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A Brief History of Electricity

2700 BC Egyptians observed the electrical properties of electri eels. 600 BC Greek philosopher Thales of Miletus discovered static electricity. 1600 CE English scientist William Gilbert was the first person to use the word electricity. He believed electricity was caused by a moving fluid called humor. 1733 French scientist Charles du Fay found that there were two different kinds of static electric charge. 1752 American printer, journalist, scientist and statesman Benjamin Franklin carried out further experiments and named the two kinds of electric charge positive and negative. 1780 Italian biologist Luigi Galvani touched two pieces of metal to a dead frogs leg and made it jump.

1785 French scientist Charles Augustin de Coulomb explored the mysteries of electric field: the electric areas around electric charges. 1800 - an Italian physics professor named Alessandro Volta realized animal electricity was made by the metals Galvani had used. He found out how to make electricity by joining different metals together and invented batteries. 1820 Danish physicist Hans Christian Oersted put a compass near an electric cable and discovered that electricity can make magnetism. 1821 Michael Faraday, an English chemist and physicist developed the first primitive electric motor. 1821 A French physicist Andre-Marie Ampere put two electric cables near to one another, wired them up to a power source and watched them push one another part. This showed electricity and magnetism can work together to make a force. 1827 German physicist Georg Ohm found some materials carry electricity better than others and developed the idea of resistance.

1830 American physicist Joseph Henry and British inventor William Sturgeon independently made the first practical electromagnets. 1831 Building on his earlier discoveries, Michael Faraday invented the electric generator. 1840 Scotish physicist James Prescott Joule proved that electricity is a kind of energy. 1870s Belgian engineer Zenobe Gramme made the first large-scale electric generators. 1881 The worlds first experimental electric power plant opened in Godalming, England. 1882 Thomas Edison built the first large-scale electric power plants in the USA. 1890s Edisons former employee Nikola Tesla promoted alternating current electricity, a rival to the direct current system promoted by Edison.

A Brief History of Magnetism

Ancient World Magnetism is known to the ancient Greeks, Romans, and Chinese. The Chinese use geomagnetic compasses in Feng Shui. Magnet gain their name from Manisa in Turkey, a place one named Magnesia, where magnetic lodestone was found in the ground. 13th Century Frenchman Petrus Perigimus makes the first proper studies of magnetism. 17th Century English physician and scientist William Gilbert proposed that Earth is a giant magnet.

18th Century Englishman John Michell and Frenchman Charles Augustin de Coulomb study the forces magnets exert. 19th Century Danish Hans Christian Oersted, Frenchman Andre-Marie Ampere, Dominique Arago and Englishman Michael Faraday explored the close connections between electricity and magnetism. James Clerk Maxwell publishes a relatively complete explanation of electricity and magnetism. Pierre Curie demonstrates that materials have lose their magnetism above a certain temperature. Wilhelm Weber develops practical methods for detecting and measuring the strength of a magnetic field. 20th Century Paul Langevin elaborates on Curies work with a theory explaining how magnetism is affected by heat. French physicist Pierre Weiss proposes that there are particles called magnetrons, equivalent to electrons. Two American scientist, Samuel Abraham and George Eugene Uhlenbeck show that magnetic properties of materials result from the spinning motion of electrons inside them.