Happy Birthday Michael Faraday

It’s the birthday of Michael Faraday, who was born in 1791 in Newtington Butts, a village that is now part of south London. Faraday gained his scientific education as an apprentice to the chemist, Humphrey Davy – and went on the surpass his mentor in both chemistry and physics. Among his achievements in chemistry are the discovery of benzene and the formulation of laws of electrolysis. In physics, he discovered electromagnetic induction, diamagnetism and introduced the concept of lines of force. Faraday was also a devout Christian. He declined a knighthood and refused to help the British government develop chemical weapons during the Crimean War. On 19 March 1849 he wrote in his laboratory journal, “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.” Via Facebook.

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One Response to Happy Birthday Michael Faraday

  1. alfy says:

    What is not widely known is that Faraday’s career rests on the outcome of a druken brawl. He was an apprentice bookbinder and sometimes served in the bookshop attached. A customer saw he was a bright lad and gave him tickets for a series of lectures by Davy on science. Faraday attended all the lectures, took notes and bound the notes into a small book. He wrote to Davy, enclosing the notes as an indication of his interest and enthusiasm, asking if there were any jobs available at the Royal Institution presided over by Davy. As it happened, Davy already had a lab technician, but he was off work with a broken arm, as a result of a Saturday night brawl when he was drunk. Davy invited Faraday to come and see him, and the rest is history.

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