Michael Faraday

This famous English physicist and chemist was born on September 22, 1791. He is best known for his understanding of, and experimentation with electromagnetism.

Faraday discovered that electricity could be made by moving a magnet inside a wire coil, which allowed him to build the first electric motor. From this knowledge, he later built the first generator and transformer. Faraday's experiments, and discovery of electromagnetic induction paved the way for changing mechanical energy into electrical energy. He also introduced words we still use in the electric trade today:

  • Ion
  • Electrode
  • Electrolytes
  • Cathode
  • Anode

The farad, a unit of electricity, was also named in his honor.

As a Professor of Chemistry at the Royal Institution in London, England, Faraday would lecture for groups of children every Christmas. The Faraday Lectures were very popular and crowded with enthusiastic and curious children of all ages as well as adults. As a tradition, the lectures continue today at the Royal Institution.