Alessandro Volta, Italian physicist

Alessandro Volta, Italian physicist

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Credit: SHEILA TERRY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Italian physicist Count Alessandro Volta (1745- 1827) posing with his newly-invented battery or "Voltaic pile". Volta was the first to show that an electrical current flowed when two dissimilar metals were brought into contact.He became interested in electricity in 1786 following on the work of Galvani. In 1799 he made his first battery using silver and zinc discs with brine-soaked card between them. This produced a steady electric current and was the first reliable source of electricity.He drew up a list of of metals according to their propensity to generate electricity when stimulated. This is known as the electrochemical series. The battery shown here used zinc and copper discs.

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Keywords: 1799, 1800's, alessandro volta, batteries, battery electric, copper, electricity, electrochemical series, first reliable source, galvani, italian, physicist, physics, portraits, volta, voltaic pile, zinc

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