Luigi Galvani, Italian anatomist

Luigi Galvani, Italian anatomist

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Luigi Galvani (1737-1798), Italian anatomist. Galvani noticed that the leg muscles of dead frogs twitched when included in a circuit with metals. This led him to propose a new form of electricity ('animal electricity'). He believed, however, that this was generated by the nerve and muscle tissue in the dead frog. This was later shown to be false by Volta in 1800, who showed that the current was generated by the metals. The galvanometer, used to detect electric current, is named after Galvani, as is the process of galvanisation. Artwork from 'Electricite' (1911) by Max de Nansouty, part of the 'Les merveilles de la science' series of 1867-1891 by Louis Figuier.

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