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Allesandro Volta

Also Listed In: Physicists


Nationality: Italian Italian Famous men
Religion: Christian
Born on: 18 February 1745 AD Famous 18th February Birthdays
Zodiac Sign: Aquarius Aquarius men
Born in: Como, Duchy of Milan, Italy
Died on: 05 March 1827 AD
place of death: Como, Lombardy-Venetia, Italy
Spouse: Teresa Peregrini
Children: Giovanni, Flaminio, Zanino
discoveries / inventions: Battery, Methane, Voltaic Pile, Volta's Law Of The Electrochemical Series
Known for his extraordinary work in the field of electricity, Volta invented the voltaic pile,
which became the worlds first electric battery; this invention of his ushered in the age of
electricity. He made several discoveries in meteorology, pneumatics and electrostatics that
earned him recognition and fame throughout the world. The unit of electromotive force
called as a volt, has been named in his honor. His research in varied fields of science paved
the way and inspired numerous future innovators, who based on this principals developed
new path breaking technologies. Voltas career as physicist is studded with several
achievements, such as the discovery of methane gas, as a result of his chemistry
experiments. He did not stop here but also developed a special glass container, which could
contain explosion of several gases. Most scholars believe that after Galileo, who preceded
Volta by around century and a half, he brought about the next big scientific revival in Italy.
As a society, today we owe a great debt of gratitude towards Volta, as his invention
battery has and still is playing a significant role in modernizing our world .

Childhood and Early Life


- Volta was born in Como; his parents, Filippo Volta and Maria Maddalena Inzaghi, belonged to middleclass
background. EDIT
-As a child, he did not display much intelligence and did not start speaking until he was 4 years old. By the time he
turned seven, he not only reached at par with other children but also overtook them in astuteness.
-He received his early education at the Royal Seminary in Como. His parents wanted him to take up law or
priesthood as a career but he had already made up his mind to pursue chemistry and physics.

Career
-Volta began his career in the field of physics, in 1774 by teaching the subject, at the Royal School of Como. During
the year, he studied atmospheric electricity and conducted experiments in fields of electrochemistry,
electromagnetism and electrophysiology.
-He pioneered the electrophorus in 1775, a device that produced static electric charge. This was a device that could
be charged with electricity only by rubbing and this charge could be transferred to other objects.
-Between 1776 and 1778, Volta worked in the realm of gases and discovered methane gas in natural environment,
which he was able to isolate by the end of this period.
In 1800, he invented voltaic pilethe first electric battery. This battery was actually a pile of alternating discs of
copper and zinc, separated by pieces of cardboard soaked in brine that had the ability to maintain steady electric
current.
He also developed the Law of Capacitance and theorized the law of bimetallic contact.

Major Works

One of the major published works of this ingenious scientist was De vi attractiva ignis
electrici (1769); it was based on his extensive research on attractive force present in the
electric fire.

Awards and Achievements


Volta was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of London in 1791, for his ground breaking
work in physics, especially development of electroscope.
In 1794, he was awarded the Copley Medal, by the Royal Society of London, for
development of Volta's Law of the electrochemical series.
In 1801, he was honored with the title of Count by Napoleon Bonaparte after he
demonstrated the functionality of his battery to him.

Personal and Legacy


He married Teresa Peregrini, the daughter of Count Ludovico Peregrini, in 1794 and the
couple had three sons.
He passed away on his estate in Camnago, Italy at the age of 82. His remains were interred
there and to honor this genius, the place was renamed as Camnago Volta.
As a tribute to Count Alessandro Volta, the Volta Prize is awarded to anyone with scientific
achievement in electricity.
He worked with many great personalities during his lifetime, including well-known French
physicist, Abbe Antoine Nollet and Italian experimenter, Giovanni Battista.
Based on his life and observations Bern, Dibner wrote Alessandro Volta and the Electric
Battery, which was published in 1964.
Another book called Volta: Science and Culture in the Age of Enlightenment was written by
Giuliano Pancaldi and published in 2005.

Trivia

His image was imprinted on the Italian 10,000 lira note, accompanied by a sketch of his
famous invention, the voltaic pile.
He is also regarded as the father of the electric automobile.
In order to honor this extraordinary personality, in 2003, Toyota named a hybrid electric
engine as Toyota Volta and later in 2011, Chevrolet also honored this prodigious scientist.
His fellow scientists named the unit of electromotive force in his honor.
The bevatron is a particular type of atom-smasher, the v in the term stands for this
personalitys name.
Photovoltaic system that converts light energy into electricity is named after this Italian
scientist.