18 Fascinating Michael Faraday Facts that Will Leave You Amazed

Little fact-lovers, let me tell you about Michael Faraday.

He was an English scientist who contributed to the study of electrochemistry and electromagnetism. 

Some of his notable discoveries include the principles of underlying electromagnetic induction, electrolysis, and diamagnetism!! 😲!

So, in this article, let us go through some really wonderful facts about the life and works of this famous scientist.

Amazing Michael Faraday Facts

Michael Faraday was born in Newington Butts

Michael Faraday Was Born In Newington Butts

Hey there, little fact-explorers, did you know that Faraday was born in Newington Butts, Surry. It is now part of the London Borough of Southwark. 

He was born on September 22, 1791. 

His family was not well off, and James 👨, his father, was a member of the Glasite sect of Christianity. 

Young Michael only had the most basic school education.

Michael’s father struggled a lot to support his wife and four children in one of the poorer outskirts of London.

Michael became an apprentice at a very young age

In order to help his family, Michael started helping the family by working as an errand boy at the age of 13. 

At that time, he used to deliver and recover loaned-out newspapers. 📰

When he was 14, Ribeau offered him a free apprenticeship, and during the next seven years, Michael mastered the trade of bookbinding.

Like many poor boys, Michael’s schooling was limited. 

During his work, he taught himself physics, chemistry, and a mysterious force, “electricity.”

Michael Faraday invented the rubber balloon

Michael Faraday Invented Rubber Balloon

I am really amazed to learn that Faraday invented the rubber balloon.

Though according to today’s balloon standards, his early models may look a little bit shabby, it is still an amazing invention, isn’t it?

Faraday’s balloons were made by pressing two sheets of rubber together. Those were used to contain hydrogen during his experiments. 

In 1824, Faraday created his first and was quick to praise the ‘considerable ascending power’ of the bag. 

The following year, toy manufacturers started distributing these.

Mathematics was not Michael Faraday’s cup of tea

Faraday’s lack of formal education led to a disturbed understanding of mathematics, which even hampered his work sometimes. 

For example, in 1846, he hypothesized that light itself is actually an electromagnetic phenomenon; however, as he couldn’t demonstrate the theory in mathematical form, it was dismissed. 

Thus, it took physicist James Clerk Maxwell to form equations in 1864. Later, this helped prove Faraday’s theory. 

However, you will be surprised to know that he had no sense of math. 

So, many of his biographers described him as “mathematically illiterate.”

Michael never learned any mathematics; hence, his contribution to electricity 🔌was based on experiments.

Without Faraday, we might not have electric power

Electric Power By Michael Faraday

On September 3, 1821, Faraday created a device that was quite impressive. 

One year earlier, Danish physician Hans Cristian Orsted had displayed that when an electric current flows through a wire around it, a magnetic field is formed. 

Later, inside the Royal Institution basement, he started his experiment by placing a magnet🧲 in the bottom of a glass container that is a mercury field.

Also, a wire was hung overhead, which Michael connected to a battery. 

After an electric current was conducted through the wire, it started rotating around the magnet.

Faraday had just developed the first electric motor in the world.

Later, he even created the world’s first electric generator

Little fact lovers, have you known this amazing secret about Faraday? No? Let’s explore!

After creating the world’s first electric motor, Faraday even went ahead and created the world’s first electric generator!

His first experiment included a simple ring of wires and cotton through which he passed a magnet. Through this, he found that a current was generated.

Still today, most electricity is made using the same principles.

Michael Faraday gifted us the fridge

Michael Faraday Invented Fridge

In 1823, Michael Faraday sealed a sample of chlorine hydrate inside a tube of V-shape. 

As he heated one end of it and then cooled the other simultaneously, Faraday noticed that a yellow liquid 🥃was forming.

He then broke open the tube, which triggered a big explosion of glass shreds. Uninjured, Faraday detected a strong scent of chlorine in the air.

However, he didn’t take long to understand what had happened. 

Pressure built up within the tube and hence, liquefied the gas.

Puncturing the glass released the pressure. Hence, the liquid reverted into a gas. This evaporation even cooled down the surrounding air.

Michael Faraday spearheaded the Christmas Lectures of the Royal Institution

Faraday understood the great importance of making science accessible to common people.

While employed by Royal Institution, in 1825, he spearheaded an annual series that was still going quite strong. 

That holiday season, engineer John Millington delivered some lay-friendly lectures on ‘natural philosophy.’

Every year, prominent speakers were invited, only 1939-1942 being the exception because of World War II.

Some world-famous lecturers included Carl Sagan (1977), David Attenborough (1973), and Richard Dawkins (1991). Also, on 19 occasions, Faraday was the presenter. 

Really impressive, isn’t it?

Sir Humphrey Davy: He was Faraday’s mentor turned foe

Faraday’s Mentor Turned Foe

In 1808, Sir Humphrey Davy discovered no fewer than five vital elements, including boron and calcium.

In 1821, Faraday attended four lectures, and as Davy spoke, he even took notes which he then compiled into a little book📓. 

Faraday sent his 300-page transcript to Davy. Being really impressed, Davy eventually hired him as a lab assistant. 

Later, when asked to name his greatest discovery, Davy answered, ‘Michael Faraday.’

However, as Faraday’s accomplishments started to eclipse his own, Sir Humphrey Davy accused Faraday of plagiarizing another scientist’s work. 

Davy even tried to block Faraday’s admission to the Royal Society.

Faraday campaigned against pollution

During the growth of London in the 19th century, fecal matter and garbage were dumped into River Thames. 

In 1855, Faraday wrote a letter about the issue, asking the authorities to take action. 

He wrote, “If we neglect this subject, we cannot expect to do so with impunity; nor ought to be surprised if, ere many years are over, a hot season give us sad proof for the folly of our carelessness.”

Just as he predicted, a broiling summer produced a suffocating stench👃. 

Dubbed ‘the Great Stink,’ the hot months of 1858 sent the rancid odor of Thames all over the city.

Faraday’s image was featured on British money

Faraday’s Image Was On British Money

Little friends, have you heard this amazing fact about Michael Faraday? No? Let me tell you.

To honor Faraday’s contribution to the advancement of British science, on June 5, 1991, the Bank of England unveiled a 20-euro 💶bill with his portrait.

With their notes, Faraday joined an illustrious group of Britons, including Florence Nightingale, William Shakespeare, and Isaac Newton.

In February 2001, by the time it was withdrawn, the bank estimated that around 120 million Faraday bills were in circulation.

It was actually more than 2 billion quid!

Faraday suffered memory loss

I am really sad to learn this depressing fact about Michael Faraday! Want to know?

His memory began faltering when he was 48. Faraday experienced vertigo and some other neurological issues, though the cause was unknown.

He returned to the Royal Institution following a three-year hiatus and experimented in his laboratory until his early 70s. 

Still, Faraday had spurts of depression, giddiness, and extreme forgetfulness.

He wrote, “My bad memory, both loses recent things and sometimes suggests old ones as new.”

No one knows the reason behind the syndrome. However, some think that his exposure to mercury was the source.

Faraday and one of his colleagues coined electrical terms

Michael Faraday Coined Electrical Terms

The works of Michael Faraday were so groundbreaking that no descriptions existed for some of his discoveries.

With his colleague William Whewell, Faraday coined some of the futuristic-sounding names for the concepts and forces he identifies, like anode, electrode, ion, and cathode.

Whewell himself had selected the term ‘scientist’ in the year 1834. 

He did it after ‘natural philosopher’ had become too vague to describe those people who work in increasingly specialized fields! Amazing, right?

Michael Faraday was Albert Einstein’s personal hero

Like me, if you like the inventions of Faraday, then you will surely love this interesting secret about him! Let’s explore!

Albert Einstein regarded Michael Faraday as a personal hero. 

Einstein once remarked after receiving a book about Faraday, ”This man loved mysterious Nature as a lover loves his distant beloved.”

Also, Einstein was known to have a portrait 🖼️of his favorite scientist on his wall in his study. 

It hung alongside pictures of legendary physicists James Clerk Maxwell and Sir Isaac Newton.

Some of the greatest achievements of Faraday

Achievements Of Michael Faraday

Scientist Michael Faraday revolutionized the world of electromagnetism and electrochemistry with his groundbreaking work in these fields. 

His greatest achievements were discovering electromagnetic induction, the principle behind transformers and electric generators.

Moreover, Faraday invented a device that can block electromagnetic fields, named the Faraday cage.  

Along with using electric current to decompose a chemical substance, he even discovered benzene, one of the most crucial organic compounds.

Rutherford also praised Faraday’s achievements

The father of nuclear physics, Earnest Rutherford, was another scientist who praised the achievements of Michael Faraday. 

On Faraday, Rutherford once said, ”When we consider the magnitude and extent of his discoveries and their influence on the progress of science and of industry, there is no honor too great to pay to the memory of Faraday, one of the greatest scientific discoveries of all time.”

Prince Albert gave Faraday some sweet real estate

Michael Faraday's Sweet Real Estate

The Prince Consort, also famous as Queen Victoria’s husband Prince Albert, gave Michael Faraday a really comfortable home at Hampton Court in the year 1848.

It was not in the royal palace but near it- free of cost, to recognize his contributions to science.

The house at 37 Hampton Court Road was renamed Faraday House until this famous scientist died ⚰️there on August 25, 1867.

Today, it is known just by its street address.

Faraday showed the pull of magnetic force

In a remarkably simple experiment, Michael Faraday laid a bar magnet on a table and then covered it with a piece of stiff paper📄. 

After that, he sprinkled magnetized iron shavings across the paper, which instantly arranged themselves into semicircular arcs emanating from the ends- the south and north poles of the magnet.

Along with revealing that magnets still expertly pull through barriers, Faraday visualized the pattern of magnetic force in space.

Summing up

So little fact explorers, now you know quite a lot about scientist Michael Faraday! 😲!!

We can never gather too much knowledge about the person who himself was the fountain of knowledge.

So…now we stop here and move on to some other famous personality….

See you soon….!! 😊!

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