ROYAL INSTITUTION OF GREAT BRITAIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROYAL INSTITUTION OF GREAT BRITAIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Michael Faraday (1791-1867), British chemist and physicist. Faraday lacked a formal education and achieved fame through his experimental work. He worked at the Royal Institution, London, rising from laboratory assistant to Humphrey Davy (1813), to Professor of Chemistry (1833). Faraday made several discoveries in chemistry in the 1820s, but his major works were in the areas of magnetism and electricity. Early experiments used electricity to produce motion (1821). Work on electromagnetic induction produced the first transformer (1831) and then the dynamo in the same year. He suggested the concepts of electric and magnetic fields. His lectures at the Royal Institution popularized science amongst the public, through 'evening discourses' for the gentry and the Christmas Lecture series for children, both of which continue to this day.
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