Micheal Faraday: Father of modern Electricity
Faraday was born on September 22, 1791, in Newington (today’s South London), England. His father, James Faraday, was a blacksmith of slender income and challenged health who, with his wife, Margaret, managed to raise a tight-knit family of three children. Faraday's father was of the Sandemanian faith, which Faraday was to adopt as a guiding force throughout his life. When Faraday turned 14, he was apprenticed to a book binder, and during this time, familiarized himself with the teachings of Isaac Watts, a cleric from the previous century. It was Watts's work, The Improvement of the Mind, that put Faraday on the road to self-improvement. In 1810, Faraday began attending meetings of the then recently formed City Philosophical Society, where he heard lectures on scientific subjects, of which chemistry and electricity held the most sway over his imagination.
Faraday's relationship with Sir Humphry Davy began when Faraday attended a series of lectures by the famous scientist. Faraday was about to dedicate the rest of his life to bookbinding when, in what turned out to be a happy accident, Davy injured himself as a result of an experiment gone awry, and, in need of a secretary, hired Faraday. Faraday then gave Davy a copy of bound notes from Davy's lectures that Faraday had attended. Davy was impressed, and in 1813, when an assistant at the Royal Institution lost his job, Davy hired Faraday as his replacement.
When Davy went abroad on a prolonged visit to the continent in 1813, he asked Faraday to join him. During this journey, which was to last until 1815, Faraday was required to perform the duties of a valet, which he did with great discomfort. But the trip afforded him access to the best scientific minds of his day, which undoubtedly encouraged his independent thinking. Upon his return to London, with Davy's encouragement, he embarked on a series of chemical investigations which, while of little import in themselves, were the foundation for later discoveries. Faraday investigated the properties of various steel alloys, and, while he did not produce anything of commercial interest at the time, pointed the way to later developments in the field. In 1820, Faraday made one of his first important discoveries. He synthesized for the first time compounds of carbon and chlorine by substituting chlorine for hydrogen in ethylene. He then took up the investigation of the relationship between electricity and magnetism, and in 1821, produced the world's first electric motor, albeit a primitive one. That same year, he married Sarah Barnard, who is said to have been introduced to him by one of his contacts at the City Philosophical Society. Soon after his marriage, friction began to develop between himself and Davy. Davy claimed that Faraday failed to cite the contributions of other scientists in papers that he wrote. Faraday, on the other hand, was convinced that his work was not dependent on the prior accomplishments of others to the extent that they needed to be cited. In 1823, Faraday managed to liquify chlorine. Hearing of the result, Davy used the same method to liquify another gas. This apparently was another cause of friction between the two men, which some commentators have ascribed to jealousy on the part of Davy. Others, such as Faraday’s friend and fellow scientist John Tyndall, insist that jealousy played no part in the controversy. It was over Davy's objection, however, that in the same year, Faraday was elected to the membership of the Royal Society. The relationship appears to have smoothed in later years, for Davy supported Faraday's appointment as director of the Laboratory of the Royal Institution in 1825. Later in the 1820s, Davy set Faraday on a course of investigating the properties of optical glass, but these researches were neither particularly fruitful nor useful, although they did find application in the manufacture and improvement optical instruments. Davy died...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document