Story of Michael Faraday

  Story of Michael Faraday

Who is Michael Faraday?

Micheal Faraday, One of the greatest of all English experimental physicists and chemists, Faraday was born on September 22, 1971 at Newington, Surrey, England. He belonged to poor parents. His father James Faraday was a blacksmith and his mother Margaret a domestic helper.

He was the third of the four children in the family. He was self –educated and worked as an errand boy delivering newspapers at the age of 13. When he became an apprentice to a bookbinder named George Rieban. He worked with him for next seven years. There he read all the scientific books that came for binding. It was there that he read an encyclopedia that roused his interests in science and particularly in electricity.

Faraday attuned lectures in the evening, making careful notes and binding them for future use. One day Faraday got passes for a course of lectures to be delivered by the famous professor of Chemistry, Humphry Davy. Faraday made careful notes of Davy’s lectures and bound them in the form of a book and sent it Professor Davy asking for an employment.Davy was impressed by the boy Faraday’s zeal for learning and so took him into laboratory as an assistant. He was also given accommodation on the top floor of the laboratory.

Davy lamp, Discovery of hydrocarbon benzene, Love Life

He accompanied Davy on his scientific tour or Europe and visited Paris, Nice, Turion, Rome and Naples and Meta many famous scientists. This tour further whetted his thirst for knowledge and scientific discoveries. When, once this great scientist Humphry Davy was asked, what was his greatest discovery, his answer was, “Michael Faraday”.

Faraday devoted his spare time in the study of English grammar, drawing and oratory. In the meanwhile guided by the hints from Professor Davy, Faraday succeeded in liquefying gases by compression and isolating benzene. Then he discovered the hydrocarbon benzene in 1825 and thus became the father of an entire branch of organic chemistry.

He also prepared new chemical compounds including ethylene and produced new alloys of steel. He also helped his mentor Professor Davy in the invention of miner’s safety lamp, popularly known as Davy lamp In June 1821 Faraday was married to a beautiful lade called Sarah Branard, daughter of a silversmith and they made an idle married couple. Faraday’s discovers perfectly time to exploit the power of electricity which the scientists had first realized now to generate it.

Demonstration of Electro-Magnetic Induction

Faraday’s greatest achievement was the discovery of electro-magnetic induction. He found in 1831 that when he moved a magnet through a coil of wire, a current was produced. By his famous experiment on August 29, 1831 he was successful in making a powerful electromagnet.

Thus Faraday discovered the induction of electric currents by experimenting with electromagnetism. He also made the first dynamo in 1831. In 1834 he formulated the laws of electrolysis. It is process in which an electrolyte is decomposed by the passage of direct current through it.

In 1821 he had proved how to convert electric energy into motive energy and force by inventing the first electric motor. The designs of all modern electric motors are based on the principles discovered by him. An electric motor is a very useful device for converting electrical energy into mechanical energy.

Scientist James Clerk Maxwell, How Faraday proven Carbon dioxide Theory

Working on the nature of light, in 1846 he formulated electro-magnetic theory. He investigated the relationship between light and electromagnetic field. This theory was further developed by Scottish Scientist James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879).

In 1835 he had isolated benzene from gas oils and also showed the use of platinum as a catalyst. He also proved how to liquefy gases like Chlorine, carbon dioxide etc. he gave us such scientific terms “anode”, cathode’, “caton’. “awon” “electro-lyte” and “electrode” he went even further and his theories and discoveries were later taken up by Albert Einstein. An indirect result of both Faraday’s and Maxwell’s work prepared the groundwork for the invention of radio.

Accomplishments of Faraday

Faraday was a great philosopher besides an experimental physicist as is evident from his work-Experimental Research on Electricity (1839-1855). The range of his discoveries and experiments were very wide which included electrolysis relationship between electricity and magnetism, condensation of gases, conservation of energy and benzene and steel.

Many honors were showered and bestowed upon him for his many discoveries and researches but he wanted to remain plain and simple, Michael Faraday till last. At last, this one of the greatest, experimental physicists and geniuses.

Breathed his last on August 25, 1867 and Hampton Court, Surrey at the age of 76.He was truly deeply religious and regarded his researches as a divine and scared work aimed at discovering divine laws of nature and its creator. He once wrote to his friend Tyndall:

“Tyndall, I must remain plain

Michael Faraday to the last, and

Let me know tell you, that if I

Accepted the honour which the

Royal Society desires to confer

Upon me, I would not answer for the integrity of my intellect for a single year. “