbinding job as his new employer, Henry de la Roche, was hot-tempered.

In a class-based society, Faraday was not considered a gentleman; it has been said that Davy's wife, Jane Apreece, refused to treat him as an equal and, when on a continental tour, made Faraday sit with the servants. However, it was not long before Faraday surpassed Davy.

Scientific career

His greatest work was with electricity. In 1821, soon after the Danish chemist, Hans Christian Ørsted, discovered the phenomenon of electromagnetism, Davy and William Hyde Wollaston tried but failed to design an electric motor. Faraday, having discussed the problem with the two men, went on to build two devices to produce what he called electromagnetic rotation: a continuous circular motion from the circular magnetic force around a wire. A wire extending into a pool of mercury with a magnet placed inside would rotate around the magnet if charged with electricity by a chemical battery. This device is known as a homopolar motor. These experiments and inventions form the foundation of modern electromagnetic technology. Unwisely, Faraday published his results without acknowledging his debt to Wollaston and Davy, and the resulting controversy caused Faraday to withdraw from electromagnetic research for several years.

Ten years later, in 1831, he began his great series of experiments in which he discovered electromagnetic induction, though the discovery may have been anticipated by the work of Francesco Zantedeschi. He found that if he moved a magnet through a loop of wire, an electric current flowed in the wire. The current also flowed if the loop was moved over a stationary magnet.

His demonstrations established that a changing magnetic field produces an electric field. This relation was mathematically modelled by Faraday's law, which subsequently became one of the four Maxwell equations. These in turn evolved into the generalization known as field theory.

Faraday then used the principle to construct the electric dynamo, the ancestor of modern power generators.

Faraday proposed that electromagnetic forces extended into the empty space around the conductor, but did not complete his work involving that proposal. Faraday's concept of lines of flux emanating from charged bodies and magnets provided a way to visualize electric and magnetic fields. That mental model was crucial to the successful development of electromechanical devices which dominated engineering and industry for the remainder of the 19th century.


Faraday also dabbled in chemistry, discovering chemical substances such as benzene, inventing the system of oxidation numbers, and liquefying gases. He also discovered the laws of electrolysis and popularized terminology such as anode, cathode, electrode, and ion.

In 1845 he discovered what is now called the Faraday effect and the phenomenon that he named diamagnetism. The plane of polarization of linearly polarized light propagated through a material medium can be rotated by the application of an external magnetic field aligned in the propagation direction. He wrote in his notebook, "I have at last succeeded in illuminating a magnetic curve or line of force and in magnetising a ray of light". This established that magnetic force and light were related.

In his work on static electricity, Faraday demonstrated that the charge only resided on the exterior of a charged conductor, and exterior charge had no influence on anything enclosed within a conductor. This is because the exterior charges redistribute such that the interior fields due to them cancel. This shielding effect is used in what is now known as a Faraday cage.

Miscellaneous

He gave a successful series of lectures on the chemistry and physics of flames at the Royal Institution, entitled The Chemical History of a candle; this was the origin of the Christmas lectures for young people that are still given there every year and bear his name.

Faraday was known for designing ingenious experiments, but lacked a good mathematics education. (However, his affiliation with James Clerk Maxwell helped in this regard, as Maxwell was able to translate Faraday's experiments into mathematical language.) He was regarded as handsome and modest, declining a knighthood and presidency of the Royal Society (Davy's old position).

Michael Faraday on a British £20 banknote.

His picture has been printed on British £20 banknotes.

His sponsor and mentor was John 'Mad Jack' Fuller, who created the Fullerian Professorship of Chemistry at the Royal Institution. Faraday was the first, and most famous, holder of this position to which he was appointed for life.

Faraday was also devoutly religious and a member of the small Sandemanian denomination, an offshoot of the Church of Scotland. He served two terms as an elder in the group's church.

Faraday married Sarah Barnard in 1821 but they had no children. They met through attending the Sandemanian church.

He died at his house at Hampton Court on August 25, 1867.

References

  • Hamilton, James (2002). Faraday: The Life. Harper Collins, London. ISBN 0007163762.
  • Hamilton, James (2004). A Life of Discovery: Michael Faraday, Giant of the Scientific Revolution. Random House, New York. ISBN 1400060168.

Quotations

  • "Nothing is too wonderful to be true."
  • "Work. Finish. Publish." - his well-known advice to the young William Crookes

External links

  • The Christian Character of Michael Faraday
  • Michael Faraday Directory
  • Full text of The Chemical History Of A Candle from Project Gutenberg

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He died at his house at Hampton Court on August 25, 1867. In honour of his work with ratios and chemicals that led to the idea of atoms and atomic weights, many chemists and biochemists use the (still unofficial) unit dalton (abbreviated Da) to denote one atomic mass unit, or 1/12 the weight of a neutral atom of carbon-12. They met through attending the Sandemanian church. However, an eye was preserved at the Royal Institution, and a 1990s study on DNA extracted from the eye showed that he had lacked the pigment that gives sensitivity to the colour green, the classic condition known as a deuteranope. Faraday married Sarah Barnard in 1821 but they had no children. Post-mortem examination showed that the humours of the eye were perfectly normal. He served two terms as an elder in the group's church. He had hypothesised that his aqueous humour might be coloured blue.

Faraday was also devoutly religious and a member of the small Sandemanian denomination, an offshoot of the Church of Scotland. Dalton had requested that his eyes be examined after his death, in an attempt to discover the cause of his colour-blindness. Faraday was the first, and most famous, holder of this position to which he was appointed for life. It now stands in the entrance to Manchester Town Hall. His sponsor and mentor was John 'Mad Jack' Fuller, who created the Fullerian Professorship of Chemistry at the Royal Institution. A bust of him, by Francis Legatt Chantrey, was publicly subscribed for him and placed in the entrance hall of the Royal Manchester Institution. His picture has been printed on British £20 banknotes. On the 27th he fell from his bed and was found lifeless by his attendant.

(However, his affiliation with James Clerk Maxwell helped in this regard, as Maxwell was able to translate Faraday's experiments into mathematical language.) He was regarded as handsome and modest, declining a knighthood and presidency of the Royal Society (Davy's old position). In May 1844 he had another stroke and on July 26 he recorded with trembling hand his last meteorological observation. Faraday was known for designing ingenious experiments, but lacked a good mathematics education. He had suffered a first attack in 1837, and a second in 1838 had left him enfeebled, both physically and mentally, though he remained able to make experiments. He gave a successful series of lectures on the chemistry and physics of flames at the Royal Institution, entitled The Chemical History of a candle; this was the origin of the Christmas lectures for young people that are still given there every year and bear his name. Dalton died in Manchester in 1844 of paralysis. This shielding effect is used in what is now known as a Faraday cage. He attended several of the earlier meetings of the British Association at York, Oxford, Dublin and Bristol.

This is because the exterior charges redistribute such that the interior fields due to them cancel. In 1822 he paid a short visit to Paris, where he met many distinguished resident scientists. In his work on static electricity, Faraday demonstrated that the charge only resided on the exterior of a charged conductor, and exterior charge had no influence on anything enclosed within a conductor. Johns (1771–1845), in George Street, Manchester, where his daily round of laboratory work and tuition was broken only by annual excursions to the Lake District and occasional visits to London. This established that magnetic force and light were related. W. He wrote in his notebook, "I have at last succeeded in illuminating a magnetic curve or line of force and in magnetising a ray of light". He lived for more than a quarter of a century with his friend the Rev.

The plane of polarization of linearly polarized light propagated through a material medium can be rotated by the application of an external magnetic field aligned in the propagation direction. Dalton never married, though there is evidence that he enjoyed the company of educated and refined women. In 1845 he discovered what is now called the Faraday effect and the phenomenon that he named diamagnetism. In 1833 Lord Grey's government conferred on him a pension of £150, raised in 1836 to £300. He also discovered the laws of electrolysis and popularized terminology such as anode, cathode, electrode, and ion. Six years previously he had been made a corresponding member of the French Académie des Sciences, and in 1830 he was elected as one of its eight foreign associates in place of Davy.
Faraday also dabbled in chemistry, discovering chemical substances such as benzene, inventing the system of oxidation numbers, and liquefying gases. However, in 1822 he was proposed without his knowledge, and on election paid the usual fee.

That mental model was crucial to the successful development of electromechanical devices which dominated engineering and industry for the remainder of the 19th century. In 1810 he was asked by Davy to offer himself as a candidate for the fellowship of the Royal Society, but declined, possibly for financial reasons. Faraday's concept of lines of flux emanating from charged bodies and magnets provided a way to visualize electric and magnetic fields. However, he was deficient, it would seem, in the qualities that make an attractive lecturer, being harsh and indistinct in voice, ineffective in the treatment of his subject, and singularly wanting in the language and power of illustration. Faraday proposed that electromagnetic forces extended into the empty space around the conductor, but did not complete his work involving that proposal. In 1804 he was chosen to give a course of lectures on natural philosophy at the Royal Institution in London, where he delivered another course in 1809–1810. Faraday then used the principle to construct the electric dynamo, the ancestor of modern power generators. Before he had propounded the atomic theory he had already attained a considerable scientific reputation.

These in turn evolved into the generalization known as field theory. His library, he was once heard to declare, he could carry on his back, yet reputedly he had not read half the books it contained. This relation was mathematically modelled by Faraday's law, which subsequently became one of the four Maxwell equations. He always objected to the chemical notation devised by Jöns Jakob Berzelius, although by common consent it was much simpler and more convenient than his own cumbersome system of circular symbols. His demonstrations established that a changing magnetic field produces an electric field. Even after its elementary character had been settled by Davy, he persisted in using the atomic weights he himself had adopted, even when they had been superseded by the more accurate determinations of other chemists. The current also flowed if the loop was moved over a stationary magnet. He held peculiar and quite unfounded views about chlorine.

He found that if he moved a magnet through a loop of wire, an electric current flowed in the wire. Thus he distrusted, and probably never fully accepted, Gay-Lussac's conclusions as to the combining volumes of gases. Ten years later, in 1831, he began his great series of experiments in which he discovered electromagnetic induction, though the discovery may have been anticipated by the work of Francesco Zantedeschi. of his New System he says he had so often been misled by taking for granted the results of others that he determined to write as little as possible but what I can attest by my own experience, but this independence he carried so far that it sometimes resembled lack of receptivity. Unwisely, Faraday published his results without acknowledging his debt to Wollaston and Davy, and the resulting controversy caused Faraday to withdraw from electromagnetic research for several years. i. These experiments and inventions form the foundation of modern electromagnetic technology. In the preface to the second part of vol.

This device is known as a homopolar motor. Sir Humphry Davy described him as a very coarse experimenter, who almost always found the results he required, trusting to his head rather than his hands. A wire extending into a pool of mercury with a magnet placed inside would rotate around the magnet if charged with electricity by a chemical battery. As an investigator, Dalton was content with rough and inaccurate instruments, though better ones were readily attainable. Faraday, having discussed the problem with the two men, went on to build two devices to produce what he called electromagnetic rotation: a continuous circular motion from the circular magnetic force around a wire. He took the same course soon afterwards with four other papers, two of which On the quantity of acids, bases and salts in different varieties of salts and On a new and easy method of analysing sugar, contain his discovery, regarded by him as second in importance only to the atomic theory, that certain anhydrates, when dissolved in water, cause no increase in its volume, his inference being that the salt enters into the pores of the water. In 1821, soon after the Danish chemist, Hans Christian Ørsted, discovered the phenomenon of electromagnetism, Davy and William Hyde Wollaston tried but failed to design an electric motor. In 1840 a paper on the phosphates and arsenates, often regarded as a weaker work, was refused by the Royal Society, and he was so incensed that he published it himself.

His greatest work was with electricity. In one of them, read in 1814, he explains the principles of volumetric analysis, in which he was one of the earliest workers. However, it was not long before Faraday surpassed Davy. Of these the earlier are the most important. In a class-based society, Faraday was not considered a gentleman; it has been said that Davy's wife, Jane Apreece, refused to treat him as an equal and, when on a continental tour, made Faraday sit with the servants. Dalton was president of the Lit & Phil from 1817 until his death, contributing 116 memoirs. Faraday eagerly left his bookbinding job as his new employer, Henry de la Roche, was hot-tempered. never appeared.

When John Payne of the Royal Society was fired, Davy recommended Faraday for the job of laboratory assistant. ii. After Davy damaged his eyesight in an accident with nitrogen trichloride, also known as trichloramine, he employed Faraday as a secretary. The second part of vol. After Faraday sent Davy a sample of notes taken during the lectures, Davy said he would keep Faraday in mind but should stick to his current job of book-binding. This delay is not explained by any excess of care in preparation, for much of the matter was out of date and the appendix giving the author's latest views is the only portion of special interest. At the age of twenty Faraday attended lectures by the eminent scientist Sir Humphry Davy, president of the Royal Society, and John Tatum, founder of the City Philosophical Society. The second part of this volume appeared in 1810, but the first part of the second volume was not issued till 1827, though the printing of it began in 1817.

At fourteen he became apprenticed to bookbinder and seller George Riebau and, during his seven year apprenticeship, read many books, developing an interest in science and specifically electricity. Dalton communicated his atomic theory to Thomson who, by consent, included an outline of it in the third edition of his System of Chemistry (1807), and Dalton gave a further account of it in the first part of the first volume of his New System of Chemical Philosophy (1808). His family was poor (his father was a blacksmith) and he had to educate himself. However, he was the first to put the ideas into a universal atomic theory, which was undoubtedly his greatest achievement. Michael Faraday was born in Newington Butts, near present-day Elephant and Castle, London. Many of Dalton's ideas were acquired from other chemists at the time, such as Antoine Lavoisier and William Higgins. . It may be noted that in a paper on the proportion of the gases or elastic fluids constituting the atmosphere, read by him in November 1802, the law of multiple proportions appears to be anticipated in the words: The elements of oxygen may combine with a certain portion of nitrous gas or with twice that portion, but with no intermediate quantity, but there is reason to suspect that this sentence was added some time after the reading of the paper, which was not published till 1805.

The SI unit of capacitance, the farad (symbol F) is named after him. The extension of this idea to substances in general necessarily led him to the law of multiple proportions, and the comparison with experiment brilliantly confirmed his deduction[3]. It was largely due to his efforts that electricity became a viable technology. Assisted by the assumption that combination always takes place in the simplest possible way, he thus arrived at the idea that chemical combination takes place between particles of different weights, and this it was which differentiated his theory from the historic speculations of the Greeks. Some historians of science refer to him as the greatest experimentalist in the history of science. It appears, then, that confronted with the problem of calculating the relative diameter of the atoms of which, he was convinced, all gases were made, he used the results of chemical analysis. Michael Faraday was one of the great scientists in history. by chemists of the time.

He also invented the earliest form of the device that was to become the Bunsen burner, which is used almost universally in science laboratories as a convenient source of heat. He proceeds to give what has been quoted as his first table of atomic weights, but in his laboratory notebooks[2] there is an earlier one dated 1803 in which he sets out the relative weights of the atoms of a number of substances, derived from analysis of water, ammonia, carbon dioxide, etc. Michael Faraday (September 22, 1791 – August 25, 1867) was a British scientist (a physicist and chemist) who contributed significantly to the fields of electromagnetism and electrochemistry. Here he says:. Full text of The Chemical History Of A Candle from Project Gutenberg. The first published indications of this idea are to be found at the end of his paper on the absorption of gases already mentioned, which was read on October 21, 1803 though not published till 1805. Michael Faraday Directory. However, a study of Dalton's own laboratory notebooks, discovered in the rooms of the Lit & Phil[1], concluded that so far from Dalton being led to the idea, that chemical combination consists in the interaction of atoms of definite and characteristic weight, by his search for an explanation of the law of multiple proportions, the idea of atomic structure arose in his mind as a purely physical concept, forced upon him by study of the physical properties of the atmosphere and other gases.

The Christian Character of Michael Faraday. It has been proposed that this theory was suggested to him either by researches on ethylene (olefiant gas) and methane (carburetted hydrogen) or by analysis of nitrous oxide (protoxide of azote) and nitrogen dioxide (deutoxide of azote), both views resting on the authority of Thomas Thomson. Publish." - his well-known advice to the young William Crookes. The most important of all Dalton's investigations are those concerned with the atomic theory in chemistry, with which his name is inseparably associated. Finish. In the two or three years following the reading of these essays, he published several papers on similar topics, that on the absorption of gases by water and other liquids (1803), containing his law of partial pressures. "Work. He thus enunciated Gay-Lussac's law, stated some months later by Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac.

"Nothing is too wonderful to be true.". In the fourth essay he remarks,. ISBN 1400060168. After describing experiments to ascertain the pressure of steam at various points between 0 ° and 100°C (32° and 212°F), he concluded from observations on the vapour pressure of six different liquids, that the variation of vapour pressure for all liquids is equivalent, for the same variation of temperature, reckoning from vapour of any given pressure. A Life of Discovery: Michael Faraday, Giant of the Scientific Revolution. Random House, New York. The second of these essays opens with the striking remark,. Hamilton, James (2004). In 1800 he became a secretary of the Lit & Phil, and in the following year he presented the important paper or series of papers, entitled Experimental Essays on the constitution of mixed gases; on the pressure of steam and other vapours at different temperatures, both in a vacuum and in air; on evaporation; and on the thermal expansion of gases.

ISBN 0007163762. This paper was followed by many others on diverse topics on rain and dew and the origin of springs, on heat, the colour of the sky, steam, the auxiliary verbs and participles of the English language and the reflection and refraction of light. Harper Collins, London. After that the orange, yellow and green seem one colour which descends pretty uniformly from an intense to a rare yellow, making what I should call different shades of yellow. Faraday: The Life. Besides the blue and purple of the spectrum he was able to recognize only one colour, yellow, or, as he says in his paper, that part of the image which others call red appears to me little more than a shade or defect of light. Hamilton, James (2002). In 1794 he was elected a member of the Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society, the Lit & Phil, and a few weeks after election he communicated his first paper on Extraordinary facts relating to the vision of colours, in which he gave the earliest account of the optical peculiarity known as Daltonism or colour blindness, and summed up its characteristics as observed in himself and others, including his brother.

Another work by him, Elements of English Grammar, was published in 1801. However, in spite of the originality of his treatment, the book met with only a limited sale. His first separate publication was Meteorological Observations and Essays (1793), which contained the germs of several of his later discoveries. During his years in Kendal, Dalton had contributed solutions of problems and questions on various subjects to the Gentlemen's and Ladies' Diaries, and in 1787 he began to keep a meteorological diary in which, during the succeeding fifteen years, he entered more than 200,000 observations.

Among his pupils were: Eaton Hodgkinson and James Prescott Joule. He remained in that position until the relocation of the college to York in 1803, when he became a public and private teacher of mathematics and chemistry. Mainly through John Gough, a blind philosopher to whose aid he owed much of his scientific knowledge, he was appointed teacher of mathematics and natural philosophy at the Manchester Academy. About 1790 he seems to have thought of taking up law or medicine, but his projects met with no encouragement from his relatives and he remained at Kendal until, in the spring of 1793, he moved to Manchester.

There he passed the next twelve years, becoming in 1785, through the retirement of his cousin, joint manager of the school with his elder brother Jonathan. But he had received some instruction in mathematics from a distant relative, Elihu Robinson, and in 1781 he left his native village to become assistant to his cousin George Bewley, who kept a school at Kendal. This youthful venture was not successful, the amount he received in fees being only about five shillings a week, and after two years he took to farm work. Dalton received his early education from his father and from John Fletcher, a teacher of the Quaker school at Cumberland, on whose retirement in 1778 he himself started teaching.

. He is most well known for his advocacy of the atomic theory. John Dalton (September 6, 1766 – July 27, 1844) was a British chemist and physicist, born at Eaglesfield, near Cockermouth in Cumberland. DM Hunt, KS Dulai, JK Bowmaker, JD Mollon, "The chemistry of John Dalton's color blindness." Science Feb 17 1995.

Roscoe and Harden, A New View of the Origin of Dalton's Atomic Theory (1896). Angus Smith, Memoir of John Dalton and History of the Atomic Theory. Henry, Life of Dalton, Cavendish Society (1854). ^ Roscoe & Harden (1896), pp. 50,51.

^ Laboratory notebooks for 1802–1804, under the date 6th September 1803, on p.248. ^ Roscoe & Harden (1896).

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