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Faraday

Faraday, Michael

English chemist and physicist (1791-1867)

Michael Faraday was one of ten children born into a working-class family in an area that is now part of London.

Greatly stimulated by the scientific books which he bound after being apprenticed to a bookbinder at the age of 14 he was, he eventually started attending the classes taught by the great scientist Humphry Davy. Faraday bound his own detailed notes, which he later showed to Davy with a request for employment. As a result, he was taken on as an assistant in the laboratory of the Royal Institution, an institution for scientific research where he worked for the rest of his life, and where he conducted a lot of research into electricity and magnetism. In 1831 he not only invented the transformer, but also discovered the principle of the electrical generator (dynamo).

In his later work on static electricity, he discovered that there is no interior field in anything enclosed within a metal conductor, even if current is applied to the metal itself. Such a metal construction is now known as a Faraday cage.

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