World's Famous Scientist

# Alessandro Volta

Name : Alessandro Giuseppe Antonio Anastasio Volta

Born On : 18 February 1745

Died On : 5 March 1827

Place Of Birth : Como , Italy

Life Span : 82 Years

Nationality : Italian

           Alessandro Giuseppe Antonio Anastasio Volta was an Italian physicist, chemist, and a pioneer of electricity and power, who is credited as the inventor of the electrical battery and the discoverer of methane. He invented the Voltaic pile in 1799 and the results of which he reported in 1800 in a two-part letter to the President of the Royal Society. Volta was born in Como, a town in present-day northern Italy on 18 February 1745. His own father Filippo Volta was of noble lineage. His mother Donna Maddalena came from the family of the Inzaghis.

          In 1774, he became a professor of physics at the Royal School in Como. A year later, he improved and popularised the electrophorus, a device that produced static electricity. In the years between 1776 and 1778, Volta studied the chemistry of gases. In November 1776, he found methane at Lake Maggiore, and by 1778 he managed to isolate methane. Volta also studied what we now call electrical capacitance, developing separate means to study both electrical potential (V ) and charge (Q ), and discovering that for a given object, they are proportional. This is called Volta's Law of Capacitance, and it was for this work the unit of electrical potential has been named the volt. In 1779 he became a professor of experimental physics at the University of Pavia, a chair that he occupied for almost 40 years. Volta retired in 1819 to his estate in Camnago, a frazione of Como, Italy, now named "Camnago Volta" in his honour. He died there on 5 March 1827, just after his 82nd birthday. Volta's remains were buried in Camnago Volta.


          On the electricity excited by the mere contact of conducting substances of different kinds (published in 1800)


          Volta’s battery : Volta’s battery, also known as voltaic column or voltaic pile, consisted of alternating disks of zinc and silver separated by cloth soaked in salt water. It was a simple and reliable source of electric current that did not need to be recharged, thus its invention quickly led to a new wave of electrical experiments.


“The language of experiment is more authoritative than any reasoning: facts can destroy our ratiocination—not vice versa.”

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