Michael Faraday's Inventions & Discoveries

Michael Faraday was one of the great scientists of all times - he made many discoveries and inventions in the field of electrical science and chemistry.


Michael Faraday Biography Includes:
Michael Faraday     Discoveries & inventions     Facts & quotes    


Michael Faraday made a great contribution to science and although a humble man who would not want to seek fame and a great place for himself, he nevertheless is credited with making many discoveries and along with this he created some inventions as well.

The inventions and discoveries that were made by Michael Faraday have changed the world in which we live in today - the very basis of the technology used in society today is based upon the work he did. The contributions he made to electrical science formed many of the foundations on which others have built. Also within chemical science, he made some major developments.

Such was the standing of Faraday that he was offered a knighthood by Queen Victoria, and also during his life he was asked if he would like to be buried in Westminster Abbey - an honour accorded to kings and queens of the land and also to great people like Isaac Newton. However, a humble man, he declined.

Today we can remember Michael Faraday for his inventions and discoveries.

Michael Faraday's main invention & discoveries

  • Electric motor :   Although Oerstedt and Ampere were credited with discovering the fact that an electric current created a magnetic field, it was Faraday who invented the first electric motor in 1822.
  • Discovered Benzene:   Faraday's early discoveries were associated with chemistry. In 1820 produced the first known synthetically made compound of carbon and chlorine - hexachloroethane, C2Cl6 and tetrachloroethane, C2Cl4. Then in 1825 he made benzene C6H6 - a key substance in today's chemistry, and also one that formed the basis of much organic chemistry.
    Benzene was isolated by Michael Faraday
    Chemical representation of benzene that was isolated by Michael Faraday
  • Electromagnetic induction:   In 1831, Faraday published his discovery of electromagnetic induction. In a famous experiment he undertook, he created a basic transformer. He made two coils by wrapping two separate lengths of wire around opposite sides of an iron ring. He connected one coil to a galvanometer, and the other he connected to a battery. As he connected and disconnected the battery, he noticed the galvanometer kick. This effect is now known as mutual induction, and forms the basis of transformers.
  • Electromagnetic generator:   Applying what Faraday had learned about electromagnetism and also motors, he applied this to inventing a generator. He had looked at the magnetic lines of force and deduced that the magnitude of of current produced with the movement of magnets was proportional to the speed of the motion and the number of lines of force being cut but the motion.
    ,br> He invented a generator known as the Faraday disc - this was the first electromagnetic generator of electricity - converting mechanical energy into electrical energy.
  • Electrolysis:   Combining his expertise in chemistry and electrical science, Faraday formulated his two laws of electrolysis from his experiments and discoveries:
    • Faraday's first law of electrolysis:   Faraday's first law of electrolysis states that during electrolysis the amount of a substance deposited on an electrode of an electrolytic cell is directly proportional tot he quantity of electricity that is passed through he cell.
    • Faraday's second law of electrolysis:   Faraday's second law of electrolysis states that the quantities of different elements deposited by a given amount of electricity are in the ratio of their chemical equivalent weights.
    These laws provided the basic understanding of electrolysis that has formed the basis of the technology for many years, and all students who come across electrolysis in their studies will be familiar with these laws discovered by Faraday.

By anyone's standards, Michael Faraday invented and discovered a huge amount in his lifetime. In addition these inventions and discoveries were very significant, forming the basis for many more developments in the future. Maxwell's work and his equations were based upon the work undertaken by Faraday, and so were many other future developments.

It is also interesting to note that Albert Einstein had the photos of three famous scientists on his desk as an inspiration - one of the was that of Faraday.



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