This led to the invention of the electric generator

July 25 [Thu], 2013, 16:49
The discovery of how to generate electricity through magnetism came relatively late. In 1820, André-Marie Ampère (1775–1836) noticed that wires carrying an electric current were at times attracted to and at other times repelled from one another. In 1831, Michael Faraday (1791–1867) demonstrated how a lithium VGP-BPS20/S copper disc provided a constant flow of electricity while revolving in a strong magnetic field. Faraday, assisting Davy and his research team, succeeded in generating an endless electrical force as long as the movement between a coil and magnet continued.

This led to the invention of the electric generator, and reversing the process enabled the electric motor. Shortly thereafter, transformers were developed that converted alternating current (AC) to any desired voltage. In 1833, Faraday established the foundation of electrochemistry on which Faraday’s law is based. Faraday’s law of induction relates to electromagnetism linked to transformers, inductors, and many types of electrical motors and generators.

Once the relationship with magnetism was understood, large generators began producing a steady flow of electricity. Motors followed that enabled mechanical movement, and the Edison light bulb appeared to conquer darkness. After George Westinghouse lit up Chicago's World Columbian Exposition in 1893, Westinghouse built three large generators to transform energy from the Niagara Falls to electricity. The three-phase AC technology developed by Nikola Tesla enabled transmission lines to carry electric power over great distances. Electricity was thus made widely available to humanity to improve the quality of life.

The success of the electric light led to building three large hydro generators at Niagara Falls.
Courtesy of the Brooklyn Museum Archives. Goodyear Archival Collection
The invention of the electronic vacuum tube in the early 1900s formed the significant next step towards high technology, enabling frequency oscillators, signal amplifications and digital switching.


This led to radio broadcasting in the 1920s and the first digital computer, called ENIAC, in 1946. The discovery of the transistor in 1947 paved the way for the arrival of the integrated circuit 10 years later, and the microprocessor lithium VGP-BPS20A ushered in the Information Age, forever changing the way we live and work.

Humanity depends on electricity, and with increased mobility people have gravitated more and more towards portable power — first for wheeled applications, then portability and finally wearable use. As awkward and unreliable as the early batteries may have been, future generations may look at today’s technologies as nothing more than clumsy experiments.
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