Michael Faraday was an English scientist, well known for his remarkable contribution to the study of electromagnetism and electrochemistry. His prime discoveries are the principles underlying electromagnetic induction and electrolysis.
Faraday did not receive much formal education. His research on the magnetic field around a conductor carrying a direct current that he established the basis for what is an electromagnetic field in Physics. Faraday discovered the principles of electromagnetic induction and diamagnetism and the also laws of electrolysis.
His inventions of electromagnetic rotary devices went on to be the foundation of electric motor technology. His ideas became strong base for electricity to have practical use.
Faraday also has the discovery of benzene to his name. He went on to became the first and foremost Fullerian Professor of Chemistry at the Royal Institution.
Maxwell wrote of Faraday “to have been in reality a mathematician of a very high order – one from whom the mathematicians of the future may derive valuable and fertile methods.”
The SI unit of capacitance is named in his honour: the farad.
Albert Einstein famously kept a picture of Faraday on his study wall, alongside pictures of Isaac Newton and James Clerk Maxwell. Physicist Ernest Rutherford wrote, “When we consider the magnitude and extent of his discoveries and their influence on the progress of science and of industry, there is no honour too great to pay to the memory of Faraday, one of the greatest scientific discoverers of all time.”
In remembrance of his contributions, various institutions have created prizes in his name. This include:
- The IET Faraday Medal
- The Royal Society of London Michael Faraday Prize
- The Institute of Physics Michael Faraday Medal and Prize
- The Royal Society of Chemistry Faraday Lectureship Prize