Know more about the life and achievements of Alessandro Giuseppe Antonio Anastasio Volta through these 10 interesting facts. Count Volta also made discoveries in electrostatics, meteorology, and pneumatics. His family wanted him to be a lawyer but his interests lay in science. Setting off in the company of count Giovio, he brought along physics tools to detect altitudes, barometric pressures and the quality of the air, and magnets for the search of iron minerals, besides obviously all the tools recently invented by himself. With it, he isolated new chemical elements, and deduced that chemical bonds were electrical in nature. Three years later he was appointed to the chair of physics at the University of Pavia. While at the Royal School, Alessandro Volta designed his first invention, the electrophorus, in 1774. Volta became professor of physics at the Royal School of Como in 1774. Biography of Luigi Galvani, Electrophysiology Pioneer, Biography of Humphry Davy, Prominent English Chemist. In 1779, Alessandro Volta was appointed a professor of physics at the University of Pavia. For years at Como, he studied and experimented with atmospheric electricity by igniting static sparks. Unlike Galvani’s version, no animals need be hurt in this production, except for the human tester who gets a mild electric shock. An electric current would result when a circuit was built using two conductors of the first kind combined with one of the second kind. He died there on 5 March 1827, just after his 82nd birthday, and was buried in Camnago. After reading a paper by Benjamin Franklin on “flammable air”, Volta searched for the substance and in November 1776, scientifically identified methane in the marshes of Lake Maggiore. By 1820, courtesy of Volta’s batteries, Hans Christian Oersted was investigating the relationship between electricity and magnetism. In 1800, he built the voltaic pile and discovered the first practical method of generating electricity. "Volt" is named for Alessandro Volta, a pioneer in the study of electricity. His experiments in this area were actually performed to show the claims of another scientist were wrong. He was an Italian man who was born on 18 February 1745. Darwin Pleaded for Cheaper Origin of Species, Getting Through Hard Times – The Triumph of Stoic Philosophy, Johannes Kepler, God, and the Solar System, Charles Babbage and the Vengeance of Organ-Grinders, Howard Robertson – the Man who Proved Einstein Wrong, Susskind, Alice, and Wave-Particle Gullibility, 11 Great Scientists Who Rose From Harsh Beginnings. Volta lived in Como until his death, aged 82, on March 5, 1827. Though the eudiometer was invented by Italian chemist Marsilio Landriani, it was truly pioneered by Volta. Volta accepted the evidence of the attractive forces between the different particles of the electric fluid. Among other things, he invented improved versions of electrophorus and eudiometer, and was the first to discover and isolate methane gas. Volta’s battery was an absolutely crucial invention in the development of our technology based civilization. Galvani discovered that contact between frogs’ leg nerves and different metals caused the legs to move. 1775 – Volta wrote a letter to Joseph Priestley. In 1778, Alessandro Volta found that the electric potential (V) in a capacitor is directly proportional to its electric charge (Q). He is most famous for his invention of the electric battery. He was educated at home till he was 12 by his uncle. When he wrote his first dissertation, Volta addressed it and dedicated it to Beccaria. Alessandro's father, Filippo Maria Volta (born in 1692-died around 1752), after eleven years as a Jesuit, withdrew in early 1730s to propagate the line. Alessandro Volta came from a distinguished Lombard family, ennobled by the municipality of Como and almost extinguished at that time, through its service to the church. However Volta did develop it independently, had built an improved version of the device, named it and later popularized it. 1778 – Volta was appointed to the Chair of Experimental Physics at the University of Pavia, about 55 miles (85 km) from Como, a position he would hold for over 40 years. After elementary studies in the family, the boy entered in 1757, at the age of 12, the local Jesuit's School of Rhetoric in Como, and later was sent to continue his education at the Seminario Benzi. Alessandro Volta. In 1791 Volta’s friend Luigi Galvani announced that the contact of two different metals with the muscle of a frog resulted in the generation of an electric current. On the right of the main door of the house number lies the tombstone with the inscription: âThis was the ancestral home of Alessandro Voltaâ. The moist connection between the metals did NOT have to be an animal. The metallic conducting arc was used to carry the electricity over a greater distance. Ironically, both scientists were right. 1781 to 1782 – Volta traveled around most of Europe’s major scientific centers, including the French Academy in Paris, demonstrating his electrical equipment and inventions to eminent people such as Antoine Lavoisier and Benjamin Franklin. In 1774, he was appointed as professor of physics at the Royal School in Como. 1782 – Volta wrote about the condenser he had constructed (today we would call it a capacitor) to collect and store electric charge, and how he had used it to study a variety of electrical phenomena. For several years he kindly allowed Volta to do experiments in this laboratory. In 1779, he became a professor of experimental physics at the University of Pavia, a position he occupied for around 40 years. He retired to a country house close to his home town of Como, where he could spend more time with his wife, Maria Teresa. It was a device that produced static electricity. He is an extraordinary man. He listed the metals in order of what he called their electromotive force. His family was part of the nobility, but not wealthy. Just like his father, Alessandro Volta married at a venerable age to a much younger woman. In 1791, Galvani announced his discovery of animal electricity. His version of eudiometer was superior to others because it used hydrogen as the gas reacting with oxygen, giving a clean, reliable reaction. The term "photo" is a stem from the Greek "phos," which means "light." Alessandro Volta's voltaic pile was the first battery that produced a reliable, steady current of electricity. Within six weeks of Volta’s announcement, English scientists William Nicholson and Anthony Carlisle used a voltaic pile to decompose water into hydrogen and oxygen, thus discovering electrolysis (how an electric current leads to a chemical reaction) and creating the field of electrochemistry. Other posthumous honors to Volta include Tempio Voltiano, a museum dedicated to him in Como which was inaugurated in 1928; and his image being depicted on the Italian 10,000 lira note in 1984. Volta’s family wanted him to become a lawyer. The Volta family was well-off and had several properties in the vicinity of Como, but it seems Filippo Volta was prodigal, because when he died around 1752, he left his wife and children not particularly rich. He proceeded to list the metals in order of their electrode potentials thus producing the first electrochemical series. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Alessandro Volta was an Italian scientist who is renowned for inventing the first electrical battery. This is a small town in the duchy of Milan and on the shores of Lake Como in Northern Italy. In 1791, he announced that this was a new form of electricity found in living tissue and named it animal electricity. In 1794, Volta did experiments to measure the electrical effect of bringing different pairs of metals into contact. Alessandro’s siblings all went into service of the church. Since 1789 he had a long love affair with a famous singer, Marianna Paris, but his family, and the emperor himself, did not allow the marriage, because the profession of singer was not of good repute. There was no difference between animal electricity and electricity. There was a great controversy between advocates of Galvani’s animal electricity and Volta’s contact electricity. Volta was beginning to become well-known outside Italy. The physician who was famous his battery invention is explained in Facts about Alessandro Volta. 1776 – Volta suggested that the sparking apparatus he used to explode methane could also be used to send an electric signal along a wire from Como to the city of Milan. 1769 – Volta published a dissertation titled On the Attractive Force of the Electric Fire, and on the Phenomena Dependent On It, which he sent to Beccaria. One of his three paternal uncles was a Dominican, another a canon, and the third (also Alessandro) an archdeacon. He entered Como’s Jesuit boarding school in 1758 and studied there for 4 years. Alessandro Volta with his electric pile, or wet battery, in an illustration by Louis Figuier, 1870. We now understand that he had created an electric cell. ALESSANDRO VOLTA, 1745-1827 141 introduction of the Voltaic battery was a most important step forward. Alessandro Volta (1745-1827) invented the first battery. His maiden novella “Teicos” is a thoughtful depiction of the development of society and is awaiting publication. Notable recipients of the Volta Prize include Sir Humphry Davy, who discovered several elements; Heinrich Ruhmkorff, who commercialized the induction coil, Zénobe Gramme, inventor of the Gramme dynamo; and Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone. Filippo Volta was reckless with money. 1765 – Volta had reached 20 years of age. Alessandro Volta was born in Como, Italy in 1745. The Jesuit school charged no fees, but pressurized him to become a priest. He also found that the electromotive force of a galvanic cell was proportional to the difference in the electrode potential of the two metals. In 1819, at the age of 74, Volta decided it was time to hang up his capacitors, his voltaic piles, his electrophorus, and his administrative work at the university. Connecting the metals by placing them in a cup of dilute acid was a very effective way of producing electricity. At the age of 18, Volta started exchanging correspondence about electricity with two leading physicists, Jean-Antoine Nollet in Paris and Giambatista Beccaria in Turin, who advised him to learn more through experiments. He formally split electrical conductors into those of the first kind: these were metals, graphite and pure charcoal; and the second kind: these were substances we would now call electrolytes, such as salt water or dilute acids. Volta’s theoretical and experimental work in this area resulted in his construction of the first battery. His most famous invention, however, is the first battery. Alessandro didn’t talk till he was four and his family feared he was possibly dumb. Then, moving away from frogs’ legs, in 1794, Volta did experiments to measure the electrical effect of bringing different pairs of metals into contact. He died, when Alessandro was only seven, leaving his wife and seven surviving children in debt.