Alessandro Giuseppe Antonio Volta

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Alessandro Giuseppe Antonio Volta is known as the scientist that founded the electric age. He was an Italian physicist pioneer that contributed greatly to the development of the battery. Alessandro Volta was born in Como, Italy in 1745. He attended a public school; in 1774 he was appointed professor of physics at the Royal School in Como.

His first invention was an electrophorus; a device that produced static electricity. In 1776-77 he devoted his time to chemistry, studying atmospheric electricity, and devising experiments such as the ignition of gases by an electric spark in a closed vessel. In 1779 he became professor of physics at the University of Pavia, a chair he occupied for 25 years. By the 1800 he had developed the so-called voltaic pile, the first invention of the electric battery; it produced a steady stream of electricity. Volta also studied what we now call electrical capacitance, developing separate means to study both electrical potential and charge; discovering that for a given object they are corresponding. This is called Volta's Law of capacitance and for this work the unit of electrical currently has been named the Volt.

In 1794, Volta married Teresa Peregrini, with whom he raised three sons, Giovanni, Flaminio and Zanino. Volta retired in 1819 in his estate in Camnago, where he died on March 5, 1827. He is buried in Camnago, which is now called Camnago Volta named in honor of Alessandro. He is credited for the start of the electric age and there are many places and rewards named after him.

Alessandro improved and popularized the electrophorus which is an invention made by Jonah Carl Wilcke. The electrophorus consists of a dielectric plate; it is an electrical insulator and a metal plate with an insulating handle. It works by the dielectric plate being charged through the triboelectric effect by rubbing it with fur or cloth. The dielectric gains create negative charge by rubbing together....
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