Auguste-Arthur de la Rive Swiss physicist

Auguste-Arthur de la Rive Swiss physicist


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Auguste-Arthur de la Rive (1801-1873), Swiss physicist. De la Rive was born and educated in Geneva and at the tender age of 22 was appointed professor of natural philosophy at the Geneva Academy. For some years he studied the specific heat of gases in collaboration with Marcet. However, his real interest was in electricity and electrochemistry. He made several discoveries in electrical discharges in rarefied gas, which led to a new theory of the aurora borealis. He invented a method for the electro-gilding of silver and brass and in 1858 published the influential book, 'Traite d'electrique theorique et applique'. In later life he became involved in politics and diplomacy, including an embassy to London in 1860.

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