Who Was Michael Faraday and What Did He Contributed to Chemistry?
Michael Faraday (1791-1867), was an English chemist and physicist. He studied science while working as an apprentice bookbinder, becoming Sir Humphrey Davy’s assistant in 1813. In 1827 he took over from Davy as the first and foremost Fullerian Professor of Chemistry at the Royal Institution, a lifetime position, where he was a very popular lecturer.
Lectures for children, known as Faraday lectures, still continue. Faraday studied the effect of passing an electric current through certain solutions. From this he formed his laws of electrolysis.
As a chemist, Faraday discovered benzene, investigated the clathrate hydrate of chlorine, invented an early form of the Bunsen burner and the system of oxidation numbers, and popularised terminology such as “anode”, “cathode”, “electrode” and “ion”.
In 1831 he showed how a magnetic field can produce an electric current. This is known as electromagnetic induction. He made the first electric motor and the first electric generator.
A self-taught scientist, Faraday excelled in chemistry and physics to become one of the most influential thinkers in history. He’s been called the “father of electricity,” (Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison also wear that crown) and his appetite for experimenting knew no bounds. Although Michael Faraday made significant contributions to the science, he did not win a Nobel Prize.