Michael Faraday

220px-M_Faraday_Th_Phillips_oil_1842Michael Faraday (English; 22 September 1791 – 25 August 1867) Chemist and physicist. His main contributions were in the fields of electromagnetism and electrochemistry. The most recognizable legacy from Faraday is the “farad” which is a unit of measurement of capacitance. His work with electromagnetism was probably more significant however. Building on earlier research, he discovered that a magnet passing through a coil of wire would cause a current to flow through the wire. From this discovery he went on to construct an electric dynamo – the predecessor of the modern generator. Faraday’s Law of induction states that a magnetic field changing in time creates a proportional electromotive force, and is the principle behind which this dynamo, and modern generators operate. This law subsequently became one of the four Maxwell equations. In addition to this he discovered that the plane of polarized light can be rotated by a strong magnetic field (called the Faraday effect), and that a conducting enclosure can be used to shield its interior against electric fields and electromagnetic radiation (called a Faraday cage). Read more…

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