Happy Birthday, Michael Faraday!


If you work with anything that requires electricity, you might want to know who Michael Faraday was – as today is his birthday!


Who’s that?  Is that Michael Faraday?  Hey, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Michael Faraday! (September 29, 1791 to August 25, 1867)

Michael Faraday was one of the fathers of our thinking on electricity and electrical theory – ever heard of Faraday’s Law of Induction?  Yeah, same Michael Faraday.  Faraday had his hands in a lot of electro-magnetic theory of his time, and we have lots of his contributions in use today, either directly or indirectly by people like James Clerk Maxwell:

  • obviously, Faraday’s Law (of Induction)
  • the Faraday Cage
  • the unit of capacitance, the Farad
  • the Faraday (magnitude of electric charge per mole of electrons – I told you I was a nerd)
  • Faraday’s first version of the electric motor

A model of Faraday’s early motor:


Just in case you were wondering – Faraday’s Law states:

The induced electromotive force or EMF in any closed circuit is equal to the time rate of change of the magnetic flux through the circuit.

What does this mean?  In basic terms, it relates to how a magnetic field can generate an electric field.  When you have a magnet and you wrap some coils of wire around it and then spin the magnet in order to change the magnetic fields, you create an electromotive force, or EMF.  This force is referred to as voltage.  That is a really general,  basic definition – but nonetheless the gist.

It’s good to learn something every day!  Happy birthday, Michael Faraday!

My favorite Michael Faraday quote:  But still try, for who knows what is possible…

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