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Galvani's frog legs experiment, 1780

Galvani's frog legs experiment, 1780

C029/6258

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Credit

SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Galvani's frog legs experiment. Italian anatomist Luigi Galvani (1737-1798) and his wife Lucia in 1780 in his laboratory at the University of Bologna demonstrating contractions of the muscles of the leg of a frog caused by electrical stimulation. The phenomenon was first noticed when his assistant touched an exposed nerve of the frog with a metal scalpel just as an electrostatic generator was emitting sparks. Volta later showed that the electricity came from the metals, not the muscles. 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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