Connecting Electricity and Magnetism

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It is remarkable how many discoveries came about by accident (although it should be borne in mind that these ‘accidents’ were normally preceded by much hard work on allied research). One of these happened to the Danish physicist, Hans Christian Oersted (1777–1851). He was applying a potential across a metal wire to measure the current, […]

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Birth of the Battery

Count Alessandro Giuseppe Anastasio Volta (1745–1827) belonged to an aristocratic family and was Professor of Physics at the universities of Como and Pavia. He became interested in a phenomenon described by Galvani in 1786 to the effect that “an electric spark, or contact with copper and iron, causes a frog’s leg to twitch”. This gave rise to the, fortunately short-termed, belief […]

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