Alessandro Volta

Alessandro Volta

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Credit: VAN BUCHER/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. In 1800 he constructed a device which used this effect to produce a large flow of electricity. Bowls of salt solution were connected together by metal strips, each composed of copper at one end & tin or zinc at the other, and a current was produced. A compact version of this, using a stack of discs of copper, zinc & cardboard moistened with salt solution, is seen here.

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Keywords: allesandro volta, batteries, battery, electric, electricity, napoleon, physicist, physics, portraits, surname

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