Do you know who Michael Faraday, inventor of Faraday’s cage, was? In this article we will show in detail the life and career of Michael Faraday, presenting his main contributions to all of science.
Michael Faraday: Who was it?
Michael Faraday was an important English physicist and chemist who wrote important books in the field of chemistry. Creator of the first electromagnetic motor studied and discovered the laws of electrolysis and electromagnetism.
Faraday has created several technical terms for electrolysis such as an electrode, electrolyte, ions, etc. Faraday had its name immortalized in an important unit, the Farad, an electrical capacitance unit.
The highly intelligent Michael Faraday was born on September 22, 1791, in the city of Newington Butts in England. Son of a poor family, at the age of 13 he had to abandon his studies to work as a newspaper deliveryman and help with the family income.
The bookseller who was Faraday’s boss soon realized that he was a very hardworking and intelligent young man, and with just over a year as a newspaper delivery man, Faraday went on to become a bookbinder apprentice and went to live at his boss’s house. This was fundamental to his future success because in his spare time he could read many, many books that his boss had.
Michael Faraday: Career
In 1810 Faraday took a short course on Natural Philosophy and in the same year, he was invited to attend a conference by renowned English chemist Sir Humphry Davy who was also president of the Royal Institution.
At the age of 20 Faraday decided to quit his job as a bookbinder and went looking for a chance in a scientific laboratory. To get an interview, Faraday wrote a letter to Sir Davy and attached the notebook with notes of everything he learned during the conference he attended.
In 1813 Faraday got an interview with Davy in order to get the job, Faraday showed his main notes on studies and chemical and electrochemical experiments that he had been carrying out. The most striking experience was the construction of a voltaic cell.
In 1815 Faraday maintained his productive career and became Davy’s successor as director of the laboratories. For several years Faraday continued to carry out important experiments in chemistry, electrochemistry, and metallurgy. And among the main experiments, we can mention Davy’s famous safety lamp and the laws of electrolysis.
Faraday’s laws were important for electricity, as it was through them that the first commercial electricity meters emerged. And another key point was the ability to define exactly what the value of an amp was, which is the unit used for the intensity of the electric current.
Faraday’s cage was an experiment, where Faraday basically showed that an electrically conductive surface has zero electric field inside, precisely because the charges are distributed homogeneously on the external part of the conductive surface.
Michael Faraday: Awards
Faraday was the creator of the electromagnetic motor, and when he managed to produce continuous mechanical movement by the action of electric current, it was a remarkable fact that made Faraday appreciated by the scientific world. It was these researches and successes on the studies of the electric motor that earned Faraday a nomination for the Royal Society.
For several years Faraday concentrated his research and experiments in the field of chemistry, being important for the discovery of benzene, in addition to successful experiments in the liquefaction of gases that today is widely used in refrigeration processes.
Faraday also participated in the discovery of several qualities of glass, being fundamental in the evolution process of telescopes.
In 1831 Faraday discovered the principle of electrical induction, presented his discovery to the Royal Society showing that the induced electrical force depends on the number of magnetic force lines cut by the wire each second.
This discovery was so important that we can call it the cornerstone of the theory and practice of electromagnetism to this day. Nowadays every study on electromagnetism, electromechanical conversion of energy, the principles of motors and transformers are based on the laws that Faraday discovered.
In 1832 he received the Honorary Diploma from the University of Oxford, being honored with the Royal Society’s Copley Medal, which was the highest honor ever awarded by the University of Oxford!
In 1833 Faraday became a Fullerian professor of chemistry at the Royal Instution. And in 1857 Faraday received the proposal to be the president of the Royal Society, but Faraday did not accept saying that he wanted to continue his experiences, and as president he would not have time for that.
Michael Faraday died at his home in Hampton Court on August 25, 1867, and was buried in Highgate Cemetery. Faraday’s discoveries in different areas make him one of the greatest experimentalists in history.