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ELECTRICITY 1 Important Historical Figures. Electricity B.C.  The word electricity came from the ancient Greek word electron which meant ‘amber’ or ‘amber.

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Presentation on theme: "ELECTRICITY 1 Important Historical Figures. Electricity B.C.  The word electricity came from the ancient Greek word electron which meant ‘amber’ or ‘amber."— Presentation transcript:

1 ELECTRICITY 1 Important Historical Figures

2 Electricity B.C.  The word electricity came from the ancient Greek word electron which meant ‘amber’ or ‘amber like.’  Many ancient cultures may have interacted with electricity but it is unclear as to whether or not they had any real understanding of it. The “Baghdad Batteries,” are thought to be an example of early electricity. It is uncertain as to whether or not these existed and even if they did their power generation was likely minimal.

3 Thales of Miletus Pre Socratic Philosopher. One of the Seven Sages of ancient Greece. Aristotle viewed him as Greece’s original philosopher. Studied the attraction that would occur between fur and another object once the fur had been rubbed with amber. He felt the amber was causing some form of magnetism. His mistake was that it was causing static electricity (rubbing a balloon)

4 William Gilbert

5 William Gilbert – 1544 -1603  English physician, physicist and natural philosopher.  In 1600 he published a book called “De Magnete”; which means “on the magnet”.  This became the authority on electricity and magnetism throughout Europe.  One of his largest contributions was to fix Thales of Miletus’ mistake.  He made the difference between static electricity and magnetism clear.  Coined the New Latin word electricus which would become the modern word electricity.

6 Otto von Guericke

7 Otto von Guericke – 1602 - 1686  German physicist and mayor.  Famous for his Magdeburg vacuum experiments where he invented the first simple electrostatic generator.  An electrostatic generator is a machine that can generate static electricity; usually by utilizing mechanical rotation.

8 Stephen Gray

9 Stephen Gray – 1666 - 1736  English dyer and amateur astronomer.  He began experimenting with conducting electricity versus transporting static charges.  When he was exploring how glass tubes that were rubbed to gain a static charge could produce light effects he stumbled upon the idea of conduction.  He noticed that not only did the tubes attract objects like feathers (which was known) but the cork he used to close the tube also did (new discovery).  He hypothesized that the tube must have passed on its electrical properties to the cork.

10 Stephen Gray Continued  He then experimented to see if other materials could gain and conduct the electrical properties.  This led to the discovery that electricity could be conducted through some materials.  This also meant that some materials are insulators; do not conduct electricity.  Finally, he realized that the conductive material had to be kept away from ground contact or be insulated from it.

11 Charles Fran cois de Cisternay du Fay

12 C.F. du Fay – 1698 - 1739  French Chemist.  Discovered two types/properties of electricity that he named vitreous and resinous.  These are now called positive and negative.  He also explored the concept of conductors and insulators only he called them electrics and non-electrics.  His explorations laid the foundation for future discoveries.


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