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Michael Faraday

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A summary of the accomplishments of Michael Faraday
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  Michael Faraday Born on September 22, 1791 Physicist and Chemist   M ichael  Faraday was one of the most prolific scientists of the 19th century. A British  physicist and chemist, He was born in Newington Butts (today a part of the London Borough of Southwark), Michael Faraday did not come from a very affluent family. His father, James was a member of the Glassite sect of Christianity. Professionally, James was an apprentice to the village blacksmith. Third of the four children, young Michael Faraday received only basic education. In 1804, he served as an errand boy for the bookseller George Riebau, delivering newspapers among other things, who a year later, indentured Faraday for a period of seven years. It was during these seven years of apprenticeship that Faraday read many books, two amongst which that captured his attention like none others were Isaac Watts', The Improvement of the Mind and Jane Marcet’s, Conversations on Chemistry. Not only did this reading activity improve his knowledge and under  standing, it also determined his course of life. Faraday’s keen interest in science, especially in electricity, was developed herein. In 1812, at the end of his apprenticeship Faraday was presented tickets to attend four lectures to be delivered by the eminent professor of chemistry, Humphry Davy and John Tatum, founder of the City Philosophical Society, at the Royal Institution, by William Dance, who was a regular customer at Riebau’s and one of the founders of the Royal Philharmonic Society. Faraday, in a n attempt to thank Davy, sent him a three-hundred pages book which contained notes taken during the lecture. Later, Faraday bagged a temporary job as a secretary to Davy, when the latter damaged his eyesight in an accident with nitrogen trichloride. In March 1813, Davy appointed Faraday as Chemical Assistant at the Royal Institution, after John Payne, one of the Royal Institution's assistants, was sacked. Things, however, weren’t as smooth for Faraday later as they were until then. In the long tour that Davy had set out on, from 1813 until 1815, his valet did not accompany him. As such, Faraday had to fill up for this vacancy. While the tour did open for Faraday the doors to the scientific elite of Europe and exposed him to a host of stimulating ideas, the j ourney wasn’t a very pleasant one. Biased by classism, Davy’s wife refused to treat Faraday as an equal and made life hell for Faraday, who, worn out by the torture, even thought of giving up on science altogether. I n the year 1821, Faraday was appointed as the acting superintendent of the house of the Royal Institution. Faraday’s earliest contribution to chemistry was while he was working as an assistant to Davy. He was involved in the study of chlorine. Faraday also conducted experiments on the diffusion of gases. Additionally, he succeeded in liquefying several gases, investigating the alloys of steel, and producing several new kinds of glass intended for optical purposes. One of Faraday’s most notable works was invention of the earliest form of Bunsen b urner (as we call it today), which is still in use today in the science laboratories around the world as a most suitable source of heat. His extensive work in the field of chemistry can be found out from the fact that he discovered the chemical substance benzene, a chemical compound of carbon and hydrogen. Faraday also discovered two new compounds in chlorine and carbon. While one is  used in smoke grenades, the other is employed in the arena of dry cleaning, and spot removing. Faraday is also credited for discovering the laws of electrolysis, and for popularizing terminology such as anode, cathode, electrode, and ion, for which he took the help of William Whewell. It is said that Faraday first reported what we today know as metallic nanoparticles. In 1847, Faraday researched that the optical properties of gold colloids differed from those of the corresponding bulk metal, and it was this discovery which marked the birth of nanoscience. Faraday created a storm in the field of electricity and magnetism with his work. His research in electricity had an enormous influence on the development of mathematics. Faraday’s first success in the field of electricity came when he successfully built the first electric motor. The experiments and inventions that he undertook then, formed the foundation of modern electromagnetic technology. He continued his laboratory work exploring electromagnetic  properties of materials and developing requisite experience. In an attempt to find out whether a magnetic field could regulate the flow of a current in an adjacent wire or not, Faraday had set up a circuit but he found no relationship. The next seven years of Faraday’s life was dedicated in the arena of optical quality (heavy) glass, borosilicate of lead, which he used in his future studies connecting light with magnetism. Two years following Humphry Davy’s death, Faraday got involved in a series of experiments wherein he discovered electromagnetic induction. However, the pinnacle came only 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, a phenomenon which is today known as mutual induction. In later experiments, Faraday discovered that a changing magnetic field produces an electric field. This relation was used by James Clerk Maxwell later and is today one amongst the four Maxwell equations. Faraday, afterwards, used these principles to construct the electric dynamo, the precursor of modern power generators. In the year 1839, Faraday conducted a series of experiments to examine the fundamental nature of electricity. To produce the phenomena of electrostatic attraction, electrolysis and magnetism, Faraday used static , batteries, and animal electricity . When Faraday worked on the theory that electromagnetism flowed into the empty space around a conductor, a concept at the very base of electromechanics, it was first rejected but later approved. However, Faraday did not live to see its acceptance. It was in 1845 that Faraday researched the notion that many materials display a weak repulsion from a magnetic field which he termed as diamagnetism. Additionally, he also discovered the fact that the plane of  polarization of linearly polarized light could be rotated by the application of an external magnetic field aligned in the direction in which the light moved. This phenomenon is today termed as Faraday Effect. During his work on static electricity, Faraday’s experiment displayed 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 was due to the fact that the exterior charges redistributed in such a way that the interior fields due to them cancelled. This protective effect is used in what we now know as a Faraday cage. The wedding bells for Michael Faraday rang on June 12, 1821. His significant other, Sarah Barnard, was the daughter of the Sandemanian silversmith, Edward Barnard. The couple first met through their families at the Sandemanian church. One month post marriage, Faraday confessed his faith to the Sandemanian congregation. He served as deacon and for two terms, as an elder in the meeting house of his youth. His church was located at Paul's Alley in the Barbican. Later, in 1862, the meeting house was relocated to Barnsbury Grove, Islington which was where Faraday served the final two years of his second term as elder before resigning from that post   
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