STEM GLAM GALLERY: MICHAEL FARADAY
MICHAEL FARADAY was born on September 22, 1791, in Newington, Surrey. His family wasn’t well-heeled. Faraday was born just after his family moved to England. Faraday didn’t have the much formal education. He was self-taught most of the time. Faraday met and married Sarah Barnard in 1821. They had no children.
As he apprenticed at the age of 14 in George Riebau, a bookseller, and bookbinder, he had a chance to read books and open himself to science and electricity. At age 20, Faraday attended science lectures led by renowned English chemist Humphry Davy of the Royal Institution and the Royal Society, and John Tatum, the founder of the City Philosophical Society. In 1813, Faraday worked as an assistant in the chemistry lab of Sir Humphry Davy and soon after, at the Royal Institution.
Throughout his life, he made great contributions to chemistry and physics. While working as an assistant in Humphry Davy’s lab, he named and discovered two new compounds of chlorine and carbon. He was the first one to investigate in the “diffusion of gases.” He also investigated in liquefying gases, and the alloys of steel. He was the first inventor of the Bunsen burner which is widely used in many science laboratories in present time. He also discovered a new organic compound “benzene.”
Although he made several great discoveries in chemistry, Faraday is best known for his work in electromagnetism. He was the first one to discover generating an electric current from the magnetic field. He investigated the phenomenon of “mutual induction” when he coiled two insulated wires around a metal, introduced an electric current through one coil which is then induced to another coil. Faraday is also the first inventor of electric motor and dynamo, and the first discoverer of diamagnetism.
Faraday continued his experimentations and discoveries throughout his later times. Queen Victoria honored Faraday for his life-long dedication to science by letting him use the house at Hampton Court and offering him the honor of knighthood which he rejected. Faraday died in 1867. Nevertheless, he is always remembered as the