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17 September 2014

Invention of Electricity through Magnetism

Generating power through magnetism was discovered at a much later stage in life. It all begun in 1820 when 45 year old André-Marie Ampère noted that electric wires carrying current were at times attracted and at other times repelled to each other. Then in 1831, 40 year old Michael Faraday found out that when a copper disc is within a strong magnetic field, it provided constant electricity flow. Through the help of his research team, Faraday successfully generated continuous and enough electric force and this was made possible whenever there was continuous movement between the magnet and the coil. The findings from this experiment would later lead to the invention of the electric generator. Also, by reversing the process, an electric motor would be created. Over the next years, transformers were made with their main objective being to convert alternating current (AC) to the required voltage. Come the 1833, Faraday had established an electrochemistry foundation; the foundation by which Faraday’s law is based. The induction law relates to electromagnetism which is linked to the various electrical generators, motors and devices such as inductors and transformers.

It’s after the nature of magnetism was clearly understood that steady flow of electric current began to be produced through the use of generators. To enable mechanical movement, motors were discovered. These were later followed by the discovery of the Edison light bulb. In 1893, the Chicago World Columbian Exposition was lit up for the first time by George Westinghouse. Westinghouse went further to build three generators at the Niagara Falls to help transform energy to electricity. The new AC technology by the Nikola Tesla made it possible for electric power to be carried through transmission lines over long distances. As such, this is how electricity came to be made available to people thus improving their quality of life.

A follow-up invention in the 1900’s (the electronic vacuum tube invention) further gave way for technological advancement as it enabled digital switching, frequency oscillators and signal amplifications. This advancement played a major role towards communications as the first broadcast radio and digital computer came into being in 1920s and 1946 respectively. The 1947 discovery of the transistor then paved way for the integrated circuit that would arrive a decade later followed by the microprocessor which would bring in the Information Age, an Age that would be transformed entirely in terms of the way we work and live.

As of today, humans depend heavily on electricity. This kind of portable power has led people to gravitate a lot towards it in different ways; from wheeled application to the more portable and even the wearable. With new inventions coming up every day, the same way the modern age perceives the early batteries as being unreliable, unreliable, clumsy and awkward may be the same way the future generations will feel about the technologies of today.

The Developments of Batteries

The 1700s and 1800s inventions have been clearly documented and all credit goes to these distinguished inventors:

Benjamin Franklin who invented the lighting rod, bifocal eyeglasses and the Franklin stove. He was the unequally celebrated American inventor until the emergence of Thomas Edison. Edison is however believed to have been a businessman who liked to take credit of other people’s work. For instance, he’s not really the one who’s behind the invention of the light bulb. What he did was improve on an idea that had been conceptualized 50 years earlier by a number of people. It involved using small carbonized filaments to light up in vacuum. He however got the credit and financial rewards for having commercially made the concept viable to the public. He’s also credited for the invention of the phonograph.

Countries have over the years been crediting their citizens for making various inventions, even when they don’t deserve it. This is evident throughout USA, Japan and Europe. One of the reasons why this is so is that, the invention and development of different applications has been known to run concurrently even without the knowledge of inventors in the other country. As such, it becomes hard to decide who deserves the credit. Examples of these inventions include the car, computer, telephone, television, radio and x-ray machine. The same is the case with the modern battery systems. Thus, this is why it’s more important to give credit to organizations and research teams rather than to individuals.

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