Michael Faraday

Michael Faraday, born in 1791 just South of London, was a pioneer in the fields of electricity and magnetism. Largely self educated, he led a distinguished career at the Royal Institution of Great Britain. He invented the homopolar motor, which along with his experiments, forms the foundation of modern electromagnetic technology. Faraday discovered such phenomenon as electromagnetic induction and mutual induction, conducted experiments later used by James Clerk Maxwell for a mathematical model referred to as Faraday’s law, one of the four Maxwell equations that evolved into the generalization now referred to as field theory. Faraday later used this principle to create an electric dynamo, a precursor of modern power generators. His experiments produced such phenomena as electrostatic attraction, electrolysis, and magnetism, and he concluded that only a single “electricity” existed and that changing values of current and voltage where was produced different groups of phenomena. Faraday also proposed that electromagnetic forces extended into the space around a conductor, and idea that wasn’t accepted until after his death. Faraday’s most well known discovery was the principal behind of the Faraday cage, a shielding effect produced because the charges exterior to a conductor redistribute in such a way that the interior fields are canceled out.