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Michael Faraday (1791-1867)

E like energy

 Automatic translation  Automatic translation Category: biography
Updated June 01, 2013

In the early 19th century physicists do not yet speak of energy, but of power.
They think in terms of powers, those of nature, wind, lightning, waves, but the unification of its powers is not yet in their minds. Scientists see no connection between these forces. It is the determination of a modest man with rudimentary education that will solve the mysteries of nature.
Michael Faraday did not like his job, he was the son of a blacksmith and apprentice bookbinder, but eager to learn. He will devote his time to his passion for popular science books and is in the invisible world of energy that his journey will start.
One client of the young bookbinder offered tickets to attend conferences conducted by the most eminent chemist of the time, Humphrey Davy, a member of the Royal Institution and Royal Society. This meeting will change his life.
In the early 19th century science is reserved for gentleman, and therefore inaccessible to Faraday. His family, poor, belongs to a cult following of the Catholic Church in Scotland.
Michael believes in God but is curious. He later said: "apprentice, I loved to read science books that I could lay hands on.
"This is the book of Isaac Watts 'Improvement of the mind', it will deduct the" six principles of Faraday." The Royal Society was a Mecca of British science where scientists are treated like stars and space is scarce. Humphrey Davy adores fame and he is adept at laughing gas, the equivalent of alcohol without the hangover, some say that his greatest discovery was Michael Faraday.
Faraday was fascinated and impressed by the work of Davy, when he is not noble, he will cross the barrier of classes. Faraday wrote to Davy, and he joined his notes he has himself related. Davy found that his notes are the result of excellent work, but has nothing to offer him, and refers to its bindery.


Despite this humiliating defeat, Faraday is determined to escape his working class.
His patience will be rewarded as a result of the accident at the laboratory of Sir Humphrey Davy. Davy has damaged vision and appealed in 1812, the young Faraday to be his single assistant. He recommends doing only what they order him to do.
The student will surpass the master...
The main topic of the moment is electricity, the battery has just been invented and all sorts of experiments are underway in laboratories. But nobody understands what this strange force called the electric force.
Scientific authorities of the time teaching electricity, as a fluid flowing through a tube forcing a passage. But in 1821 a Danish researcher shows that if we pass the electricity through a wire near a compass, the current deflects the needle at right angles. This is the first time that researchers are electricity affect a magnet.
These two previously separate forces, electricity and magnetism, are as united by a strong bond. Humphrey Davy brought Michael Faraday to show him the experience that stunned his colleagues and researchers.
Faraday purpose immediately as electricity projects an invisible force that moves outside the wire. The scientifics noted that Cambridge is taught that electricity flows inside the wire and not next.
Faraday himself, did not follow education and he is free to imagine what he sees in the experiment.
While scientists remain without explanation, for Faraday experience becomes an obsession.

nota: Faraday effect is a magneto-optical effect, which describes the interaction between light and magnetic field.
This was the first evidence of the link between magnetism and light: light that contains a magnetic field is now part of the theory of electromagnetic radiation, developed by
James Clerk Maxwell.

 Michael Faraday

Image: Michael Faraday was born in England in Newington Butts (now part of London), September 22, 1791 and died at Hampton Court, August 25, 1867. On June 2, 1821, Michael Faraday married Sarah Barnard (1800-1879), but has no children. This British physicist and chemist, was known for his fundamental work in the field of electromagnetism and electrochemistry.

Faraday as Einstein


Faraday was different, he reasoned like Einstein by transposing the events through images. He imagines that invisible forces revolve around the power cable and the magnet, has rows of identical forces, which are taken from the flow, like a flag in the wind (illustration opposite). The young researcher will reverse the experiment, instead of deflecting the needle of the compass, by passing a current through an electrical cable, it tries to influence the cable with a static magnet. The wire begins to rotate around the magnet, it does not return, it is the experience of the century, he has invented the electric motor. Without realizing it, the chemicals of the cell have been transformed into electricity in the cable and generated a movement. Humphrey Davy president of the Royal Society, the elite corps of British science, see this major publication in the Journal of quarter lead site. Envious, he realizes that the old blacksmith's son had done, one of the greatest discoveries of science.
He accused Faraday of plagiarizing the work of an eminent British scientist and opposed the election of Faraday as a member of the Royal Society, but Faraday was elected anyway, at the Royal Institution in 1824. He was appointed laboratory director of that institution in 1825.


In 1832, Oxford University named him an honorary Doctor of Civil Law. Faraday accept this honorary and academic, but to reject his knighthood knighthood.
He twice refused the post of President of the Royal Society.
The mentor and sponsor of Faraday was John Fuller, who created the "Fullerian Professorship of Chemistry at the Royal Institution. In 1833, Faraday was the first to the position for which he was appointed for life, without obligation to teach.
In 1832 and 1838, the Royal Society awarded him the medal Copleyet and 1846 the Rumford Medal.
He was awarded the Royal Medal in 1835 and 1846. Faraday was also a member of the Academy of Sciences in France September 22, 1823.
Basically modest, he refused to be buried in Westminster Abbey, not far from the tomb of Isaac Newton. His grave is located in Highgate Cemetery in London.

Image: Faraday was different, he reasoned like Einstein by transposing the events through images.
Image from the documentary, "E = mc2, a biography of the equation. " 

 electricity and magnetism
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