Alessandro Volta or Alessandro Giuseppe Antonio Anastasio Volta, Born (February 18, 1745 in Como, Italy, † 5 March 1827 in Camnago at Como) was an Italian physicist. He invented the battery and is considered one of the founders of the Age of Electricity.
Alessandro Volta was the son of a wealthy family, born in Como in northern Italy, as one of nine children, five of whom were priests, as well as some uncle (the father himself was long Jesuitennovize). Volta’s parents, Filippo Volta and Maria Maddalena dei Conti Inzaghi, but had another career planned for Volta and sent him to prepare a legal career at a Jesuit school, 1758-1760. In the self-study he worked on books about electricity (Musschenbroek, Jean-Antoine Nollet, Giambatista Beccaria) and corresponded with leading scholars. The Turin physics professor Giambatista Beccaria (1716-1781) advised him here, to focus on experimental work. In 1769 he published his first physical work, which already can be loud criticism of the authorities. 1775 his fame grew, the invention could soon be produced in the whole of Europe electrophore used, with the static electricity generated by influence and transported. In 1774 he was appointed superintendent and director of the state schools in Como and 1775 experimental physics professor at the school in Como. In 1776 he discovered in the swamps of Lake Maggiore rising methane gas bubbles and begins to experiment with the combustible gas (Volta pistol, which triggers an electrical spark in a combustion cylinder, a type of gas lighter). He designed so that steady burning lights and used his gun as Volta gauge for the oxygen content of gases (eudiometer). All these discoveries mean that he is appointed in 1778 (after a trip to Switzerland in 1777, where he met Voltaire, among others) for a physics professor at the University of Pavia. There he one invents (“straw” -) electroscope to measure tiny amounts of electricity (1783), the measurements quantified by introducing its own power units (the word “stress” comes from) and formulates the proportionality of the applied load and voltage in the capacitor. In 1792, he learns of the frog experiments, the distinguished anatomist Luigi Galvani, this leads back to the animal electricity. Volta realizes the cause of muscle spasms in external stresses (such as contact electricity, if experimented with several metals was) and there arose a dispute over the galvanism, which divides the scientists all over Europe to concentration camps. For depositors, the reason was that kind of frog a Leyden jar (ie a capacitor), was for the Volta, he was only a kind of detector. Today is still important that it was Volta’s long-standing studies of contact electricity, and finally his breakthrough invention of the battery.
Alessandro Volta is to have (proportional to the temperature volume expansion of gases) anticipated in his writings the idea of ??the telegraph and the Gay-Lussac’s law.
His largest and most successful invention was constructed in 1800 but the voltaic pile, the first working battery (after it had already been investigated in the 1790s, electric power lines of different metals). They consisted of stacked elements from a copper and a zinc plate, the sale of textiles, which were soaked in acid (initially water or brine) were separated. He describes the invention in a famous letter to Sir Joseph Banks of the Royal Society. It is this invention of the battery allowed the further investigation of magnetic properties of electrical currents and the use of electricity in the chemistry in the following century.
1791 The Royal Society of London appointed him as a member and awarded him their Copley Medal in 1794. In 1792 he went on his second trip abroad, during which he inter alia Laplace, Lavoisier and visited Göttingen Georg Christoph Lichtenberg and London. In 1801 he traveled to Paris, where he presents his Napoleon battery. In 1802 he was awarded by the Institut de France, the Gold Medal of Honor by Napoleon and a pension. After Napoleon had conquered Italy, he appointed Volta, which then really wanted to retire in 1809 and elevated him to the Senate in 1810 in the rank of count. After the invention of the battery he was increasingly on the research and teaching, but was appointed by the Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy in 1813 even persuaded to stay until his final retirement in 1819. His career had survived the changing power relations notwithstanding – he was both the Habsburgs and in Napoleon’s favor. In retirement, he retired to his country house near Como Camnago.
Alessandro Volta married, having previously lived for many years with a female singer, 1794, the wealthy Peregrini Teresa, with whom he reared two sons together. He lies buried in Como, where you can see his instruments in the Museum Tempio Voltiano.
Alessandro Volta 1897, 70 years after his death, Volta was the highest award that can get a physicist honored: In his honor, was the unit of electric voltage volts called. Also in the internationally recognized symbol of the electrical voltage U Volta is perpetuated. Previously been written as V U and therefore taken for the voltage U.
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