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Faraday as a Discoverer   By: (1820-1893)

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by John Tyndall



Chapter 1. Parentage: introduction to the royal institution: earliest experiments: first royal society paper: marriage.

Chapter 2. Early researches: magnetic rotations: liquefaction of gases: heavy glass: Charles Anderson: contributions to physics.

Chapter 3. Discovery of Magneto electricity: Explanation of Argo's magnetism of rotation: Terrestrial magneto electric induction: The extra current.

Chapter 4. Points of Character.

Chapter 5. Identity of electricities; first researches on electro chemistry.

Chapter 6. Laws of electro chemical decomposition.

Chapter 7. Origin of power in the voltaic pile.

Chapter 8. Researches on frictional electricity: induction: conduction: specific inductive capacity: theory of contiguous particles.

Chapter 9. Rest needed visit to Switzerland.

Chapter 10. Magnetization of light.

Chapter 11. Discovery of diamagnetism researches on magne crystallic action.

Chapter 12. Magnetism of flame and gases atmospheric magnetism.

Chapter 13. Speculations: nature of matter: lines of force.

Chapter 14. Unity and convertibility of natural forces: theory of the electric current.

Chapter 15. Summary.

Chapter 16. Illustrations of Character.

Preface to the fifth edition.

Daily and weekly, from all parts of the world, I receive publications bearing upon the practical applications of electricity. This great movement, the ultimate outcome of which is not to be foreseen, had its origin in the discoveries made by Michael Faraday, sixty two years ago. From these discoveries have sprung applications of the telephone order, together with various forms of the electric telegraph. From them have sprung the extraordinary advances made in electrical illumination. Faraday could have had but an imperfect notion of the expansions of which his discoveries were capable. Still he had a vivid and strong imagination, and I do not doubt that he saw possibilities which did not disclose themselves to the general scientific mind. He knew that his discoveries had their practical side, but he steadfastly resisted the seductions of this side, applying himself to the development of principles; being well aware that the practical question would receive due development hereafter.

During my sojourn in Switzerland this year, I read through the proofs of this new edition, and by my reading was confirmed in the conviction that the book ought not to be suffered to go out of print. The memoir was written under great pressure, but I am not ashamed of it as it stands. Glimpses of Faraday's character and gleams of his discoveries are there to be found which will be of interest to humanity to the end of time.

John Tyndall. Hind Head, December, 1893.

[Note. It was, I believe, my husband's intention to substitute this Preface, written a few days before his death, for all former Prefaces. As, however, he had not the opportunity of revising the old prefatory pages himself, they have been allowed to remain just as they stood in the last edition.

Louisa C. Tyndall.]

Preface to the fourth edition.

When consulted a short time ago as to the republication of 'Faraday as a Discoverer,' it seemed to me that the labours, and points of character, of so great a worker and so good a man should not be allowed to vanish from the public eye. I therefore willingly fell in with the proposal of my Publishers to issue a new edition of the little book.

Royal Institution, February, 1884.

Preface to the second edition.

The experimental researches of Faraday are so voluminous, their descriptions are so detailed, and their wealth of illustration is so great, as to render it a heavy labour to master them. The multiplication of proofs, necessary and interesting when the new truths had to be established, are however less needful now when these truths have become household words in science... Continue reading book >>

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