Michael Faraday (1791-1867) is the famous British scientist who became famous in the field of experimental physics. It is known for the opening of electromagnetic induction which formed later the basis of industrial production of electricity. Faraday was a member of the numerous scientific organizations, including the London royal society and St. Petersburg academy of Sciences. He is considered by right the largest scientist-experimenter in the history of science.
From poverty to science
Michael Faraday was born on September 22, 1791 in working family. His father and the elder brother were engaged in blacksmithing. They lived very modestly in one of poor quarters of the British capital. Chronic poverty did not allow the boy to get a full education and from 13 years instead of occupations at school he works as the messenger of newspapers, and then gets a job in bookstore. The difficult life only enhanced his thirst for knowledge, and young Michael with ecstasy read any book which came to it to hand.
He felt special satisfaction from acquaintance to scientific literature, first of all on physics and chemistry and also articles about electricity. Work as the bookbinder of books allowed to get acquainted with various experiences which the inquisitive young man with enviable regularity tried to repeat at home.
On the way to a dream
During these occupations future scientist showed remarkable interest in science what one of clients of a workshop learned about. It helped to get to the keen young man at a lecture of the English chemist Gemfi Davy most famous at that time whose statements Faraday carefully summarized. Subsequently it bound these records and directed them to Davy together with the letter. It was the courageous and desperate step of Michael which Davy did not estimate. However in several days during another experiment of Gemfi injured an eye and the assistant urgently was necessary for it. Here just to the place there was Faraday's request for acceptance for work. Especially as at this time he left a workshop as work in it began to distract from scientific activity.
The scientist invited the young man the assistant in the Royal Institution. Soon Faraday together with the mentor went to a trip on scientific centers of the Old World. The biennial travel was very useful – the beginning scientist got acquainted with many stars of science among which there were M. Shevrel, Ge.L. Gay-Lussac and others. They noted big talent of the young Englishman.
After homecoming Michael some time worked together with Davy, and then was engaged in independent researches. By then he managed to become the full-fledged scientist who published about 40 works in the field of chemistry. During the made experiments he managed to carry out chlorine liquefaction and also to receive benzene and ammonia. Faraday opened somnolent effect of vapors of air. At the same time he makes an experiment on smelting of steel with nickel addition therefore properties of stainless steel were open.
In 1820 the Danish physicist G. Erstead described magnetic action of current and it attracted great interest of Faraday to studying of communication between electric and magnetic fields. In a year he created an electric motor prototype, watching rotation of a magnet around the conductor with current. Soon there was its work "History of progress of electromagnetism" in which the author noted that electric current is capable to turn into magnetism.
The relations with Davy began to spoil and though both for eyes paid each other compliments, and Gemfri in general called the best achievement "Faraday's opening", alienation accrued. In 1824 Michael was elected the member of Royal society, but Davy spoke against it.
Studying interrelation of different types of energy, Faraday decided to turn magnetism into electricity. And it carried out this task with gloss. Michael tried to use properties of an electromagnet in the opposite direction that by means of a magnet to make electric current. In August, 1831 the scientist managed to find the phenomenon of electromagnetic induction that helped it to create the electric generator, the first on the planet. Modern devices of household and industrial function became several orders more difficult, but they continue to work at the basis of the principles underlain by the ingenious English physicist. So locomotives function and generators at power plants develop energy.
In support of the open law of electromagnetic induction the scientist created the evident device for transformation of mechanical energy in electric, called Faraday's disk. Owing to a number of features it was not widely used, but played an important role in further scientific researches.
Faraday's disk — the first electromagnetic generator. At rotation of a disk constant voltage is developed
To Faraday two manifestations of electrical energy – a static electricity and a galvanic current were known to mankind. Both because of the features could not find broad practical application what you will not tell about induction electricity. It has considerable tension, works constantly and is shown in large numbers.
Unlike Edison, Michael did not interest applied opportunities of its opening at all – the main thing for it was as it is possible to study the nature more deeply. It essentially did not patent the inventions and refused favorable offers.
Revolution in electrochemistry
During 1833-1834 Michael made a series of the experiments connected with electrochemistry within which he studied passing of a current through solutions of the bases and acids. Laws of electrolysis (Faraday's laws) which played a key role in development of the theory of discrete carriers of electric charge were as a result formulated. In the next years Michael conducted a series of large-scale researches of the electric phenomena in dielectrics. Today without electrolysis it is impossible to present work of chemical and metallurgical industry.
In 1845 it opened the phenomenon which received the name "Faraday's effect". It belongs to the extensive class of the magnetooptical phenomena which arise owing to distribution of linearly polarized light in the Wednesday which does not have natural optical activity and being in magnetic field.
The great scientist died on August 25, 1867 in the working chair and is buried in the Haygeytsky cemetery of London
- In 1827 the scientist received professorial department in the Royal Institution, but still felt strong lack of funds. Friends helped Faraday to achieve lifetime maintenance, but the minister of treasury called squandering expenditure of money for it. In reply to Michael it is proud refused government pension, having forced subsequently the official to apologize publicly.
- Albert Einstein called the doctrine about an electromagnetic sex of Faraday the most important achievement of science since the time of I. Newton.
- Many biographers of the scientist noted his phenomenal working capacity and constant aiming at result – he literally lived in laboratory, being ready at any time to begin another experiment.
- For the merits Faraday was elected by the honorary member more than 70 scientific organizations and academies of various countries of the world.
- The British chemical society called by the name of Faraday one of the most prestigious scientific awards.
- The modesty of the scientist is widely known – he rejected the offer to become the president of Royal society and did not begin to accept knightly advantage.
- Faraday introduced for scientific use a number of widely known terms – the cathode, the anode, electrolyte, an ion and others.
- Michael Faraday was one of the most famous popular writers of science. His Christmas lectures which he regularly gave, since 1826 are widely known. One of the most known under the name "Candle History" was published by the separate book which became one of the first popular scientific editions subsequently.
- The scientist all life was deeply believing Christian and did not change belief even after publication of the theory of Darwin. He personally preached in one of the London churches and many admirers were going to his services.
- In honor of Michael Faraday the stand-alone unit of measure of the electrocategory applied in electrochemistry received the name.
1. John Tyndall. Faraday and his opening.
2. Uevell. History of inductive sciences. Vol. 2, 3.
3. De la Rive. Michel Faraday. Sa vie et ses travaux.