Volta - Volta History Until the year 1800 most people were...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Volta History Until the year 1800 most people were only generating static electricity for their experiments. They were almost exclusively using devices that would build up charges by friction. To really make electricity useful (and not just something to show off at parties), they needed a way to produce a steady flow of electrons over a long time, not just a quick burst. In the 1780’s the Italian scientist Luigi Galvani was testing the effect of static electricity on organic material. His favorite was to cause a frog leg to contract when it was zapped. He discovered that he could get a similar result without any apparent source of electricity. He passed a brass hook through the frog’s spinal cord and hung it from an iron railing. If the frog’s leg muscle also touched the iron rail the leg would contract! Galvani concluded that the source of the electricity must be in the frog’s muscle itself. He referred to this as “animal electricity” or the “spark of life”. Galvani (along with many other important scientists) believed that electricity could unlock all the secrets of life… maybe even souls! Alessandro Volta disagreed, saying that he believed that the electricity was from the two metals, not the frog. Volta’s problem was that he needed to prove that the electricity had nothing to do with animals or any other living (or once living) tissue. If there was anything organic in his experiment, Galvani would say
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 02/29/2012 for the course PHYS 227 taught by Professor Rabe during the Fall '08 term at Rutgers.

Page1 / 3

Volta - Volta History Until the year 1800 most people were...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online