- , FARADAYMichael Faraday (1791-1867), the son of a blacksmith, had no chance to go to school, for he was born near London into extreme poverty. He was apprenticed to a bookbinder. But Faraday's interests in the physical sciences drove him to high levels; he educated himself by reading and attending lectures. He became a physicist and chemist whose many experiments contributed greatly to the understanding of electromagnetism.Faraday was ingenious. He collected his notes taken from the chemistry lectures of Sir Humphry Davy, added illustrations, bound them, and sent them off to Davy, together with a request to become an assistant. Davy made Faraday, at age 21, his assistant at the Royal Institution. Faraday became one of the immortals of science. He discovered the principle of the electric motor and built a primitive model. Two years later he became the first to liquefy chlorine. His next move—one of his greatest—led him to discover electromagnetic induction, the production of electric current by a change in magnetic intensity. He produced the first stainless steel and discovered benzene and butylene.Faraday was a devoted scientist and a modest man. Although elected to the Royal Institute, he refused its presidency. Previously he had refused to be knighted, just as he had rejected other honors offered him. But he did succeed Davy as director of chemistry at the Royal Institution in London.In addition to the farad, also named for him is the faraday, a quantity of transferred electricity.
Dictionary of eponyms. Morton S. Freeman. 2013.