Story of a Remarkable Genius- Michael Faraday

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Michael Faraday was born at Newington Butts-London (England) on September 22, 1791. His father was a blacksmith. The family was poor. He suffered from poverty and hardship during childhood.

His school education was just so-so. He only learnt to read and write. He used to play marbles in the street with boys and took care of her younger sister.

His father believed in a religious sect called- Sandemanian.

The ideals and the philosophy of this sect influenced Faraday to a great extent.

Faraday left school at an early age. The economic condition of the family was not good. His father remained ill for days. Hence, he had to do some work.

He started work at a bookseller and book binders’ shop. The name of the stationer was Riebau. His work was to deliver newspapers and to help his master in bookbinding work.

Faraday learnt many things during this job. In the leisure time, he started reading books.

He got a chance to attend some lectures on natural philosophy. And, slowly, he developed an interest in science and chemistry.

Many scholars of the Royal Society visited the bookstore. Faraday developed friendships with a few investigators. As per their guidance, he attended some popular lectures by Sir Humphry Davy. He prepared some notes of these lectures and sent them to Sir Humphry Davy himself.

He wanted to devote himself to the science.

Humphry Davy was impressed. He invited him to work as a lab assistant in his laboratory. The salary for the work was twenty-five shillings. But this was the work of his choice.

Thus, he started his journey in the scientific world as an assistant in the laboratory.

Once Humphry Davy and his wife went abroad, where Faraday accompanied them. Davy and Faraday were good friends. But, the wife of Humphry Davy treated him as a servant and always kept him away.

His journey of popularizing scientific knowledge and explaining scientific phenomena started in 1815.

In 1821, Faraday married a girl- Miss Sarah Bernard. She was the daughter of a member of the Sandemanian church. Their life was happy and long-lasting.

In 1833, Faraday was honoured as a professor of chemistry at the Royal Institute for a lifetime.

The main discovery of Faraday was electrical induction. As per his investigation, when one moves a wire at right angles to a magnetic field, an electromotive force sets up in the conducting wire. Such a motion results in an induced current.

Faraday performed another experiment. He placed a copper disk between large magnets. He connected the axis and the edge of the disk by a wire with a galvanometer. When he rotated the disk, there was a constant flow of electricity.


Thus, he discovered the production of electricity from magnetic force. It is termed an induced current. The dynamo works on the same principle of generating electric current.

Apart from this, he studied electrolysis. Faraday’s law of electrolysis is famous in the field of chemistry. This law of electrolysis states, ‘if the same amount of electricity passes through different electrolytes, the masses of ions deposited at the electrodes are directly proportional to their chemical equivalents.’

Michael Faraday was generous, charitable and deeply religious. Today’s advances in technology rely on the labours of this great investigator.

He retired from his work in 1865 and died on August 25, 1867.

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