Biography of Michael Faraday



Name: Michael Faraday

English physicists

Date of birth: September 22, 1791

Date of death: August 25, 1867

Profession: Physicist, Chemist

Awards won: Copley Medal, Rumford Medal, Royal Medal

Michael Faraday

Michael Faraday

MICHAEL FARADY is the source of inspiration to people who think that higher education is absolutely necessary to be a renowned scientist like Faraday. This is not so! To support this argument Michael Faraday is the perfect example.
Faraday didn’t receive a formal education, yet through the dint of hard work and sheer determination he became one of the 19’Th Century.
Michael Faraday belonged to the poor family of a blacksmith. His parents were so poor that they were not able to send Faraday to school. At a time when all boys of his age went to school, Faraday was engaged in menial work. Due to the crushing poverty of his family, Faraday was forced to take up several odd jobs that taught him how to fend for himself when he was still a minor.
However, in the course of time, Faraday’s hard work and a flair for science made him one of the most successful scientists of his time in England.  Faraday took deep interest in science and made a significant contribution to the study of physics and chemistry.  Faraday had an extraordinary number of ingenious ways to work out on scientific methods. This special ability of Faraday’s astonished many renowned scientists of his time.
Faraday was the first scientist who succeeded in liquefying a permanent gas. This was without doubt a great discovery of his time. Moreover, Faraday is much acclaimed   for his major contribution to electricity and magnetism. It was Faraday who laid the foundation of the electric motor, the generator, the transformer, etc.
As with physics Faraday was also interested in chemistry. He discovered benzene and used
it for different purposes In fact,  Faraday didn’t have a  university education; but he was still unanimously appointed  professor of chemistry at the Royal Institution. This was the acknowledgement of his profound knowledge and ingenious capacity to deal with scientific methods. Faraday’s lectures on science were highly knowledge and fully of witty remarks.
In order to give due respect to Michael Faraday, a unit of electricity was named after him.
It is called “Farad” this is the unit to measures an amount of electrical charge. In the course of time, Faraday developed generators and transformers which were regarded as major inventions of 19’Th century. Not only this, Faraday is also remembered for having coined new technical words used in electricity like ion, electrode, cathode, and anode etc.

MICHAEL FARADAY was born on September 22, 1791, in Newington Butts, London in 1786.By profession, Mr. James Faraday and Mrs. Margaret Hastwell migrated from Clapham, Yorkshire, to London in 1786.By profession, Mr. James Faraday was a blacksmith, and he was managing to survive on a very meager income.

Faraday’s early childhood was spent in poverty and hardship. When Faraday was a young boy of ten, he saw all his playmates going to school. Like many other boys, Faraday also wanted go to school , therefore he repeatedly implored his father to send him to school but his father would say , “next year”, and that next year never came. As a result , all his life Faraday was deprived of school and a university education. Actually Mr. Faraday wanted to send his son to school , but he was simply unable duo to his very poor financial state. His income was quite low and also not very reliable. Due to such an erratic income from his profession Mr. Faraday could not send his son to school.

Quite early on Faraday realised the fact that his father would not be able to send him to a school. “I should do something to educate myself.” Although Faraday was not going to school, he had an unusual obsession for reading and collecting books of all kinds. His interest chiefly lay in science. He began to collect good books no matter how expensive they were and , to meet the expenses of buying books ; Faraday began to do all sorts of odd jobs that came his way.

Faraday’s love for books was well known among his friends. One fine morning, Faraday was going to a job when he met one of his bosom pals, he informed Faraday about a job opportunity available in a bookbinding shop. This was absolutely fabulous news for Faraday because he knew working in a bookbinding shop meant getting an opportunity to read plenty of books. Faraday immediately changed direction and headed towards the bookbinder’s shop and asked the owner for the job. The owner of the bookbinding shop was Mr. Riebau who was a kind man. He agreed to employ Faraday on a nominal wage, but for Faraday a job in a bookbinding shop was more valuable than any wage.

Faraday was extremely happy with his new job. He would go to work well before the duty time and leave late in the evening. Faraday would also bring some books with him whose delivery was to be made little late. Faraday started serious study of any science books which fell into his hand. He had taken a keen interest in science , but especially in physics and chemistry. It became a routine for Faraday to study late into the night , but sometimes he would even remain awake for the whole night and read an entire book in a single sitting. Faraday worked in Mr. Riebau’s bookbinding shop for over eight years.

After 8 years of service in Mr. Riebau’s shop , Faraday then joined in Mr. De La Roche’s bookbinding shop. Here too Faraday did his work with complete dedication and gave his mater no opportunity to make a complaint against him. During this period Faraday had successfully managed to collect his own personal library which he kept in his little bedroom where he would study physics and chemistry with complete dedication. While reading science and the works of great scientists , Faraday began to nurture a desire of becoming a scientists deep in his heart.

One day a satisfied costumer gave a ticket to Faraday. The ticket was a gate-pass to attend lecture of Sir Humphrey Davy at Royal Institute. Faraday was very grateful to the gentleman who have him the ticket as he was very eager to attend the lectures. On the day of Davy’s lectures Faraday reached the hall almost an hour early and secure his seat in the first row so that he could see and hear Davy’s lecture clearly. One by one Faraday attended all the lectures of Sir. Humphrey Davy. Sir Humphrey Davy’s learned lectures left a profound impression on Faraday. While Sir Davy was delivering lectures , Faraday has noted down every single important fact in his notebook. Later he carefully studied those notes and wrote several pages which he made into a thick book and went straight to Humphrey Davy’s house. Faraday handed over this book to Sir Humphrey Davy and requested him to read in his leisure time.

Sir Davy studied Faraday’s book and found it very interesting. A few days later Faraday asked Sir Davy’s opinion about his book , Sir Davy said he was impressed by his work and these words of Sir Davy were more than enough to inspire a young man like Faraday.

Faraday’s meeting with Sir Davy left a good impression upon Sir Davy’s mind. A few months later Faraday sought a job in Sir Davy’s laboratory, because he was eager to see scientific experiments close-up. Faraday was very happy when he was employed as a laboratory helper.

Now Faraday was extremely glad as he had the opportunity to work under the guidance of Sir Davy, a renowned scientist of his time. Faraday was very delighted in order to improve his understanding of science. Sir Davy taught him several important aspects of physics and chemistry that tremendously helped to expand Faraday’s mental horizon . Sir Davy was also very satisfied at seeing Faraday’s rapid progress as he was picking up everything very quickly.

After one year of hard work , Faraday has the opportunity to be one of the members of Sir Davy’s entourage on a European tour. On this important tour , Sir Davy delivered many erudite lectures that Faraday had noted down in his notebooks. Faraday had also received some rare opportunities to meet with some renowned scientists. Faraday duly capitalised on this opportunity to improve his scientific Knowledge. While Faraday was doing very well in science , Mrs. Davy never treated Faraday as more than a servant , but Faraday never made any complaint about her obnoxious behaviour to Sir Davy. Faraday remained a through gentleman all his life.

Upon his return from the tour on 1815 , Faraday became even more ambitious to be a scientist then he was before. Now he wanted to establish his own identity as a scientist rather than just as a working assistant in Sir Davy’s laboratory. So Faraday began to study will all his ability. Faraday seriously began making a series of experiments until late into the night. On the basis of his long-time experiments and through study of science. He eventually developed electromagnetic rotations. Faraday showed his discoveries to Sir Davy and asked his opinion for its publication in the scientific journal, but Sir Davy delayed giving his opinion on Faraday’s discoveries and that soured their relationship. Sir Davy did not acknowledge Faraday’s achievement at the first sight and never gave the ideas for this. Anyway , Faraday was most embarrassed at receiving such a cold reception from Sir Davy. However , without getting Sir Davy’s approval, Faraday published his works on electromagnetic rotation. When Faraday’s papers were published in a reputed science journal, Sir Davy blamed Faraday for publishing his papers without his acknowledgement.

Michael Faraday's Magneto Optical electromagnet

Michael Faraday's Magneto Optical electromagnet

After the publication of Faraday’s papers in the science journal those scientists who disliked Faraday accused him of stealing or plagiarizing the ideas of other scientists. Faraday did not lend an ear to the clamor his opponents were making, Instead Faraday went on with more experiments and published many scientific papers in several journals. Faraday succeeded to liquefy chlorine in 1823 and proved that a gas can also be liquefied. Slowly but steadily , Faraday was emerging from obscurity into the limelight as a rising scientist.

Faraday submitted an application to the Royal Institute in 1824 and sought to be elected a fellow of the Royal Institute , but his application was ruthlessly turned down. Later it was suspected that actually Sir Davy did not want to see Faraday sitting equal to him. In spite of Sir Davy’s strong opposition , the following year Faraday was elected a fellow of the Royal Society and later directory of the laboratory of the Royal Institute.

Faraday took special interest in the study of electromagnetic function. After a series of experiments , he discovered electromagnetic induction , the battery , the electric arc , and electrostatics. These were some of the major discoveries which duly lifted reputation to a new height as a most brilliant scientist.

The loads of work and staying up late into night caused severe harm to his health. Due to heavy workload, he often collapsed. Despite this he did not give adequate rest to his body. In his old age, Faraday complained of losing his memory and that made him unable to write about studying or experiment on new things as freely as he wanted.

Faraday passed away peacefully at the age of 76 in his arm chair on August 25 , 1867.

Faraday discoveries and inventions created new avenues in the field of science and technology. Faraday was without doubt one of the foremost scientist who set the foundations of scientific discovery.

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