Franklin and Faraday

Two scientists were at the heart of electricity's development as a technology.

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN

Franklin was an American scientist, who during the 1700s, improved our understanding of electricity.

One famous, but extremely dangerous experiment that he performed was flying a kite in an electrical storm to prove that lightning was made from electricity.

The kite was flown into the storm, and a key was attached to the end of the string and attached to a Leyden Jar, a device that could store static electricity.

Fortunately for Franklin, the lightning never actually hit the kite (or he would have been most certainly killed), but enough static charge was built up on the string that he received an electric shock, proving that lightning was electrical.

Michael Faraday

Faraday was a British scientist who studied magnetic fields and electricity.

He noticed that passing electricity through a wire made a magnetic field.

This led to the development of the electric motor.

Faraday also designed the Faraday Cage, which blocks electricity from passing through anything inside it.
Today, Faraday cages are used by electrical workers to protect themselves from electrocution when they work on live power lines.  They are also used to block cell phone signals!

A Tesla cage protecting its occupant

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