Skip to main content
A B C D(/People and pioneers/Pioneers/) E F G H I(/People and pioneers/Pioneers/) J(/People and pioneers/Pioneers/) K L M N O P Q(/People and pioneers/Pioneers/) R S T U(/People and pioneers/Pioneers/) V W X(/People and pioneers/Pioneers/) Y(/People and pioneers/Pioneers/) Z
   

Faraday, Michael Faraday, Michael (1791-1867)

Michael Faraday's work laid the foundations for electrical technology, and he was the first man to create continuous artificial electricity.

Faraday became fascinated with science as a teenager and at the age of 22 was given a researcher job at the Royal Institution, then the home of science.

He became an excellent chemist and even discovered a new substance called benzene, but he was drawn to work with electricity.

In 1821, he built two devices that swung round continuously using only the magnetic force of a wire circle, which he called 'electromagnetic rotation'. Ten years later he made his greatest discovery - how to generate electricity. 'Electromagnetic Induction' fed electricity into one wire from the 'electromagnetic' affect of another. The model needed developing but created the principles still used by today's massive electricity generators.

In 1832 he proved that electricity was the same regardless of its source (magnet, battery, or static). He went on to develop the First and Second Laws of Electrolysis and his name lives on in the Farad - the unit of electrical capacitance.

fun and games

Can you beat our games? Explode equipment to see what's inside, hear the changing sounds of telecommunications, see how telecommunications designs have changed over time or send an e-postacard.

what's on

The UK's first permanent gallery dedicated to the history of information and communication technologies opens in the new Information Age gallery at London’s Science Museum.

audio history

Take a trip down memory lane with extracts of the interviews which have been recorded as part of the Connected Earth oral history programme.

featured story

100 years of automatic switching!
In 1912 the GPO installed Britain's first automatic telephone exchange in Epsom.

Discover the early days of the telephone...