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The Story of Electricity


English scientist Francis Hauksbee made a glass ball that glowed when spun and rubbed with the hand


English scientist Stephen Gray made the distinction between insulators and conductors


Stephen Gray shows that electricity doesn’t have to be made in place by rubbing but can also be transferred from place to place with conducting wires. He also shows that the charge on electrified objects resides on their surfaces.


German physicist Ewald Georg von Kleist and Dutch scientist Pieter van Musschenbroek invented Leyden jars


Benjamin Franklin invents the theory of one-fluid electricity in which one of Nollet’s fluids exists and the other is just the absence of the first. He proposes the principle of conservation of charge and calls the fluid that exists and flows “positive”. He also discovers that electricity can act at a distance in situations where fluid flow makes no sense.


American scientist Benjamin Franklin showed that lightning was electrical by flying a kite, and explained how Leyden jars work


Henry Cavendish invents the idea of capacitance and resistance


Italian scientist Luigi Galvani discovered the Galvanic action in living tissue.


Italian physician, Luigi Galvani demonstrated what we now understand to be the electrical basis of nerve impulses when he made frog muscles twitch by jolting them with a spark from an electrostatic machine.


Italian physicist Alessandro Volta makes the first batteries and argues that animal electricity is just ordinary electricity flowing through the frog legs under the impetus of the force produced by the contact of dissimilar metals.


Alessandro Volta discovers the Voltaic pile (dissimilar metals separated by wet cardboard).


English inventor Francis Ronalds built the first working electric telegraph


English physicist Michael Faraday begins electrical work by repeating Oersted’s experiments. First electric motor.


Michael Faraday published the law of induction


Michael Faraday developed laws of electrolysis and invented thermistor


Michael Faraday discovers self-inductance.


American inventor Samuel Morse developed telegraphy and the Morse code


Michael Faraday discovers that the plane of polarization of light is rotated when it travels in a glass along the direction of the magnetic lines of force produced by an electromagnet (Faraday rotation).


Faraday discovers diamagnetism. He sees the effect in heavy glass, bismuth, and other materials.


Maxwell publishes a mechanical model of the electromagnetic field.


Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell published four equations bearing his name


First transatlantic telegraph cable built


Edison Electric Light Co. (US) and American Electric and Illuminating (Canada) founded.


Sir William Crookes invents the radiometer and studies the interaction of beams of cathode ray particles in vacuum tubes.

November 4, 1879:

Thomas Alva Edison introduced a long-lasting filament for the incandescent lamp.


German physicist Heinrich Hertz proves the existence of electromagnetic waves, including what would come to be called radio waves.


Thomas Alva Edison invents the fuse


Indian physicist Jagadish Chandra Bose introduced the use of semiconductor junction to detect radio waves


First transatlantic radio transmission by Guglielmo Marconi


American engineers John Bardeen and Walter Houser Brattain together with their group leader William Shockley invented the transistor.


First fully transistorized computer in the US


American engineer Jack Kilby invented the integrated circuit (IC)


Breakthrough on superconductor




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