Biography of the Inventor Michael Faraday

Michael Faraday is well known for his laws of electrolysis and law of induction. He was successful as both a chemist and a physicist. He was born on September 22, 1791 in Newington Butts, Surrey, England. He died August 25, 1867 at the age of 75 in Hampton Court, Surrey, England. He was self-educated because his family was poor. He became interested in science while he was a young apprentice of a local bookseller. He developed a special interest in electricity.

Faraday’s first success was discovery of two new chlorides of carbon (hexachlorethane C2Cl6 and tetrachlorethylene C2Cl4), made while doing chemical work for Sir Humphry Davy. He discovered the two chlorides by trying to gently have chlorine and ethylene (C2H4) combine.

Sunlight was discovered as a catalyst in the early 1800s. Faraday successfully used sunlight as a catalyst to discover the two chlorides.

He made experiments on the diffusion of gases, succeeded in liquefying several gases, studied the alloys of steel, and invented several kinds of optical lenses. He invented the Bunsen burner, which is used as a heating device in chemistry laboratories today. In 1847 he discovered optical properties of gold colloids. Faraday invented the homopolar motor in 1821, which founded modern electromagnetic technology. But he neglected to credit his work with William Hyde Wollaston and Sir Humphry Davy. This caused discernment from the Royal Society.

Faraday discovered mutual induction using two coils of wire and an iron ring. James Clerk Maxwell described the phenomenon mathematically and called it “Faraday’s Law”. It is now part of field theory. In 1839, Michael Faraday conducted many experiments studying the nature of electricity. He used electrolysis, magnetism, etc. to demonstrate that there were no divisions of the “kinds” of electricity thought to be at that time.

Faraday almost discovered electromagnetic induction in 1825. He found flaws in Ampere’s ideas. After that, powerful magnets were invented by Joseph Henry of Albany, New York.

An instantaneous reversal of polarity was discovered by G. Moll. It is these discoveries that led to Michael Faraday’s discovery of electromagnetic induction in 1831.

His invention that produces a “permanent current of electricity by ordinary magnets” called the dynamo eventually produced the electric power industry for the multitude. He had discovered that the motions of electricity and magnetism are the same. It was forty years before Clerk

Maxwell put the direction and speeds of the currents in mathematical form.

The Faraday Effect was discovered by Faraday in 1845. It was the first evidence of a relationship between light and electromagnetism. It is the rotation of the plane of polarization of a light beam by a magnetic field that is important in the science physics. Faraday discovered it while studying the properties of a magnetic field on plane polarized light waves.

Faraday was appointed Director of the Laboratory of The Royal Institution by Sir Humphry Davy in 1825. He made many informal “Friday Evening Discourses” from 1825 until 1862.

Examples of what the lectures were about are the lighthouse illumination phenomenon and electric light and one was about the motions of small particles using mirrors.