Alessandro Volta

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Alessandro Volta

Alessandro Volta is famous for his discovery of the first practical method of generating electricity and he was the person who invented the battery in 1800. He was born in Como, Italy in 1745 and he first gained fame across Europe in 1775 with his electrophorus, a charge generating machine he built while teaching physics in his hometown of Como. In 1774, he became a physics professor at the Royal School in Como. In 1779 he became a professor of experimental physics at the University of Pavia, a kept this title for almost 40 years. He married Teresa Peregrini in 1794 and they had three sons. He retired to his home in 1819 in Como, Itlay, and he died March 5, 1827.


1794 Awarded the Copley's Gold Medal by the Royal Society of London, the most important prize in chemistry. 1802- The commission of distinguished scientists appointed by the Institut National de France gave its report affirming Volta's discovery of constant-flow electricity and recommending the award of its gold medal.1805 August 26 - He was created a Knight of the Legion of Honor and received the sword and badge.1809 February 19 - Volta became Senator of the Realm.1806 May 1 - Volta was created a Knight of the Iron Crown.1810 October 11 - He was granted the title of Count.1816 - Volta's works were published in five volumes in Florence.



1760 November - Enrolled in the Seminary in Como for studies in philosophy and the classics. 1763 - His interest in physics and chemistry led to correspondence on electricity with the Abbé Jean-Antoine Nollet in Paris and later with Prof. Giovanni Battista Beccaria at University of Turin1775 Announced the invention of the Electrophorus, an electrical generating device.1776 November 3 - Discover the Methane. Observed the bubbling of methane in swamps and began the publication of a series of seven letters on his experiments with marsh gas that led to the development of Volta's Lamp electrically ignited, and the 'electric pistol'.1777 Summer: Volta transforms the electric pistol into a Eudiometer, an instrument used to study the percentage of oxygen in the air.1780 - His invention of the Condenser. This valuable, high-sensitive device, draws capacitance, stores electrical energy and collects the smallest traces of electricity.1790 - Volta improves his eudiometer and eudiometric measures significantly, even in von Humboldt and Gay-Lussac consider that it will be difficult to perfect it further1791 - Galvani published his experiments in electrical stimulation of animal tissue that led to his theory of 'animal electricity'. He sent a copy of his report to Volta who at first approved, then, by his own experiments, began to doubt Galvani's explanations of the frog's legs phenomenon. 1793 - He determines the co-efficient equal at 0.00354, of the dilatation of air at constant pressure, with a greater precision than that obtained nine years later by Gay-Lussac. Today is accepted the co-efficient 0,00366.1794-Volta carries out measurements of the vapour tension of water which anticipate those of John Dalton obtained six years later and again are much more precise.1800 March 20 - Communicated with the Royal Society of London, specifically the Right Honorable President Sir Joseph Banks outlining his discovery of a source of constant-current generation from a 'Pile' of dissimilar metals. The letter prompted new experiments among the members of the Society.1799 Volta discovers electric battery (volta pile)

Brief Bio

Voltaic Pile

The SI unit for electric potential, volt, gets its name from him!

Thanks Alessadnro!

He worked in both Pure and Applied Science because he studied theories and invented the battery.


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