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Alessandro Volta. Coloured engraving of Count Alessandro Giuseppe Anastasio Volta (1745-1827), Italian physicist and inventor of the electric battery. His battery consisted of alternating disks of silver and zinc with brine-soaked card between them. Volta first announced his discovery in 1800 in a letter to the Royal Society in Britain. He held professorships at the universities of Como and Pavia. He became interested in electricity in 1786 after seeing the work of Galvani, who showed frogs' bodies twitched when placed in a circuit. The unit of electrical potential difference, the volt (V), is named after him.
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