Faraday's experiments yielded some of the most significant principles and inventions in scientific history. He developed the first dynamo (in the form of a copper disk rotated between the poles of a permanent magnet), the precursor of modern dynamos and generators. From his discovery of electromagnetic induction (1831; also independently discovered by the American Joseph Henry) stemmed a vast development of electrical machinery for industry. In 1825 he discovered the compound benzene. In addition to other contributions he did research on electrolysis, formulating Faraday's law. He also laid the foundations of the classical electromagnetic field theory, later fully developed by J. C. Maxwell. Some of his works were collected as Experimental Researches in Electricity (3 vol., 1839–55) and Experimental Researches in Chemistry and Physics (1859).
See his diary (ed. by T. Martin, 7 vol., 1932–36); his correspondence (ed. by L. P. Williams, 2 vol., 1971); biographies by T. Martin (1934), L. P. Williams (1965), G. Cantor (1991), and J. Hamilton (2005); studies by D. Gooding and F. A. James, ed. (1986) and N. Forbes and B. Mahon (2014).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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