‘Are Us’ Fun Fact: Michael Faraday’s father was a poverty-stricken blacksmith who worked in the village of Newington in Surrey, England and the family hardly ever had enough to eat.
Favorite Quote: ”Nothing is too wonderful to be true if it be consistent with the laws of nature.”
1791, Faraday was brought into the world to provide many contributions to physics and chemistry. An English scientist, he contributed enormously to the fields of electromagnetism and electrochemistry.
As a chemist, Michael discovered the organic chemical compound Benzine (Interesting Benzine Video); it has the molecular formula C6H6, a molecule composed of six carbon atoms glued in a ring with just one hydrogen atom attached to each of the atoms of carbon. In 1825, Faraday did this by isolating the oily residue derived from the production of illuminating gas. Neat to say the least!
He also contributed to the early form of the Bunsen burner, the system of oxidation numbers which popularized terms like cathode, ion and electrode.
Lets dive into what he’s known for, starting with, Faraday’s law of induction. What’s that all about? Essentially referring to electromagnetic induction, it shows the production of voltage across a conductor when it is exposed to a varying magnetic field. This field of electromagnetism is part of the four fundamental interactions in nature, the other three are the Strong and Weak Nuclear interaction and finally what holds my butt to my seat, gravitation. Specifically, electromagnetic induction is a basic law of electromagnetism predicting how a magnetic field will interact with an electric circuit to produce an electromotive force (EMF). It is the fundamental operating principle of transformers, inductors, and many types of electrical motors,generators and solenoids.
Electrochemisty, a branch of chemistry that primarily focuses on the reactions of chemicals which take place in a solution at the midst of an electron conductor and an ionic conductor both receptively called by Faraday, the electrode and the electrolyte.
In the Faraday Effect, the interaction light and a magnetic field in a medium. This “effect causes a rotation of the plan of polarization” this concludes that light and electromagnetism are related, this theoretical basis of electromagnetic radiation was finished by James Clerk Maxwell in the 1860s and 70s.
Other contributions include,
The Faraday constant, showing the magnitude of electric charge per pole of electrons.
The Faraday Cup, a metal cup created to catch charged particles in a vacuum. This allows the cup to determine the number of ions or electrons actually hitting the cup.
The ion, a atom or molecule in which the total number of electrons is not equal to the total number of protons which would obviously give the net positive or negative charge.
Laws of Electrolysis:
First Law – “The mass of a substance altered at an electrode during electrolysis is directly proportional to the quantity of electricity transferred at that electrode. Quantity of electricity refers to the quantity of electrical charge, typically measured in coulomb.”
Good to know right?!
So, very well know as a science communicator, he became a Fullerian Professor of Chemistry at the Royal Institution of Great Britain. Faraday’s affect on England was huge, being granted knighthood for his achievements, he declined. Then, refusing to the British government once more for requesting his expertise for chemical weaponry for the Crimean War (1853–1856).
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