VAN PUCHER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY VAN PUCHER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Alessandro Volta. Artwork of Count Alessandro Giuseppe Anastasio Volta (1745-1827), Italian physicist, demonstrating the first-ever electric battery to his colleagues in December 1799. The battery consisted of alternating disks of silver and zinc with brine-soaked card between them. Volta (seated) first announced his discovery in 1800 in a letter to the Royal Society in the UK. He held professorships at the universities of Como and Pavia. He became interested in electricity in 1786 after seeing the work of Galvani. The unit of electrical potential, the volt (V), is named after him.
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