You are on page 1of 2

Benjamin Franklin and Electricity Benjamin Franklin studied many different branches of science.

He studied smoky chimneys; he invented bifocal spectacles; he studied the effect of oil upon ruffled water; he identified the "dry bellyache" as lead poisoning; he advocated ventilation in the days when windows were closed tight at night, and with patients at all times; he investigated fertilizers in agriculture. His scientific observations show that he foresaw some of the great developments of the nineteenth century. His greatest fame as a scientist was the result of his discoveries in electricity. On a visit to Boston in 1746 he saw some electrical experiments and at once became deeply interested. A friend, Peter Collinson of London, sent him some of the crude electrical apparatus of the day, which Franklin used, as well as some equipment he had purchased in Boston. He wrote in a letter to Collinson: "For my own part, I never was before engaged in any study that so engrossed my attention and my time as this has lately done." Georg Ohm In two important papers in 1826, Ohm gave a mathematical description of conduction in circuits modeled on Fourier's study of heat conduction. These papers continue Ohm's deduction of results from experimental evidence and, particularly in the second, he was able to propose laws which went a long way to explaining results of others working on galvanic electricity.Ohm's Law Using the results of his experiments, Georg Simon Ohm was able to define the fundamental relationship between voltage, current, and resistance. What is now known as Ohm's law appeared in his most famous work, a book published in 1827 that gave his complete theory of electricity. The equation I = V/R is known as "Ohm’s Law". It states that the amount of steady current through a material is directly proportional to the voltage across the material divided by the electrical resistance of the material. The ohm (R), a unit of electrical resistance, is equal to that of a conductor in which a current (I) of one ampere is produced by a potential of one volt (V) across its terminals. These fundamental relationships represent the true beginning of electrical circuit analysis. Current flows in an electric circuit in accordance with several definite laws. The basic law of current flow is Ohm's law. Ohm's law states that the amount of current flowing in a circuit made up of only resistors is related to the voltage on the circuit and the total resistance of the circuit. The law is usually expressed by the formula V= IR (described in the above paragraph), where I is the current in amperes, V is voltage (in volts), and R is the resistance in ohms. Alessandro Volta and Electricty Volta's most ground-breaking work was that lead to the development of the first battery. The roots of this work can be traced back to some investigations performed by a fellow Italian and friend of Volta. He discovered that when an electrical discharge occurred near a frog's leg whilst it was being dissected, the discharge made its leg twitch. The Italian professor made many further researches and this lead to his discovery that when two dissimilar metals were placed on the leg, and electric current was generated. For many years it was believed that this was a new form of electricity that they called "animal electricity". Volta himself performed many experiments to investigate the phenomenon further. He even started to place dissimilar metals on his tongue and close to his eye with various effects. However as he undertook further experiments he became more convinced that the electricity was being generated by the two

dissimilar metals separated by a solution such as brine. Galvani, though continued to defend his idea of animal electricity. Research of Charles-Augustin de Coulomb In 1785, Coulomb presented his three reports on Electricity and Magnetism:- Premier Mémoire sur l’Électricité et le Magnétisme.[2] In this publication, Coulomb describes "How to construct and use an electric balance (torsion balance) based on the property of the metal wires of having a reaction torsion force proportional to the torsion angle." Coulomb also experimentally determined the law that explains how "two bodies electrified of the same kind of Electricity exert on each other." On page 574 he states: Il résulte donc de ces trois essais, que l'action répulsive que les deux balles électrifées de la même nature d'électricité exercent l'une sur l'autre, suit la raison inverse du carré des distances. Translation: It follows therefore from these three tests, that the repulsive force that the two balls -[which were] electrified with the same kind of electricity -- exert on each other, follows the inverse proportion of the square of the distance. - Second Mémoire sur l’Électricité et le Magnétisme.[3] In this publication, Coulomb carries out the "determination according to which laws both the Magnetic and the Electric fluids act, either by repulsion or by attraction." On page 579, he states that the attractive force between two oppositely charged spheres is proportional to the product of the quantities of charge on the spheres and is inversely proportional to the square of the distance between the spheres. - Troisième Mémoire sur l’Électricité et le Magnétisme.[4] "On the quantity of Electricity that an isolated body loses in a certain time period, either by contact with less humid air or in the supports more or less idio-electric." Four subsequent reports were published in the following years: - Quatrième Mémoire[5] "Where two principal properties of the electric fluid are demonstrated: first, that this fluid does not expand into any object according to a chemical affinity or by an elective attraction, but that it divides itself between different objects brought into contact; second, that in conducting objects, the fluid, having achieved a state of stability, expands on the surface of the body and does not penetrate into the interior." (1786) - Cinquième Mémoire[6] "On the manner in which the electric fluid divides itself between conducting objects brought into contact and the distribution of this fluid on the different parts of the surface of this object." (1787) - Sixième Mémoire[7] "Continuation of research into the distribution of the electric fluid between several conductors. Determination of electric density at different points on the surface of these bodies." (1788) - Septième Mémoire[8] "On magnetism" (1789) Coulomb explained the laws of attraction and repulsion between electric charges and magnetic poles, although he did not find any relationship between the two phenomena. He thought that the attraction and repulsion were due to different kinds of fluids.