Search Results for: michael faraday

1813: Faraday learns about the politics of science

Those of us in science like to envision our profession as a noble (“Nobel”?) calling, above the petty squabbles that taint other endeavors.  The reality, of course, is that science is susceptible to politics just like any other field.  One … Continue reading

Posted in ... the Hell?, History of science | 20 Comments

Maxwell on Faraday

I’m working on a few longer posts at the moment, but in the meantime I thought I’d share a nice little passage I came across while looking through James Clerk Maxwell‘s A Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism (1873).  Maxwell, of … Continue reading

Posted in History of science, Physics | 3 Comments

Mr. Faraday goes wild — with atomic speculation! (1844)

Michael Faraday (1791-1867), whom I’ve talked about numerous times, has a reputation as being a bit of a theoretical lightweight, namely because he had little formal mathematical training.  In spite of this, however, he had an ability to think abstractly … Continue reading

Posted in History of science, Physics | 7 Comments

Faraday brings light and magnetism together (1845)

The more I read of Michael Faraday’s work, the more I am in awe  of the scientist’s insights and abilities.  As evidence of the remarkable intuition he had regarding the forces of nature, consider the following passage: I have long … Continue reading

Posted in History of science, Optics, Physics | 14 Comments

Faraday’s unified theory of… electricity? (1833)

This is the second in a series of posts describing the researches of the super-experimentalist Michael Faraday (1791-1867) into electricity and magnetism.  In the first post of the series, I discussed his first paper on his electrical research, in which … Continue reading

Posted in History of science, Physics | 7 Comments

Mr. Faraday’s (most excellent) experimental researches in electricity (1831)

Michael Faraday (1791 – 1867) was a master of electricity.  His researches established may important results in electromagnetic theory, including some which are now so taken for granted that Faraday’s name is unfortunately not even thought of in connection with … Continue reading

Posted in History of science, Physics | 28 Comments

Visualizing the geometric phase of light!

Another post inspired by my book on Falling Felines and Fundamental Physics! I talk about geometric phases in the book in the context of falling cats, but here I focus on the polarization of light. I regularly argue that most … Continue reading

Posted in Optics, Physics | Leave a comment

A decade of history of science!

I’ve picked up a significant number of new followers on the blog lately, and this combined with the wrap-up of the decade seems like a good time to share some of my favorite history of science posts of the past … Continue reading

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History of the Conservation of Energy: Booms, Blood, and Beer (Part 1)

Another post inspired by my research into my Falling Felines and Fundamental Physics book! Energy cannot be created or destroyed, but merely converted from one form to another. Such is a typical statement of the law of conservation of energy, … Continue reading

Posted in History of science, Physics | 1 Comment

Arago finds new physics with a compass (1824)

One of the challenges of doing physics outreach is that there are so many cool phenomena which simply can’t be demonstrated in an eye-catching way, because they are too small, too subtle, or too complicated.  So whenever I find a … Continue reading

Posted in History of science, Physics | 1 Comment