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Michael Faraday

Michael Faraday

Overview
Michael Faraday, FRS (22 September 1791 – 25 August 1867) was an English chemist
Chemist
A chemist is a scientist trained in the study of chemistry. Chemists study the composition of matter and its properties such as density and acidity. Chemists carefully describe the properties they study in terms of quantities, with detail on the level of molecules and their component atoms...

 and physicist
Physicist
A physicist is a scientist who studies or practices physics. Physicists study a wide range of physical phenomena in many branches of physics spanning all length scales: from sub-atomic particles of which all ordinary matter is made to the behavior of the material Universe as a whole...

 (or natural philosopher, in the terminology of the time) who contributed to the fields of electromagnetism
Electromagnetism
Electromagnetism is one of the four fundamental interactions in nature. The other three are the strong interaction, the weak interaction and gravitation...

 and electrochemistry
Electrochemistry
Electrochemistry is a branch of chemistry that studies chemical reactions which take place in a solution at the interface of an electron conductor and an ionic conductor , and which involve electron transfer between the electrode and the electrolyte or species in solution.If a chemical reaction is...

.

Faraday studied the magnetic field
Electromagnetic field
An electromagnetic field is a physical field produced by moving electrically charged objects. It affects the behavior of charged objects in the vicinity of the field. The electromagnetic field extends indefinitely throughout space and describes the electromagnetic interaction...

 around a conductor
Electrical conductor
In physics and electrical engineering, a conductor is a material which contains movable electric charges. In metallic conductors such as copper or aluminum, the movable charged particles are electrons...

 carrying a DC electric current
Electric current
Electric current is a flow of electric charge through a medium.This charge is typically carried by moving electrons in a conductor such as wire...

. While conducting these studies, Faraday established the basis for the electromagnetic field concept in physics, subsequently enlarged upon by James Maxwell
James Clerk Maxwell
James Clerk Maxwell of Glenlair was a Scottish physicist and mathematician. His most prominent achievement was formulating classical electromagnetic theory. This united all previously unrelated observations, experiments and equations of electricity, magnetism and optics into a consistent theory...

.
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Quotations

ALL THIS IS A DREAM. Still examine it by a few experiments. Nothing is too wonderful to be true, if it be consistent with the laws of nature; and in such things as these experiment is the best test of such consistency.

Labratory journal entry 10,040 (19 March 1849); published in The Life and Letters of Faraday (1870) Vol. II, edited by Henry Bence Jones|Henry Bence Jones, p. 253. This has sometimes been quoted partially as "Nothing is too wonderful to be true."

If you would cause your view ... to be acknowledged by scientific men; you would do a great service to science. If you would even get them to say yes or no to your conclusions it would help to clear the future progress. I believe some hesitate because they do not like their thoughts disturbed.

Life and Letters, 2:389.

There is no more open door by which you can enter into the study of natural philosophy than by considering the physical phenomena of a candle.

The Chemical History of a Candle(1860)
Encyclopedia
Michael Faraday, FRS (22 September 1791 – 25 August 1867) was an English chemist
Chemist
A chemist is a scientist trained in the study of chemistry. Chemists study the composition of matter and its properties such as density and acidity. Chemists carefully describe the properties they study in terms of quantities, with detail on the level of molecules and their component atoms...

 and physicist
Physicist
A physicist is a scientist who studies or practices physics. Physicists study a wide range of physical phenomena in many branches of physics spanning all length scales: from sub-atomic particles of which all ordinary matter is made to the behavior of the material Universe as a whole...

 (or natural philosopher, in the terminology of the time) who contributed to the fields of electromagnetism
Electromagnetism
Electromagnetism is one of the four fundamental interactions in nature. The other three are the strong interaction, the weak interaction and gravitation...

 and electrochemistry
Electrochemistry
Electrochemistry is a branch of chemistry that studies chemical reactions which take place in a solution at the interface of an electron conductor and an ionic conductor , and which involve electron transfer between the electrode and the electrolyte or species in solution.If a chemical reaction is...

.

Faraday studied the magnetic field
Electromagnetic field
An electromagnetic field is a physical field produced by moving electrically charged objects. It affects the behavior of charged objects in the vicinity of the field. The electromagnetic field extends indefinitely throughout space and describes the electromagnetic interaction...

 around a conductor
Electrical conductor
In physics and electrical engineering, a conductor is a material which contains movable electric charges. In metallic conductors such as copper or aluminum, the movable charged particles are electrons...

 carrying a DC electric current
Electric current
Electric current is a flow of electric charge through a medium.This charge is typically carried by moving electrons in a conductor such as wire...

. While conducting these studies, Faraday established the basis for the electromagnetic field concept in physics, subsequently enlarged upon by James Maxwell
James Clerk Maxwell
James Clerk Maxwell of Glenlair was a Scottish physicist and mathematician. His most prominent achievement was formulating classical electromagnetic theory. This united all previously unrelated observations, experiments and equations of electricity, magnetism and optics into a consistent theory...

. He similarly discovered electromagnetic induction
Electromagnetic induction
Electromagnetic induction is the production of an electric current across a conductor moving through a magnetic field. It underlies the operation of generators, transformers, induction motors, electric motors, synchronous motors, and solenoids....

, diamagnetism
Diamagnetism
Diamagnetism is the property of an object which causes it to create a magnetic field in opposition to an externally applied magnetic field, thus causing a repulsive effect. Specifically, an external magnetic field alters the orbital velocity of electrons around their nuclei, thus changing the...

, and laws of electrolysis
Faraday's laws of electrolysis
Faraday's laws of electrolysis are quantitative relationships based on the electrochemical researches published by Michael Faraday in 1834.-Statements of the laws:Several versions of the laws can be found in textbooks and the scientific literature...

. He established that magnetism
Magnetism
Magnetism is a property of materials that respond at an atomic or subatomic level to an applied magnetic field. Ferromagnetism is the strongest and most familiar type of magnetism. It is responsible for the behavior of permanent magnets, which produce their own persistent magnetic fields, as well...

 could affect rays of light
Ray (optics)
In optics, a ray is an idealized narrow beam of light. Rays are used to model the propagation of light through an optical system, by dividing the real light field up into discrete rays that can be computationally propagated through the system by the techniques of ray tracing. This allows even very...

 and that there was an underlying relationship between the two phenomena. His invention
Invention
An invention is a novel composition, device, or process. An invention may be derived from a pre-existing model or idea, or it could be independently conceived, in which case it may be a radical breakthrough. In addition, there is cultural invention, which is an innovative set of useful social...

s of electromagnetic rotary devices
Electric motor
An electric motor converts electrical energy into mechanical energy.Most electric motors operate through the interaction of magnetic fields and current-carrying conductors to generate force...

 formed the foundation of electric motor technology, and it was largely due to his efforts that electricity
Electricity
Electricity is a general term encompassing a variety of phenomena resulting from the presence and flow of electric charge. These include many easily recognizable phenomena, such as lightning, static electricity, and the flow of electrical current in an electrical wire...

 became viable for use in technology.

As a chemist, Faraday discovered benzene
Benzene
Benzene is an organic chemical compound. It is composed of 6 carbon atoms in a ring, with 1 hydrogen atom attached to each carbon atom, with the molecular formula C6H6....

, investigated the clathrate hydrate
Clathrate hydrate
Clathrate hydrates are crystalline water-based solids physically resembling ice, in which small non-polar molecules or polar molecules with large hydrophobic moieties are trapped inside "cages" of hydrogen bonded water molecules...

 of chlorine, invented an early form of the Bunsen burner
Bunsen burner
A Bunsen burner, named after Robert Bunsen, is a common piece of laboratory equipment that produces a single open gas flame, which is used for heating, sterilization, and combustion.- Operation:...

 and the system of oxidation number
Oxidation number
In coordination chemistry, the oxidation number of a central atom in a coordination compound is the charge that it would have if all the ligands were removed along with the electron pairs that were shared with the central atom. Oxidation numbers are often confused with oxidation states.The...

s, and popularised terminology such as anode
Anode
An anode is an electrode through which electric current flows into a polarized electrical device. Mnemonic: ACID ....

, cathode
Cathode
A cathode is an electrode through which electric current flows out of a polarized electrical device. Mnemonic: CCD .Cathode polarity is not always negative...

, electrode
Electrode
An electrode is an electrical conductor used to make contact with a nonmetallic part of a circuit...

, and ion
Ion
An ion is an atom or molecule in which the total number of electrons is not equal to the total number of protons, giving it a net positive or negative electrical charge. The name was given by physicist Michael Faraday for the substances that allow a current to pass between electrodes in a...

.

Although Faraday received little formal education and knew little of higher mathematics, such as calculus, he was one of the most influential scientists in history. Historians of science refer to him as the best experimentalist
Experimentalist
"Experimentalist" is a blanket term for all sorts of scientists engaged more in experimental activity than in the theoretical side of their sciences....

 in the history of science. The SI
Si
Si, si, or SI may refer to :- Measurement, mathematics and science :* International System of Units , the modern international standard version of the metric system...

 unit of capacitance
Capacitance
In electromagnetism and electronics, capacitance is the ability of a capacitor to store energy in an electric field. Capacitance is also a measure of the amount of electric potential energy stored for a given electric potential. A common form of energy storage device is a parallel-plate capacitor...

, the farad
Farad
The farad is the SI unit of capacitance. The unit is named after the English physicist Michael Faraday.- Definition :A farad is the charge in coulombs which a capacitor will accept for the potential across it to change 1 volt. A coulomb is 1 ampere second...

, is named after him, as is the Faraday constant, the charge on a mole
Mole (unit)
The mole is a unit of measurement used in chemistry to express amounts of a chemical substance, defined as an amount of a substance that contains as many elementary entities as there are atoms in 12 grams of pure carbon-12 , the isotope of carbon with atomic weight 12. This corresponds to a value...

 of electron
Electron
The electron is a subatomic particle with a negative elementary electric charge. It has no known components or substructure; in other words, it is generally thought to be an elementary particle. An electron has a mass that is approximately 1/1836 that of the proton...

s (about 96,485 coulombs). Faraday's law of induction
Faraday's law of induction
Faraday's law of induction dates from the 1830s, and is a basic law of electromagnetism relating to the operating principles of transformers, inductors, and many types of electrical motors and generators...

 states that magnetic flux changing in time creates a proportional electromotive force
Electromotive force
In physics, electromotive force, emf , or electromotance refers to voltage generated by a battery or by the magnetic force according to Faraday's Law, which states that a time varying magnetic field will induce an electric current.It is important to note that the electromotive "force" is not a...

.

Faraday was the first and foremost Fullerian Professor of Chemistry
Fullerian Professor of Chemistry
The Fullerian Chairs at the Royal Institution were established by John 'Mad Jack' Fuller.-Fullerian Professors of Chemistry:*1833 Michael Faraday* 1868 William Odling* 1874 John Hall Gladstone* 1877 James Dewar* 1923 William Henry Bragg* 1942 Henry H...

 at the Royal Institution of Great Britain, a life-time position.

Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein was a German-born theoretical physicist who developed the theory of general relativity, effecting a revolution in physics. For this achievement, Einstein is often regarded as the father of modern physics and one of the most prolific intellects in human history...

 kept a photograph of Faraday on his study wall alongside pictures of Isaac Newton
Isaac Newton
Sir Isaac Newton PRS was an English physicist, mathematician, astronomer, natural philosopher, alchemist, and theologian, who has been "considered by many to be the greatest and most influential scientist who ever lived."...

 and James Clerk Maxwell
James Clerk Maxwell
James Clerk Maxwell of Glenlair was a Scottish physicist and mathematician. His most prominent achievement was formulating classical electromagnetic theory. This united all previously unrelated observations, experiments and equations of electricity, magnetism and optics into a consistent theory...

.

Faraday was highly religious; he was a member of the Sandemanian Church, a Christian sect founded in 1730 that demanded total faith and commitment. Biographers have noted that "a strong sense of the unity of God and nature pervaded Faraday's life and work."

Early years


Faraday was born in Newington Butts
Newington Butts
Newington Butts is a former village, now an area of the London Borough of Southwark, that gives its name to a segment of the A3 road running south-west from the Elephant and Castle junction...

, now part of the London Borough of Southwark
London Borough of Southwark
The London Borough of Southwark is a London borough in south east London, England. It is directly south of the River Thames and the City of London, and forms part of Inner London.-History:...

; but then a suburban part of Surrey
Surrey
Surrey is a county in the South East of England and is one of the Home Counties. The county borders Greater London, Kent, East Sussex, West Sussex, Hampshire and Berkshire. The historic county town is Guildford. Surrey County Council sits at Kingston upon Thames, although this has been part of...

, one mile south of London Bridge
London Bridge
London Bridge is a bridge over the River Thames, connecting the City of London and Southwark, in central London. Situated between Cannon Street Railway Bridge and Tower Bridge, it forms the western end of the Pool of London...

. His family was not well off. His father, James, was a member of the Glassite
Glasite
The Glasites or Glassites were a Christian sect founded in about 1730 in Scotland by John Glas. Glas' faith, as part of the First Great Awakening, was spread by his son-in-law Robert Sandeman into England and America, where the members were called Sandemanians.Glas dissented from the Westminster...

 sect of Christianity. James Faraday moved his wife and two children to London during the winter of 1790–1 from Outhgill
Outhgill
Outhgill is a hamlet in Mallerstang, Cumbria. It lies about 5 miles south of Kirkby Stephen.It is the main hamlet in the dale of Mallerstang - a civil parish, which retains the Norse pattern of its original settlement: a series of small hamlets and isolated houses, with no village centre...

 in Westmorland
Westmorland
Westmorland is an area of North West England and one of the 39 historic counties of England. It formed an administrative county from 1889 to 1974, after which the entirety of the county was absorbed into the new county of Cumbria.-Early history:...

, where he had been an apprentice to the village blacksmith. Michael was born the autumn of that year. The young Michael Faraday, the third of four children, having only the most basic of school educations, had to largely educate himself. At fourteen he became apprenticed to a local bookbinder and bookseller George Riebau
George Riebau
George Riebau was a bookseller and bookbinder in Blandford Street, London to whom Michael Faraday was apprenticed in 1805 at the age of fourteen...

 in Blandford St and, during his seven-year apprenticeship, he read many books, including Isaac Watts
Isaac Watts
Isaac Watts was an English hymnwriter, theologian and logician. A prolific and popular hymnwriter, he was recognised as the "Father of English Hymnody", credited with some 750 hymns...

' The Improvement of the Mind, and he enthusiastically implemented the principles and suggestions that it contained. He developed an interest in science, especially in electricity. In particular, he was inspired by the book Conversations on Chemistry by Jane Marcet
Jane Marcet
Jane Marcet was a successful writer of popular introductory science books.-Life:She was born in London, one of twelve children of the merchant and banker Anthony Francis Haldimand and his wife Jane , and was tutored at home with her brothers...

.

At the age of twenty, in 1812, at the end of his apprenticeship, Faraday attended lectures by the eminent English chemist Humphry Davy
Humphry Davy
Sir Humphry Davy, 1st Baronet FRS MRIA was a British chemist and inventor. He is probably best remembered today for his discoveries of several alkali and alkaline earth metals, as well as contributions to the discoveries of the elemental nature of chlorine and iodine...

 of the Royal Institution
Royal Institution
The Royal Institution of Great Britain is an organization devoted to scientific education and research, based in London.-Overview:...

 and Royal Society
Royal Society
The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, known simply as the Royal Society, is a learned society for science, and is possibly the oldest such society in existence. Founded in November 1660, it was granted a Royal Charter by King Charles II as the "Royal Society of London"...

, and John Tatum, founder of the City Philosophical Society. Many tickets for these lectures were given to Faraday by William Dance
William Dance
William Dance was an English pianist and violinist.-Life:William Dance was the grandson of the architect George Dance . His father was the actor James Dance and his mother may have been James' wife Elizabeth or the actress Mrs Love. Dance studied the piano under Theodore Aylward the elder and...

 (one of the founders of the Royal Philharmonic Society
Royal Philharmonic Society
The Royal Philharmonic Society is a British music society, formed in 1813. It was originally formed in London to promote performances of instrumental music there. Many distinguished composers and performers have taken part in its concerts...

). Afterwards, Faraday sent Davy a three hundred page book based on notes taken during the lectures. Davy's reply was immediate, kind, and favourable. When Davy damaged his eyesight in an accident with nitrogen trichloride
Nitrogen trichloride
Nitrogen trichloride, also known as trichloramine, is the chemical compound with the formula NCl3. This yellow, oily, pungent-smelling liquid is most commonly encountered as a byproduct of chemical reactions between ammonia-derivatives and chlorine .In pure form, NCl3 is highly reactive...

, he decided to employ Faraday as a secretary. When John Payne, one of the Royal Institution's assistants, was sacked, Sir Humphry Davy was asked to find a replacement. He appointed Faraday as Chemical Assistant at the Royal Institution on 1 March 1813.

In the class-based English society of the time, Faraday was not considered a gentleman. When Davy went on a long tour to the continent in 1813–15, his valet
Valet
Valet and varlet are terms for male servants who serve as personal attendants to their employer.- Word origins :In the Middle Ages, the valet de chambre to a ruler was a prestigious appointment for young men...

 did not wish to go. Faraday was going as Davy's scientific assistant, and was asked to act as Davy's valet until a replacement could be found in Paris. Faraday was forced to fill the role of valet as well as assistant throughout the trip. Davy's wife, Jane Apreece, refused to treat Faraday as an equal (making him travel outside the coach, eat with the servants, etc.) and generally made Faraday so miserable that he contemplated returning to England alone and giving up science altogether. The trip did, however, give him access to the European scientific elite and a host of stimulating ideas.

Faraday was a devout Christian. His Sandemanian denomination was an offshoot of the Church of Scotland
Church of Scotland
The Church of Scotland, known informally by its Scots language name, the Kirk, is a Presbyterian church, decisively shaped by the Scottish Reformation....

. Well after his marriage, he served as Deacon
Deacon
Deacon is a ministry in the Christian Church that is generally associated with service of some kind, but which varies among theological and denominational traditions...

 and two terms as an Elder
Elder (Christianity)
An elder in Christianity is a person valued for his wisdom who accordingly holds a particular position of responsibility in a Christian group. In some Christian traditions an elder is a clergy person who usually serves a local church or churches and who has been ordained to a ministry of Word,...

 in the meeting house of his youth. His church was located at Paul's Alley in the Barbican
Barbican
A barbican, from medieval Latin barbecana, signifying the "outer fortification of a city or castle," with cognates in the Romance languages A barbican, from medieval Latin barbecana, signifying the "outer fortification of a city or castle," with cognates in the Romance languages A barbican, from...

. This meeting house relocated in 1862 to Barnsbury
Barnsbury
Barnsbury is an area of north London in the London Borough of Islington, in the N1 postal districts.The name is a corruption of villa de Iseldon Berners , being so called after the Berners family: powerful medieval manorial lords who gained ownership of a large part of Islington after the Norman...

 Grove, Islington
London Borough of Islington
The London Borough of Islington is a London borough in Inner London. It was formed in 1965 by merging the former metropolitan boroughs of Islington and Finsbury. The borough contains two Westminster parliamentary constituencies, Islington North and Islington South & Finsbury...

. This North London location is where Faraday served the final two years of his second term as Elder prior to his resignation from that post.

Faraday married Sarah Barnard (1800–1879) on 12 June 1821. They had no children. They met through their families at the Sandemanian church. He confessed his faith to the Sandemanian congregation the month after he married.

Chemistry


Faraday's earliest chemical work was as an assistant to Humphry Davy
Humphry Davy
Sir Humphry Davy, 1st Baronet FRS MRIA was a British chemist and inventor. He is probably best remembered today for his discoveries of several alkali and alkaline earth metals, as well as contributions to the discoveries of the elemental nature of chlorine and iodine...

. Faraday specifically studied chlorine
Chlorine
Chlorine is the chemical element with atomic number 17 and symbol Cl. It is the second lightest halogen, found in the periodic table in group 17. The element forms diatomic molecules under standard conditions, called dichlorine...

, discovering two new compounds of chlorine and carbon
Carbon
Carbon is the chemical element with symbol C and atomic number 6. As a member of group 14 on the periodic table, it is nonmetallic and tetravalent—making four electrons available to form covalent chemical bonds...

. He also made the first rough experiments on the diffusion of gases, a phenomenon first pointed out by John Dalton
John Dalton
John Dalton FRS was an English chemist, meteorologist and physicist. He is best known for his pioneering work in the development of modern atomic theory, and his research into colour blindness .-Early life:John Dalton was born into a Quaker family at Eaglesfield, near Cockermouth, Cumberland,...

, the physical importance of which was more fully brought to light by Thomas Graham
Thomas Graham (chemist)
Thomas Graham FRS was a nineteenth-century Scottish chemist who is best-remembered today for his pioneering work in dialysis and the diffusion of gases.- Life and work :...

 and Joseph Loschmidt. He succeeded in liquefying several gases; he investigated the alloys of steel, and produced several new kinds of glass intended for optical purposes. A specimen of one of these heavy glasses afterwards became historically important as the substance in which Faraday detected the rotation of the plane of polarisation of light when the glass was placed in a magnetic field, and also as the first substance found to be repelled by the poles of a magnet. He also endeavoured, with some success, to make the general methods of chemistry, as distinguished from its results, the subject of special study and of popular exposition.

He invented an early form of what was to become the Bunsen burner
Bunsen burner
A Bunsen burner, named after Robert Bunsen, is a common piece of laboratory equipment that produces a single open gas flame, which is used for heating, sterilization, and combustion.- Operation:...

, which is used almost universally in science laboratories as a convenient source of heat.
Faraday worked extensively in the field of chemistry, discovering chemical substances such as benzene
Benzene
Benzene is an organic chemical compound. It is composed of 6 carbon atoms in a ring, with 1 hydrogen atom attached to each carbon atom, with the molecular formula C6H6....

 (which he called bicarburet of hydrogen), and liquefying gases such as chlorine. Liquification of gases helped establish that gases are simply the vapours of liquids possessing a very low boiling-point, and gave a more solid basis to conceptions of molecular aggregation. In 1820 Faraday reported on the first syntheses of compounds made from carbon and chlorine, C2Cl6
Hexachloroethane
Hexachloroethane, also known as perchloroethanes , C2Cl6, is a colorless solid at room temperature which is used by the US Military in smoke compositions, e.g...

 and C2Cl4
Tetrachloroethylene
Tetrachloroethylene, also known under its systematic name tetrachloroethene and many other names, is a chlorocarbon with the formula Cl2C=CCl2. It is a colourless liquid widely used for dry cleaning of fabrics, hence it is sometimes called "dry-cleaning fluid." It has a sweet odor detectable by...

, and published his results the following year. Faraday also determined the composition of the chlorine clathrate hydrate
Clathrate hydrate
Clathrate hydrates are crystalline water-based solids physically resembling ice, in which small non-polar molecules or polar molecules with large hydrophobic moieties are trapped inside "cages" of hydrogen bonded water molecules...

, which had been discovered by Humphry Davy in 1810.

Faraday also discovered the laws of electrolysis and popularised terminology such as anode
Anode
An anode is an electrode through which electric current flows into a polarized electrical device. Mnemonic: ACID ....

, cathode
Cathode
A cathode is an electrode through which electric current flows out of a polarized electrical device. Mnemonic: CCD .Cathode polarity is not always negative...

, electrode
Electrode
An electrode is an electrical conductor used to make contact with a nonmetallic part of a circuit...

, and ion
Ion
An ion is an atom or molecule in which the total number of electrons is not equal to the total number of protons, giving it a net positive or negative electrical charge. The name was given by physicist Michael Faraday for the substances that allow a current to pass between electrodes in a...

, terms largely created by William Whewell
William Whewell
William Whewell was an English polymath, scientist, Anglican priest, philosopher, theologian, and historian of science. He was Master of Trinity College, Cambridge.-Life and career:Whewell was born in Lancaster...

.

Faraday was the first to report what later came to be called metallic nanoparticles. In 1847 he discovered that the optical properties of gold colloid
Colloid
A colloid is a substance microscopically dispersed evenly throughout another substance.A colloidal system consists of two separate phases: a dispersed phase and a continuous phase . A colloidal system may be solid, liquid, or gaseous.Many familiar substances are colloids, as shown in the chart below...

s differed from those of the corresponding bulk metal. This was probably the first reported observation of the effects of quantum
Quantum
In physics, a quantum is the minimum amount of any physical entity involved in an interaction. Behind this, one finds the fundamental notion that a physical property may be "quantized," referred to as "the hypothesis of quantization". This means that the magnitude can take on only certain discrete...

 size, and might be considered to be the birth of nanoscience.

Electricity and magnetism


Faraday is best known for his work with electricity and magnetism. His first recorded experiment was the construction of a voltaic pile
Voltaic pile
A voltaic pile is a set of individual Galvanic cells placed in series. The voltaic pile, invented by Alessandro Volta in 1800, was the first electric battery...

 with seven halfpence pieces, stacked together with seven disks of sheet zinc, and six pieces of paper moistened with salt water. With this pile he decomposed sulphate of magnesia (first letter to Abbott, 12 July 1812).


In 1821, soon after the Danish physicist and chemist, Hans Christian Ørsted
Hans Christian Ørsted
Hans Christian Ørsted was a Danish physicist and chemist who discovered that electric currents create magnetic fields, an important aspect of electromagnetism...

 discovered the phenomenon of electromagnetism
Electromagnetism
Electromagnetism is one of the four fundamental interactions in nature. The other three are the strong interaction, the weak interaction and gravitation...

, Davy and British scientist William Hyde Wollaston
William Hyde Wollaston
William Hyde Wollaston FRS was an English chemist and physicist who is famous for discovering two chemical elements and for developing a way to process platinum ore.-Biography:...

 tried but failed to design an electric motor
Electric motor
An electric motor converts electrical energy into mechanical energy.Most electric motors operate through the interaction of magnetic fields and current-carrying conductors to generate force...

. Faraday, having discussed the problem with the two men, went on to build two devices to produce what he called electromagnetic rotation: a continuous circular motion from the circular magnetic force around a wire and a wire extending into a pool of mercury
Mercury (element)
Mercury is a chemical element with the symbol Hg and atomic number 80. It is also known as quicksilver or hydrargyrum...

 with a magnet placed inside that would rotate around the magnet if supplied with current from a chemical battery. The latter device is known as a homopolar motor
Homopolar motor
A homopolar motor is an electric motor that works without the need for a commutator, by rotating along a fixed axis that is parallel to the external magnetic field produced by a permanent magnet. The name homopolar indicates that the electrical polarity of the motor does not change...

. These experiments and inventions form the foundation of modern electromagnetic technology. In his excitement, Faraday published results without acknowledging his work with either Wollaston or Davy. The resulting controversy within the Royal Society
Royal Society
The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, known simply as the Royal Society, is a learned society for science, and is possibly the oldest such society in existence. Founded in November 1660, it was granted a Royal Charter by King Charles II as the "Royal Society of London"...

 strained his mentor relationship with Davy and may well have contributed to Faraday’s assignment to other activities, thereby removing him from electromagnetic research for several years.

From his initial electromagnetic discovery in 1821, Faraday continued his laboratory work exploring properties of materials and developing the requisite experience. In 1824, Faraday briefly set up a circuit to study whether a magnetic field could regulate the flow of a current in an adjacent wire, but could find no such relationship. This lab followed similar work with light and magnets three years earlier with identical results. During the next seven years, Faraday spent much of his time perfecting his recipe for optical quality (heavy) glass, boro-silicate of lead, which he used in his future studies connecting light with magnetism. In his spare time from this optics work, Faraday continued publishing his experimental work (some of which related to EM) and conducted foreign correspondence with scientists (also working on EM) he previously met on his journeys about Europe with Davy. Two years after the death of Davy, in 1831, he began his great series of experiments in which he discovered electromagnetic induction
Electromagnetic induction
Electromagnetic induction is the production of an electric current across a conductor moving through a magnetic field. It underlies the operation of generators, transformers, induction motors, electric motors, synchronous motors, and solenoids....

. Joseph Henry
Joseph Henry
Joseph Henry was an American scientist who served as the first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, as well as a founding member of the National Institute for the Promotion of Science, a precursor of the Smithsonian Institution. During his lifetime, he was highly regarded...

 likely discovered self-induction
Electromagnetic induction
Electromagnetic induction is the production of an electric current across a conductor moving through a magnetic field. It underlies the operation of generators, transformers, induction motors, electric motors, synchronous motors, and solenoids....

 a few months earlier and both may have been anticipated by the work of Francesco Zantedeschi
Francesco Zantedeschi
Francesco Zantedeschi was an Italian priest and physicist.-Biography:A native of Dolcè, near Verona, Zantedeschi was for some time professor of physics and philosophy in the Liceo of Venice. Later he accepted the chair of physics in the University of Padua, which he held until 1853 being then...

 in Italy in 1829 and 1830.
Faraday's breakthrough came when he wrapped two insulated coils of wire around an iron ring, and found that, upon passing a current through one coil, a momentary current was induced in the other coil. This phenomenon is known as mutual induction. The iron ring-coil apparatus is still on display at the Royal Institution. In subsequent experiments, he found that, if he moved a magnet through a loop of wire, an electric current flowed in the wire. The current also flowed if the loop was moved over a stationary magnet. His demonstrations established that a changing magnetic field produces an electric field. This relation was modelled mathematically by James Clerk Maxwell
James Clerk Maxwell
James Clerk Maxwell of Glenlair was a Scottish physicist and mathematician. His most prominent achievement was formulating classical electromagnetic theory. This united all previously unrelated observations, experiments and equations of electricity, magnetism and optics into a consistent theory...

 as Faraday's law
Faraday's law of induction
Faraday's law of induction dates from the 1830s, and is a basic law of electromagnetism relating to the operating principles of transformers, inductors, and many types of electrical motors and generators...

, which subsequently became one of the four Maxwell equations
Maxwell's equations
Maxwell's equations are a set of partial differential equations that, together with the Lorentz force law, form the foundation of classical electrodynamics, classical optics, and electric circuits. These fields in turn underlie modern electrical and communications technologies.Maxwell's equations...

. These in turn have evolved into the generalisation known today as field theory.

Faraday later used the principle to construct the electric dynamo, the ancestor of modern power generators.

In 1839, he completed a series of experiments aimed at investigating the fundamental nature of electricity. Faraday used "static
Electrostatics
Electrostatics is the branch of physics that deals with the phenomena and properties of stationary or slow-moving electric charges....

", batteries
Battery (electricity)
An electrical battery is one or more electrochemical cells that convert stored chemical energy into electrical energy. Since the invention of the first battery in 1800 by Alessandro Volta and especially since the technically improved Daniell cell in 1836, batteries have become a common power...

, and "animal electricity
Bioelectromagnetism
Bioelectromagnetism refers to the electrical, magnetic or electromagnetic fields produced by living cells, tissues or organisms. Examples include the cell membrane potential and the electric currents that flow in nerves and muscles, as a result of action potentials...

" to produce the phenomena of electrostatic attraction, electrolysis
Electrolysis
In chemistry and manufacturing, electrolysis is a method of using a direct electric current to drive an otherwise non-spontaneous chemical reaction...

, magnetism
Electromagnetism
Electromagnetism is one of the four fundamental interactions in nature. The other three are the strong interaction, the weak interaction and gravitation...

, etc. He concluded that, contrary to scientific opinion of the time, the divisions between the various "kinds" of electricity were illusory. Faraday instead proposed that only a single "electricity" exists, and the changing values of quantity and intensity (current and voltage) would produce different groups of phenomena.

Near the end of his career, Faraday proposed that electromagnetic forces extended into the empty space around the conductor. This idea was rejected by his fellow scientists, and Faraday did not live to see this idea eventually accepted. Faraday's concept of lines of flux emanating from charged bodies and magnets provided a way to visualise electric and magnetic fields. That mental model was crucial to the successful development of electromechanical devices that dominated engineering and industry for the remainder of the 19th century.

Diamagnetism



In 1845, Faraday discovered that many materials exhibit a weak repulsion from a magnetic field, a phenomenon he named diamagnetism
Diamagnetism
Diamagnetism is the property of an object which causes it to create a magnetic field in opposition to an externally applied magnetic field, thus causing a repulsive effect. Specifically, an external magnetic field alters the orbital velocity of electrons around their nuclei, thus changing the...

.

Faraday also found that the plane of polarisation of linearly polarised light can be rotated by the application of an external magnetic field aligned in the direction the light is moving. This is now termed the Faraday effect
Faraday effect
In physics, the Faraday effect or Faraday rotation is a Magneto-optical phenomenon, that is, an interaction between light and a magnetic field in a medium...

. He wrote in his notebook, "I have at last succeeded in illuminating a magnetic curve or line of force
Line of force
A line of force in Faraday's extended sense is synonymous with Maxwell's line of induction. According to J.J. Thomson, Faraday usually discusses lines of force as chains of polarized particles in a dielectric, yet sometimes Faraday discusses them as having an existence all their own as in...

and in magnetising a ray of light
Ray (optics)
In optics, a ray is an idealized narrow beam of light. Rays are used to model the propagation of light through an optical system, by dividing the real light field up into discrete rays that can be computationally propagated through the system by the techniques of ray tracing. This allows even very...

".

Late in life (1862), Faraday used a spectroscope to search for a different alteration of light, the change of spectral lines by an applied magnetic field. However, the equipment available to him was insufficient for a definite determination of a spectral change. Pieter Zeeman
Pieter Zeeman
Pieter Zeeman was a Dutch physicist who shared the 1902 Nobel Prize in Physics with Hendrik Lorentz for his discovery of the Zeeman effect.-Childhood and youth:...

 later used an improved apparatus to study the same phenomenon, publishing his results in 1897 and receiving the 1902 Nobel Prize in Physics for his success. In both his 1897 paper and his Nobel acceptance speech, Zeeman referred to Faraday's work.

Faraday cage


In his work on static electricity, Faraday's ice pail experiment
Faraday's ice pail experiment
Faraday's ice pail experiment is a simple electrostatics experiment performed in 1843 by British scientist Michael Faraday that demonstrates the effect of electrostatic induction on a conducting container. For a container, Faraday used a metal pail made to hold ice, which gave the experiment its name...

 demonstrated that the charge resided only on the exterior of a charged conductor, and exterior charge had no influence on anything enclosed within a conductor. This is because the exterior charges redistribute such that the interior fields due to them cancel. This shielding effect is used in what is now known as a Faraday cage
Faraday cage
A Faraday cage or Faraday shield is an enclosure formed by conducting material or by a mesh of such material. Such an enclosure blocks out external static and non-static electric fields...

.

Faraday was an excellent experimentalist who conveyed his ideas in clear and simple language. However, his mathematical abilities did not extend as far as trigonometry or any but the simplest algebra. It was James Clerk Maxwell
James Clerk Maxwell
James Clerk Maxwell of Glenlair was a Scottish physicist and mathematician. His most prominent achievement was formulating classical electromagnetic theory. This united all previously unrelated observations, experiments and equations of electricity, magnetism and optics into a consistent theory...

 who took the work of Faraday, and others, and consolidated it with a set of equations that lie at the base of all modern theories of electromagnetic phenomena. On Faraday's uses of the lines of force, Maxwell wrote that they show Faraday "to have been in reality a mathematician of a very high order – one from whom the mathematicians of the future may derive valuable and fertile methods."

Royal Institution and public service



Faraday was the first Fullerian Professor of Chemistry
Fullerian Professor of Chemistry
The Fullerian Chairs at the Royal Institution were established by John 'Mad Jack' Fuller.-Fullerian Professors of Chemistry:*1833 Michael Faraday* 1868 William Odling* 1874 John Hall Gladstone* 1877 James Dewar* 1923 William Henry Bragg* 1942 Henry H...

 at the Royal Institution of Great Britain, a position to which he was appointed for life. His sponsor and mentor was John 'Mad Jack' Fuller
John 'Mad Jack' Fuller
John Fuller , better known as "Mad Jack" Fuller , was Squire of the hamlet of Brightling, in Sussex , and is well known as a builder of follies, and as a philanthropist, patron of the arts and sciences, and a supporter of slavery...

, who created the position at the Royal Institution. Faraday was elected a member of the Royal Society in 1824, appointed director of the laboratory in 1825; and in 1833 he was appointed Fullerian Professor of Chemistry in the institution for life, without the obligation to deliver lectures.

Beyond his scientific research into areas such as chemistry, electricity, and magnetism at the Royal Institution, Faraday undertook numerous, and often time-consuming, service projects for private enterprise and the British government. This work included investigations of explosions in coal mines, being an expert witness
Expert witness
An expert witness, professional witness or judicial expert is a witness, who by virtue of education, training, skill, or experience, is believed to have expertise and specialised knowledge in a particular subject beyond that of the average person, sufficient that others may officially and legally...

 in court, and the preparation of high-quality optical glass. In 1846, together with Charles Lyell
Charles Lyell
Sir Charles Lyell, 1st Baronet, Kt FRS was a British lawyer and the foremost geologist of his day. He is best known as the author of Principles of Geology, which popularised James Hutton's concepts of uniformitarianism – the idea that the earth was shaped by slow-moving forces still in operation...

, he produced a lengthy and detailed report on a serious explosion
Explosion
An explosion is a rapid increase in volume and release of energy in an extreme manner, usually with the generation of high temperatures and the release of gases. An explosion creates a shock wave. If the shock wave is a supersonic detonation, then the source of the blast is called a "high explosive"...

 in the colliery at Haswell County Durham, which killed 95 miners. Their report was a meticulous forensic investigation and indicated that coal dust
Coal dust
Coal dust is a fine powdered form of coal, which is created by the crushing, grinding, or pulverizing of coal. Because of the brittle nature of coal, coal dust can be created during mining, transportation, or by mechanically handling coal.-Explosions:...

 contributed to the severity of the explosion. The report should have warned coal owners of the hazard of coal dust explosions, but the risk was ignored for over 60 years until the Senghenydd Colliery Disaster
Senghenydd Colliery Disaster
The Senghenydd Colliery Disaster, also known as the Senghenydd Explosion, occurred in Senghenydd , near Caerphilly, Glamorgan, Wales on 14 October 1913, killing 439 miners...

 of 1913.

As a respected scientist in a nation with strong maritime interests, Faraday spent extensive amounts of time on projects such as the construction and operation of light house
Lighthouse
A lighthouse is a tower, building, or other type of structure designed to emit light from a system of lamps and lenses or, in older times, from a fire, and used as an aid to navigation for maritime pilots at sea or on inland waterways....

s and protecting the bottoms of ships from corrosion
Corrosion
Corrosion is the disintegration of an engineered material into its constituent atoms due to chemical reactions with its surroundings. In the most common use of the word, this means electrochemical oxidation of metals in reaction with an oxidant such as oxygen...

. His workshop still stands at Trinity Buoy Wharf
Trinity Buoy Wharf
Trinity Buoy Wharf, in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, is the site of London's only lighthouse, by the confluence of the River Thames and Bow Creek, at Leamouth. The lighthouse no longer functions, and is the home of various art projects such as Longplayer...

 above the Chain and Buoy Store, next to London's only lighthouse and a school named after him.

Faraday also was active in what would now be called environmental science
Environmental science
Environmental science is an interdisciplinary academic field that integrates physical and biological sciences, to the study of the environment, and the solution of environmental problems...

, or engineering. He investigated industrial pollution at Swansea
Swansea
Swansea is a coastal city and county in Wales. Swansea is in the historic county boundaries of Glamorgan. Situated on the sandy South West Wales coast, the county area includes the Gower Peninsula and the Lliw uplands...

 and was consulted on air pollution at the Royal Mint
Royal Mint
The Royal Mint is the body permitted to manufacture, or mint, coins in the United Kingdom. The Mint originated over 1,100 years ago, but since 2009 it operates as Royal Mint Ltd, a company which has an exclusive contract with HM Treasury to supply all coinage for the UK...

. In July 1855, Faraday wrote a letter to The Times
The Times
The Times is a British daily national newspaper, first published in London in 1785 under the title The Daily Universal Register . The Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times are published by Times Newspapers Limited, a subsidiary since 1981 of News International...

 on the subject of the foul condition of the River Thames
River Thames
The River Thames flows through southern England. It is the longest river entirely in England and the second longest in the United Kingdom. While it is best known because its lower reaches flow through central London, the river flows alongside several other towns and cities, including Oxford,...

, which resulted in an oft-reprinted cartoon in Punch
Punch (magazine)
Punch, or the London Charivari was a British weekly magazine of humour and satire established in 1841 by Henry Mayhew and engraver Ebenezer Landells. Historically, it was most influential in the 1840s and 50s, when it helped to coin the term "cartoon" in its modern sense as a humorous illustration...

. (See also The Great Stink
The Great Stink
The Great Stink, or the Big Stink, was a time in the summer of 1858 during which the smell of untreated human waste was very strong in central London.-Water supply and sanitation prior to the Great Stink:...

.)

Faraday assisted with planning and judging of exhibits for the Great Exhibition of 1851 in London. He also advised the National Gallery
National Gallery, London
The National Gallery is an art museum on Trafalgar Square, London, United Kingdom. Founded in 1824, it houses a collection of over 2,300 paintings dating from the mid-13th century to 1900. The gallery is an exempt charity, and a non-departmental public body of the Department for Culture, Media...

 on the cleaning and protection of its art collection, and served on the National Gallery Site Commission in 1857.

Education was another area of service for Faraday. He lectured on the topic in 1854 at the Royal Institution, and in 1862 he appeared before a Public Schools Commission to give his views on education in Great Britain. Faraday also weighed in, negatively, on the public's fascination with table-turning, mesmerism, and seances, chastising both the public and the nation's educational system.

Faraday gave a successful series of lectures on the chemistry and physics of flames at the Royal Institution
Royal Institution
The Royal Institution of Great Britain is an organization devoted to scientific education and research, based in London.-Overview:...

, entitled The Chemical History of a Candle
The Chemical History of a Candle
The Chemical History of a Candle was the title of a series of six lectures on the chemistry and physics of flames given by Michael Faraday at the Royal Institution...

. This was one of the earliest Christmas lectures
Royal Institution Christmas Lectures
The Royal Institution Christmas Lectures are a series of lectures on a single topic, which have been held at the Royal Institution in London each year since 1825. The lectures present scientific subjects to a general audience, including young people, in an informative and entertaining manner....

 for young people, which are still given each year. Between 1827 and 1860, Faraday gave the Christmas lectures a record nineteen times.

Later life



In June 1832, the University of Oxford granted Faraday a Doctor of Civil Law degree (honorary). During his lifetime, Faraday rejected a knighthood and twice refused to become President of the Royal Society
President of the Royal Society
The president of the Royal Society is the elected director of the Royal Society of London. After informal meetings at Gresham College, the Royal Society was founded officially on 15 July 1662 for the encouragement of ‘philosophical studies’, by a royal charter which nominated William Brouncker as...

. Faraday was elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences or Kungliga Vetenskapsakademien is one of the Royal Academies of Sweden. The Academy is an independent, non-governmental scientific organization which acts to promote the sciences, primarily the natural sciences and mathematics.The Academy was founded on 2...

 in 1838, and was one of eight foreign members elected to the French Academy of Sciences
French Academy of Sciences
The French Academy of Sciences is a learned society, founded in 1666 by Louis XIV at the suggestion of Jean-Baptiste Colbert, to encourage and protect the spirit of French scientific research...

 in 1844.

In 1848, as a result of representations by the Prince Consort, Michael Faraday was awarded a grace and favour
Grace and favour
A grace and favour home is a residential property owned by a monarch by virtue of their position as head of state and leased rent-free to persons as part of an employment package or in gratitude for past services rendered....

 house in Hampton Court in Middlesex, free of all expenses or upkeep. This was the Master Mason's House, later called Faraday House, and now No.37 Hampton Court Road. In 1858 Faraday retired to live there.

When asked by the British government to advise on the production of chemical weapons for use in the Crimean War
Crimean War
The Crimean War was a conflict fought between the Russian Empire and an alliance of the French Empire, the British Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and the Kingdom of Sardinia. The war was part of a long-running contest between the major European powers for influence over territories of the declining...

 (1853–1856), Faraday refused to participate citing ethical reasons.

Faraday died at his house at Hampton Court on 25 August 1867 aged 75 years and 11 months. He had previously turned down burial in Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey
The Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, popularly known as Westminster Abbey, is a large, mainly Gothic church, in the City of Westminster, London, United Kingdom, located just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English,...

, but he has a memorial plaque there, near Isaac Newton
Isaac Newton
Sir Isaac Newton PRS was an English physicist, mathematician, astronomer, natural philosopher, alchemist, and theologian, who has been "considered by many to be the greatest and most influential scientist who ever lived."...

's tomb. Faraday was interred in the dissenters' (non-Anglican
Anglicanism
Anglicanism is a tradition within Christianity comprising churches with historical connections to the Church of England or similar beliefs, worship and church structures. The word Anglican originates in ecclesia anglicana, a medieval Latin phrase dating to at least 1246 that means the English...

) section of Highgate Cemetery
Highgate Cemetery
Highgate Cemetery is a cemetery located in north London, England. It is designated Grade I on the English Heritage Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England. It is divided into two parts, named the East and West cemetery....

. Hirshfeld maintains in his biography that Faraday suffered from mental breakdown due to his intellectual exertions so that he became debilitated by the end of his life and unable to conduct any meaningful research.

Commemorations


Faraday School is located on Trinity Buoy Wharf
Trinity Buoy Wharf
Trinity Buoy Wharf, in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, is the site of London's only lighthouse, by the confluence of the River Thames and Bow Creek, at Leamouth. The lighthouse no longer functions, and is the home of various art projects such as Longplayer...

 where his workshop still stands above the Chain and Buoy Store, next to London's only lighthouse.

A statue of Faraday stands in Savoy Place
Savoy Place
Savoy Place is a large red brick building on the north bank of the River Thames in London, England. It is on a street called Savoy Place and Savoy Street runs along the side of the building up to the Strand. In front is the Victoria Embankment, part of the Thames Embankment. Close by are the Savoy...

, London, outside the Institution of Engineering and Technology
Institution of Engineering and Technology
The Institution of Engineering and Technology is a British professional body for those working in engineering and technology in the United Kingdom and worldwide. It was formed in 2006 from two separate institutions: the Institution of Electrical Engineers , dating back to 1871, and the...

. Also in London, the Michael Faraday Memorial
Michael Faraday Memorial
The Michael Faraday Memorial is a monument to the Victorian scientist Michael Faraday in Elephant and Castle, London, England.The stainless steel box-shaped structure was designed by Brutalist architect Rodney Gordon in 1959 and built in 1961 on the centre of the northern roundabout of the Elephant...

, designed by brutalist architect Rodney Gordon
Rodney Gordon
Rodney Gordon was a British architect. He was the primary architect of the Tricorn centre, Portsmouth. Architecturally, his works were primarily in concrete; he was said to be a Brutalist and his buildings have been described as "dramatic, sculptural and enormous" as well as "futuristic".-...

 and completed in 1961, is at the Elephant & Castle gyratory system, near Faraday's birthplace at Newington Butts
Newington Butts
Newington Butts is a former village, now an area of the London Borough of Southwark, that gives its name to a segment of the A3 road running south-west from the Elephant and Castle junction...

.

Faraday Gardens is a small park in Walworth
Walworth
-Places:United Kingdom* Walworth, County DurhamUnited States* Walworth County, South Dakota* Walworth County, Wisconsin* Walworth, New York* Walworth, Wisconsin, a village* Walworth , Wisconsin, a town...

, London, not far from his birthplace at Newington Butts
Newington Butts
Newington Butts is a former village, now an area of the London Borough of Southwark, that gives its name to a segment of the A3 road running south-west from the Elephant and Castle junction...

. This park lies within the local council ward of Faraday in the London Borough of Southwark
London Borough of Southwark
The London Borough of Southwark is a London borough in south east London, England. It is directly south of the River Thames and the City of London, and forms part of Inner London.-History:...

.

A building at London South Bank University
London South Bank University
London South Bank University is a university in south London. With over 25,000 students and 1,700 staff, it is based in the London Borough of Southwark, near the South Bank of the River Thames, from which it takes its name...

, which houses the institute's electrical engineering departments is named the Faraday Wing, due to its proximity to Faraday's birthplace in Newington Butts
Newington Butts
Newington Butts is a former village, now an area of the London Borough of Southwark, that gives its name to a segment of the A3 road running south-west from the Elephant and Castle junction...

. A hall at Loughborough University
Loughborough University
Loughborough University is a research based campus university located in the market town of Loughborough, Leicestershire, in the East Midlands of England...

 was named after Faraday in 1960. Near the entrance to its dining hall is a bronze casting, which depicts the symbol of an electrical transformer
Transformer
A transformer is a device that transfers electrical energy from one circuit to another through inductively coupled conductors—the transformer's coils. A varying current in the first or primary winding creates a varying magnetic flux in the transformer's core and thus a varying magnetic field...

, and inside there hangs a portrait, both in Faraday's honour. An eight-story building at the University of Edinburgh
University of Edinburgh
The University of Edinburgh, founded in 1583, is a public research university located in Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The university is deeply embedded in the fabric of the city, with many of the buildings in the historic Old Town belonging to the university...

's science & engineering campus is named for Faraday, as is a recently built hall of accommodation at Brunel University
Brunel University
Brunel University is a public research university located in Uxbridge, London, United Kingdom. The university is named after the Victorian engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel....

, the main engineering building at Swansea University
Swansea University
Swansea University is a university located in Swansea, Wales, United Kingdom. Swansea University was chartered as University College of Swansea in 1920, as the fourth college of the University of Wales. In 1996, it changed its name to the University of Wales Swansea following structural changes...

, and the instructional and experimental physics building at Northern Illinois University
Northern Illinois University
Northern Illinois University is a state university and research institution located in DeKalb, Illinois, with satellite centers in Hoffman Estates, Naperville, Rockford, and Oregon. It was originally founded as Northern Illinois State Normal School on May 22, 1895 by Illinois Governor John P...

. The former UK Faraday Station in Antarctica was named after him.

Streets named for Faraday can be found in many British cities (e.g., London, Fife
Fife
Fife is a council area and former county of Scotland. It is situated between the Firth of Tay and the Firth of Forth, with inland boundaries to Perth and Kinross and Clackmannanshire...

, Swindon
Swindon
Swindon is a large town within the borough of Swindon and ceremonial county of Wiltshire, in South West England. It is midway between Bristol, west and Reading, east. London is east...

, Basingstoke
Basingstoke
Basingstoke is a town in northeast Hampshire, in south central England. It lies across a valley at the source of the River Loddon. It is southwest of London, northeast of Southampton, southwest of Reading and northeast of the county town, Winchester. In 2008 it had an estimated population of...

, Nottingham
Nottingham
Nottingham is a city and unitary authority in the East Midlands of England. It is located in the ceremonial county of Nottinghamshire and represents one of eight members of the English Core Cities Group...

, Whitby
Whitby
Whitby is a seaside town, port and civil parish in the Scarborough borough of North Yorkshire, England. Situated on the east coast of Yorkshire at the mouth of the River Esk, Whitby has a combined maritime, mineral and tourist heritage, and is home to the ruins of Whitby Abbey where Caedmon, the...

, Kirkby
Kirkby
Kirkby is a town in the Metropolitan Borough of Knowsley in the metropolitan county of Merseyside in England. The town was developed from the 1950s through 1970s as a means to house the overspill of Liverpool. It is situated roughly north of Huyton, the administrative HQ of the borough and about...

, Crawley
Crawley
Crawley is a town and local government district with Borough status in West Sussex, England. It is south of Charing Cross, north of Brighton and Hove, and northeast of the county town of Chichester, covers an area of and had a population of 99,744 at the time of the 2001 Census.The area has...

, Newbury
Newbury, Berkshire
Newbury is a civil parish and the principal town in the west of the county of Berkshire in England. It is situated on the River Kennet and the Kennet and Avon Canal, and has a town centre containing many 17th century buildings. Newbury is best known for its racecourse and the adjoining former USAF...

, Aylesbury
Aylesbury
Aylesbury is the county town of Buckinghamshire in South East England. However the town also falls into a geographical region known as the South Midlands an area that ecompasses the north of the South East, and the southern extremities of the East Midlands...

 and Stevenage
Stevenage
Stevenage is a town and borough in Hertfordshire, England. It is situated to the east of junctions 7 and 8 of the A1, and is between Letchworth Garden City to the north, and Welwyn Garden City to the south....

) as well as in France (Paris), Germany (Hermsdorf), Canada (Quebec; Deep River, Ontario), and the United States (Reston, VA).

From 1991 until 2001, Faraday's picture featured on the reverse of Series E £20 banknotes issued by the Bank of England
Bank of England note issues
The Bank of England, which is now the Central Bank of the United Kingdom, has issued banknotes since 1694. Since 1970, its new series of notes have featured portraits of British historical figures. Of the eight banks authorised to issue banknotes in the UK, only the Bank of England can issue...

. He was shown conducting a lecture at the Royal Institution with the magneto-electric spark apparatus.

See also



  • Faraday rotator
    Faraday rotator
    A Faraday rotator is an optical device that rotates the polarization of light due to the Faraday effect, which in turn is based on a magneto-optic effect....

  • Homopolar generator
    Homopolar generator
    A homopolar generator is a DC electrical generator comprising an electrically conductive disc rotating in a plane perpendicular to a uniform static magnetic field. A potential difference is created between the center of the disc and the rim, the electrical polarity depending on the direction of...

  • Faraday (Unit of electrical charge)
  • Farad
    Farad
    The farad is the SI unit of capacitance. The unit is named after the English physicist Michael Faraday.- Definition :A farad is the charge in coulombs which a capacitor will accept for the potential across it to change 1 volt. A coulomb is 1 ampere second...

     (Unit of electrical capacitance)
  • Forensic engineering
    Forensic engineering
    Forensic engineering is the investigation of materials, products, structures or components that fail or do not operate or function as intended, causing personal injury or damage to property. The consequences of failure are dealt with by the law of product liability. The field also deals with...

  • Lines of force
  • Zeeman effect
    Zeeman effect
    The Zeeman effect is the splitting of a spectral line into several components in the presence of a static magnetic field. It is analogous to the Stark effect, the splitting of a spectral line into several components in the presence of an electric field...

  • Timeline of hydrogen technologies
    Timeline of hydrogen technologies
    Timeline of hydrogen technologies — A timeline of the history of hydrogen technology.-1600s:* 1625 - First description of hydrogen by Johann Baptista van Helmont...

  • Timeline of low-temperature technology
    Timeline of low-temperature technology
    The following is a timeline of low-temperature technology and cryogenic technology .-16th century BCE – 17th century CE :...

  • Faraday paradox
    Faraday paradox
    The Faraday paradox is an experiment that illustrates Michael Faraday's law of electromagnetic induction. Faraday deduced this law in 1831, after inventing the first electromagnetic generator or dynamo, but was never satisfied with his own explanation of the paradox.-The equipment:The experiment...

  • Hans Christian Ørsted
    Hans Christian Ørsted
    Hans Christian Ørsted was a Danish physicist and chemist who discovered that electric currents create magnetic fields, an important aspect of electromagnetism...

  • Faraday cage
    Faraday cage
    A Faraday cage or Faraday shield is an enclosure formed by conducting material or by a mesh of such material. Such an enclosure blocks out external static and non-static electric fields...


Biographies

  • The British Electrical and Allied Manufacturers Association (1931). Faraday. R. & R. Clark, Ltd., Edinburgh, 1931.

Biographies


Others