Biography of Famous Scientist Michael Faraday

About the famous scientist Michael Faraday, history and biography of the man and his achievements.

MICHAEL FARADAY (1791-1867).

Born into extreme poverty, he had virtually no formal education and is said to have possessed a very poor memory, yet Michael Faraday became probably the world's greatest experimental genius in the physical sciences. Apprenticed to a bookbinder from an early age, Faraday applied for a job as Sir Humphry Davy's laboratory assistant in 1813, carefully preparing, illustrating, and binding notes from the great scientist's chemistry lectures and sending them to him along with his request.

Davy trained him well. As both a physicist and chemist Faraday became one of the immortals of science--discovering the principle of the electric motor, developing the 1st dynamo, formulating the laws of electrolysis, producing the 1st stainless steel, and discovering benzene and butylene, among many other brilliant accomplishments. His discovery of electromagnetic induction alone provided the basis for our modern electrified world and produced his "field concept," which in turn was the basis a century later of Einstein's revolutionary theory of relativity.

In 1824 Faraday was elected to the Royal Society, but later refused its presidency, just as he refused knighthood and many other honors offered him. The following year he became director of the laboratory of the Royal Institution, where he had begun his career as Davy's assistant. The farad named for the scientist is an electromagnetic unit, while a faraday is a unit of electricity used in electrolysis. Faraday invented the electrical terms "anode" and "cathode."

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