Luigi Galvani, Italian anatomist

Luigi Galvani, Italian anatomist

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Credit: COLLECTION ABECASIS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Luigi Galvani (1737-1798). 1864 illustration of the Italian physician, biologist and anatomist Luigi Galvani. 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.

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