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Electricity A look at some of the historical figures who developed our knowledge of electricity.

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Alessandro Volta Born: 1745 in Coma, Italy. Died: 1827 Famous For: - invented the electrophorus - studied atmospheric electricity - invented the voltaic pile

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Count Volta Alessandro Volta was a curious man who made many discoveries about electricity, meteorology and even pneumatics. While he was a professor at the Royal School in Coma he invented the electrophorus. The electrophorus was a device that created static electricity but he noted that despite his best efforts it was hard to maintain a constant level of energy.

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The Voltaic Pile After being appointed the professor of Physics at the University of Pavia Volta created the voltaic pile. Using alternating layers of zinc and copper, which were separated by brine (salty water) soaked pieces of cardboard, Volta created the first battery that could produce a steady, reliable electrical current.

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Voltaic Pile

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Georg Simon Ohm Born: March 16, 1789 (Bavaria) Died: July 6, 1854 Famous For: - Ohm’s Law - led to our mathematical understanding of the relationship between voltage, current and resistance.

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Ohm’s Law The fundamental importance of Georg Ohm is that he is the first person to truly define the relationship between voltage, resistance and current in mathematical terms. That sounds odd but once we can understand things mathematically we can begin to explore, understand and theorize in ways we could only imagine beforehand.

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Ohm’s Importance Ohm’s understanding and defining of electricity was not widely accepted at first. However, many believe his discovery to be one of the most important and most useful ones. We even have an electrical term known as an Ohm.

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Ohm’s Law V = Voltage I = Current R = Resistance V = I x R I = V/R R = V/I

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Benjamin Franklin Born: Jan. 17, 1706 Died: Apr. 17, 1790 Famous For: - Proved lightning was a form of static electricity - Politician - Inventor - Printer

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BENJAMIN’S EXPERIMENT. Using a kite with a wet string and a key Benjamin proved the electrical nature of lightning.

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Luigi Galvani – 1737 - 1798

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Luigi Galvani Physician 1786; while examining a dead frog he noticed that a spark could make the legs move. His explorations into this and the two different metals he used led him to conclude that muscles use electricity to move.

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