By Geoffrey Cantor, David Gooding, Frank A. J. L. James (auth.)
This brief biography goals to teach, in non-technical language, how one significant scientist lived and labored. It marks the bicentenary of Faraday's birth.
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Additional resources for Faraday
In Faraday's youth electricity was regarded as part of chemistry, following Volta's invention of the battery which produced electricity by chemical means. The great German organic chemist Justus von Liebig commented: I have heard mathematical physicists deplore that Faraday's records of his labours were difficult to read and understand, that they often resembled rather abstracts from a diary. But the fault was theirs, not Faraday's. To physicists, who have approached physics by the road of chemistry, Faraday's memoirs sound like an admirably beautiful music.
After a further interview with Davy, he was appointed Laboratory Assistant on 1 March 1813. In October Faraday agreed to join Davy on a tour of the Continent for which a special passport had to be obtained from Napoleon since the two countries were still at war. Following their return to England in April 1815, Davy was appointed a Manager and a Vice-President of the Royal Institution and, at his first meeting with the new board of Managers, it was decided that Faraday should be re-engaged in his former position and that he should also be granted accommodation in the building.
Rarely, however, did he attend the whole of a meeting but often left on the Saturday so that he could be present at the Sandemanian meeting house on the Sabbath. 3 FARADAY'S ROLE IN CIVIC AND MILITARY SCIENCE With the increasing industrialisation of Britain throughout the nineteenth century, government departments and other semi-official bodies found themselves in need of expert advice from established scientists on various technical problems. Faraday was called in to advise many such bodies either on an occasional basis or as a longterm paid adviser.