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Discovery of Electricity and the Electromagnetic Force: Its Importance for Environmentalists, Educators, Physicians, Politicians, and Citizens

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Abstract and Figures

The discovery of static electricity in the 18th century and electromagnetism in the 19th was one of the most momentous scientific-technological events in human history. In the 21st century our way of life depends on the electromagnetic force so totally that were our electromagnetic infrastructure to collapse, our civilization would collapse virtually simultaneously. Despite this situation of profound dependency, few citizens understand the electromagnetic force, how it was discovered, how it works, and what wonders of modern life it controls. Nor do citizens understand the roles that Earth’s magnetosphere, ionosphere, and global electric circuit play in making electricity and life possible. Here, I review Earth’s natural electric environment and how electricity first began to be scientifically understood with the innovation of the Leyden jar in the mid-18th century; Franklin’s insights about electricity’s positive and negative poles, and its movement (later named a “current”); Galvani’s discovery of bioelectricity; and Volta’s seminal invention of the bi-metallic electrochemical battery in 1800. Ørsted’s discovery that an electric current affected a magnetized needle, causing it to swivel, in 1820 led to experiments with electromagnets by Schweigger, Arago, Ampère, Sturgeon, Henry, Faraday, and others over the course of the next decade. Observing how conducting wires induced magnetism in iron bars whenever the wires were electrified, Faraday and Henry separately discovered the principle of induction, whereby a moving magnetic field could reciprocally induce electricity in a coiled wire. Out of these momentous discoveries the “magneto-electric” telegraph was invented, and, within a single generation, the world was wired.
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>@A:10.14738/assrj.712.9532.!
Baldwin, I. (2020). Discov ery of Electricity and the Electromagneti c Force: Its Importance for Environmentalists, Educators, Physi cians,
Politicians, and Ci tizens. Advances in Social Sciences Research Journal, 7(12) 362-383.
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a'BL,/"(:! Electromagnetism;! Animal! magnetism;! Leyden! jar;! Battery;!
Voltaic!Pile;!Magnetic!field;!Induction,!Telegraph.!
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A8N.@>bINA@8)
Electromagnetic!energy!not!only!surrounds!us!but!is!constantly!at!work!at!the!most!minute!levels!
of!our!physical!selves.!As!a!large!and!growing!scientific!literature!attests,!every!one!of!our!cells!is!
electrically! sensitive! [1].! Yet! most! of! us! are! unaware! of! this! all-pervasive! invisible! energy! that!
orchestrates!life’s!most!fundamental!rhythms.!Some,!on!the!order!of!30!percent!of!us,!are!“weather'
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Baldwin, I. (2020). Discov ery of El ectricity and the Electromagnetic F orce: It s Importance for E nvironme ntalists, Educators, Physicians, Politicians, and
Citizens. Advances in Social Sciences Research Journal, 7(12) 362-383.
sensitive.”!Such!individuals!react!to!electrical!changes!in!the!atmosphere!that!travel!much!faster!than!
the! wind! that! carries! the! weather,! arriving! hours! or! even! days! before! the! weather! itself! finally!
arrives.!Another!five!to!ten!percent!of!us!are!electromagnetically!sensitive!enough!to!be!aware,!often!
uncomfortably!and!even!painfully!aware,!when!artificial!electromagnetic!disturbances!are!suddenly!
introduced!into!the!environment![2].!
!!
Earth! is! a! giant! magnet! whose! immense! force! linesits! magnetic! “field”—deflect!the! ionizing!
particles! that! arrive! without! cease! from! deep! space! and! most! especially! from! the! sun.! Earth’s!
magnetosphere!forms!a!vast!cocoon!that!shields!life!forms!from!these!high-energy!particles.!Some!
of!the!particles!have!enough!energy!to!penetrate!the!outer! limits! of!the! magnetosphere,! both! its!
frontal,! sun-facing! magnetosheath! and! behind! that,! the! magnetopause.! Particles! that! manage! to!
penetrate!these!barriers!are!then!captured!by!the!outer!and!inner!Van!Allen!radiation!belts!(named!
after!the!scientist!who!discovered!them!in!1958,!at!the!dawn!of!the!Space!Age).!The!outer!Van!Allen!
belt!extends!some!64,400!km!(40,000!mi)! from! Earth’s!surface,! while!the!inner!begins!about!966!
km!(600!mi)!from!its!surface.!In!fact,!there!is!no!clear!gap!between!the!inner!and!outer!belts,!which!
trap!the!highly!energized!particles!and!send!them,!spiraling!back!and!forth!between!the!north!and!
south! poles,! along! Earth’s! magnetic! field! lines.!As!Earth! rotates! on! its! axis,! its! magnetosphere!
remains!stationary,!its!compressed,!or!bow!side!facing!the!onslaught!of!the!sun’s!powerful!“winds,”!
while! the! opposite,! nocturnal! side! stretches! from! Earth! for! millions! of! miles! into! space! (the!
magnetotail).!!
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The! constantly! changing! amplitude! of! Earth’s! magnetic! field,! its! night-and-day! rhythm,! informs!
fundamental!biological!rhythms,!including!the!human!circadian!rhythm.!!
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Advances!in!Social!Sciences!Research!Journal!(ASSRJ)!
Some!particles!not!captured!by!the!two!shielding!Van!Allen!belts!rain!into!an!almost!1000-km-deep!
atmospheric!reservoir! called!the! ionosphere.!The!ionosphere! begins!approximately!60! km! above!
Earth’s!surface!and!terminates!roughly!at!1,000!km!altitude,!near!the!base!of!the!inner!Van!Allen!
belts.!It!is!not!only!a!protective!zone!but!a!constantly!replenished!source!of!the!electric!energy!that!
animates!life!on!Earth.!!
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The!multi-leveled!layer! between!the! bottom! portion! of!the!ionosphere! and!Earth’s!surface!forms!
what!atmospheric!physicists!call!the!global!electric!circuit,!or!an!“electric'envelope,”!a!roughly!90-
km-deep!aerial!wilderness!that!wraps!itself!around!our!planet.!It!is!the!layered!nest!in!which!all!life!
has!evolved!for!billions!of!years.!Relatively!small!amounts!of!cosmic,!solar,!and!Earth!radiation!fill!
this! reservoir! with! the! polarized! static! electricity! essential! to! life.! The! atmospheric! layers! are!
illustrated!in!Figure!2,!with!dimensional!ranges!shown!in!Table!1.!
!
N$<-')95)>*E'%(*,%$-).$%F'(),C)!=E,(H0'/*&).'F*,%(5)
>*E'%(*,%$-).$%F')
600-10,000!km!(372-6,200!mi)!
85-600!km!(53-372!mi)!
50-85!km!(31-53!mi)!
14.5-50!km!(9-31!mi)!
0-14.5!km!(0-9!mi)!
48-965!km!(30-600!mi)!
0-85!km!(0-55!mi)!
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'-'&=/*&)&*/&2*=),/)Y'-'&=/*&)'%#'-,H'7Z)(0,L%)*%)/'"5)
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Baldwin, I. (2020). Discov ery of El ectricity and the Electromagnetic F orce: It s Importance for E nvironme ntalists, Educators, Physicians, Politicians, and
Citizens. Advances in Social Sciences Research Journal, 7(12) 362-383.
“The'most'spectacular'reminder'that'electricity'is'always'playing'around'and'through'
us' is…of' course,' lightning.' Electricity' courses' through' th e' sky' far' above' us,' explodes'
downward'in'thunderstorms,'rushes'through'the'ground' beneath'us,' and'flows'gently'
back'up'through'the'air'in'fair'weather,”''
forming!the!global!electric!circuit![3].!Some!two!thousand!thunderstorms!continuously!play!across!
Earth’s!surface,!and!every!second!more!than!a!hundred!bolts!of!lightning,!each!delivering!a!trillion!
watts!of!energy,!ceaselessly!discharging!the!build-up!of!excess!electric!potential!in!the!ionosphere!
somewhere!on!Earth,!as! the!flow!of! ions! from!the!solar!wind!and! deep!space!keeps!pouring!in,!
recharging!the!circuit.!!
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\U@K!U)DUDIN.AI)IA.IbAN)
All! organisms!are! part!of! Earth’s! immense! global!circuit.!“Each! of!us!generates! our! own!electric!
fields,!which!keep!us!vertically!polarized!like!the!atmosphere,!with!our!feet!and!hands!negative!with!
respect!to!our!spine!and!head.!Our!negative!feet!walk!on!the!negative!ground,!as!our!positive!heads!
point!toward!the!positive!sky.!The!complex!electric!circuits!that!course!gently”—meaning!in!a!very!
low!frequency!range—“through!our!bodies!are!completed!by!ground!and!sky,”!in!a!continuous!life-
endowing!flow![4].!
!
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F-,<$-)'-'&=/*&)&*/&2*=5)+@b.ID?)T$%"Q"/$L%)<B)!/=02/)G*/(='%<'/F7)The$Invisible$Rainbow.$
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The! electric! envelope! forms! “a! resonant! cavity”! where! ceaseless! “lightning! sets! the! biosphere!
ringing!at!the!particularly!low!frequency!tones”!called!the!Schumann!resonances.!In!the!early!1950s!
the!German!physicist!Winfried!O!Schumann!predicted!and!then!developed!the!first!measurements!
of!the!frequencies!caused!by!Earth’s!constant!lightning!discharges,!occurring!at!3!to!60!Hertz!(Hz)!
in!a!sequence!of!tonal!peaks.!Later,!scientists!speculated!that!these!Schumann!“resonance!signals”!
may!“act!like!a!tuning!fork!not!just!for!the!biological!oscillators!of!the!brain!but!for!all!processes!of!
life,”![5]!including!at!the!level!of!DNA!processes![6].!
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We! all! live! attuned! to! these! very! low! spectrum! frequencies.! In! a! state! of! “awake! relaxation,! our!
brains!tune!into!these!precise!frequencies,”!alpha!and!theta,!that!“pulsate,!so!far!as!is!known,!in!all!
animals”! [7].! Earth’s! natural! electromagnetic! fieldits! “heartbeat”! or! “background”! base!
frequency—surrounds!all!life!with!a!very!low!protective!frequency!of!on!average!7.83!Hz.!!
!!
Hertz!is!a!measure!of!the!number!of!oscillations!of!a!wave!per!second:!Schumann!resonances!for!the!
most!part!vary!from!3!to!45!Hz,!in!the!very!low!range.!Cells!respond!to!electromagnetic!frequencies!
between!3! and!25! Hz.!“Research!has! shown!that! the!Schumann!resonances!can! modulate!human!
health! indicators! such! as! blood! pressure,! cardiac! and! neurological! disease,! reaction! time,!
neuroendocrine!sensitivities,”!and!can!also!be!used!to!induce!violence![8].!
!!
In!addition!to!these!very!low!frequencies!that!“speak!to!our!brains”!and!span!the!lower!end!of!our!
auditory!range,! lightning!also! generates! a!steady! symphony!of!higher! frequencies”!in!the! 200!to!
30,000!Hz!(30!kHz)!portion!of!the!spectrum!within!which!our!hearing!range!is!located!and!which!
includes!“the!frequencies!of!the!impulses!that!our!brains!send!to!our!muscles”![9].!All!these!high!
frequencies,!nonetheless,!belong!to!the!very!low!frequency!end!of!the!radio!spectrum.!
!
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The! human! brain! and! the! atmosphere! are! thus! tuned! to! each! other,! having! evolved! in!
electromagnetic! synch! for!a!very!long!time.!And!life!generally!has!evolved!tuned!to!and!by!these!
permanently!ringing!very!low!(VLF)!Schumann!frequencies.!!
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Baldwin, I. (2020). Discov ery of El ectricity and the Electromagnetic F orce: It s Importance for E nvironme ntalists, Educators, Physicians, Politicians, and
Citizens. Advances in Social Sciences Research Journal, 7(12) 362-383.
By!1960!the!first!detailed!map!of!an!animal’s!polarity!or!“charge!distribution”!had!been!made!by!the!
pioneering!orthopedic!surgeon,!Robert!O!Becker.!Four! years!earlier,!in! 1956! at! the!dawn!of!the!
Space!Age,!two! zoologists!experimenting!on!crayfish!were!astonished!to!discover!that!extremely!
small!currents!“could!cause!an!already!firing!nerve!to!alter!its!firing!rate.”!In!fact,!an!incredibly!small!
current!“of!only!36!billionths!of!an!ampere!was!enough!to!increase!or!decrease”!the!nerve’s!firing!
rate!by!5!to!10!percent.!A!miniscule!“current!of!150!billionths!of!an!ampere!would…double!the!rate!
of! firing,! or! silence! the! nerve! altogether,”! depending! on! the! direction! in! which! the! current! was!
applied!to!the!nerve![10].!
!!
The!two! zoologists’!momentous!discovery!was!ignored.!It! is! still! being! igno red,! well! over! a! half!
century!later.!According!to!Firstenberg,!such!a!miniscule!current!is!thousands'of'times'less!than!what!
today’s!developers!of!modern!telecommunications!safety!codes!believe!is!the!minimum!possible!to!
have!any!biological!effect![11].!
!!
Since! birth! of! the! telegraph! in! the! middle! of! the! 19th! century,! we! have! lived! in! an! invisible,!
seemingly! immaterial! substancean! anthropogenic! electromagnetic! cloudwhose! dimensions,!
complexity,! and! scope! we! keep! expanding,! all! the! while! refusing! to! look! at! its! possible!
environmental,! medical,! and! mental! effects.! During! those! decades,! spanning! the! lives! of! seven!
generations,!from!our! great,!great!grandparents!to!our!grandchildren,!the!diseases!of!civilization!
have! sprouted,! culminating! most! recently! in! a! pandemic! whose! origins! and! behavior! seem! to!
completely!befuddle!us.!
!!
We!have!lived!so!long!under!this!invisible!radiative!cloud!we!no!longer!appreciate!how!it!grew!and!
grew,!spectacularly!and!without!letup,!to!the!point!where!it!now!comprehensively!governs!every!
moment!of!our!lives.!How!did!this!come!to!pass?!
!
>A+I@4D.f)@G)NTD)DUDIN.AI)G@.ID)
In!1746! two! scientists! working! in! a! laboratory! in! Leyden,! Holland,! made! “an' experiment' that'
changed'the'world'forever”![12].!To!a!horizontal!metal!bar,!the!“prime'conductor,”!one!end!of!which!
nearly!touched!a!friction!machine’s!large!spinning!ball!charged!with!static!electricity,!they!added!at!
its! opposite! end! a! sturdy! wire! that! went! into! a! glass! jar! of! water,! hoping! to! discover! that! the!
mysterious!“fluid”—visible!as!sparks!that!leapt!from!the!spinning!orb!onto!the!metal!conductor
could!be! captured”!as!it!coursed!along!the!prime!conductor!and,!via!the!attached!wire,!into!the!
bottled!water,!to!be!stored!there!for!future!use.!!
!
The!experiment!was!a!huge!success.!Within!a!year,!in!various!laboratories!all!over!Europe,!“Leyden'
jars”!were!devised!using!metal!foil!on!the!inside!and!on!the!outside,!each!storing!equal!but!opposite!
static!electric!charges,!that!did!away!with!the!need!to! use!water.!The!Leyden!jar!was!the!world’s!
first!prototype!electrical!capacitor,!able!to!store!a!limited!quantity!of!electricity!for!limited!use.!
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Ben! Franklin! conducted! experiments! in! 1747! and! 1748! that! “showed' electricity' consisted' of' a'
‘common'element’'which'he'named'‘electric'fire,’”!in!effect,!a!“‘fluid’'like'a'liquid”!that!passed'from'
one' body' to' another”!and! was! never' destroyed,”! but! “only' circu lates’”! [13].! Franklin’s! use! of! the!
words!“electric'fire”!was!no! accident,!as!he!had!experienced!electric!shock!during!one!of!his!early!
experiments:!“‘…a'universal'blow'throughout'my'whole'body'from'head'to'foot,'which'seemed'within'
as'well'as'without;'after'which'the'first'thing'I'took'notice'of'was'a'violent'quick'shaking'of'my'body,’”!
followed!by!a!numbness!in!his!arms!and!the!back!of!his!neck!that!gradually!wore!off![14].!!
!
In!explaining!his!“single'fluid”!theory,!Franklin!maintained!electricity!flowed!from'a'positive'body,'
that' with' an' excess' charge,' to' a' negative' body,' that' with' a' negative' charge,”! a! concept! and!
nomenclature!that!has!endured!ever!since![15].!His!experiments!further!convinced!him!the!Leyden!
jar’s!glass!insulator,!or!dielectric,!was!the!element!that!actually!stored!the!charge:!“The'whole'force'
of'the'bottle,'and'the'power'of'giving'a'shock,'is'in'the'glass'itself,”!Franklin!wrote!in!1749![16].!!
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Citizens. Advances in Social Sciences Research Journal, 7(12) 362-383.
Almost!immediately!after!the!two!Dutch!scientists!discovered!the!magical!fluid!could!be!stored,!an!
intense,! universal! craze,! a! kind! of! “electromania,”! seized! Europe! and! made! the! Leyden! jar! an!
overnight! sensation:! “…everywhere! you! went!people! would! ask! you! if! you! had! experienced! its!
effects….Like!a!child!prodigy!making!his!debut,!electricity!had!arrived,!and!the!whole!Western!world!
turned!out!to!hear!his!performance”![17].!
!
Though! of! limited! practical! utility! because! they! had! to! be! recharged! with! cumbersome! friction!
machines!every!time!they!were!used,!the!Leyden!jars!were!nonetheless!employed!not!merely!to!
titillate!salon! audiences!but! to!provide! the!world’s! first! shock!treatments! for!medical! purposes.!
(Often!these!had!healing!benefits;!often!they!did!not.)!Tens!of!thousands!of!volts!of!static!electricity!
could!be!stored!in!the!jars!and!the!maestros!of!the!magical!fluid!delivered!shocks!“that'could'take'
away'your'breath,' boil'your'blood,' [and]' paralyze'you.”! No!matter:! eager' men' and'women'by' the'
thousands,'all'over'Europe,'lined'up'to'give'themselves'the'pleasure'of'electricity”![18].!!
!
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G*F2/')i5)D%F/$#*%F)&5)96g]7)1j/F'%)N'*&0E$%%7)From$Bernstein$to$the$Electron7)\'/E$%)M2('2E),C)
M$(='/H*'&'(),C)+&*'%&')$%")N'&0%,-,FB7)M2%*&0.)
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The!romance!with!electricity!had!begun.!Sober!scientific!warnings!of!its!dangers!did!not!dampen!
the!public’s!infatuation!then!any!more!than!it!does!today,!early!in!the!21st!century,!when!the!latest!
miracle!of!cellular!technology!is!unpacked!for!yet!another!triumphant!improvement!in!how!we!live.!
!
!8AM!U)DUDIN.AIANf)!8>)NTD)KAQMDN!UUAI)K!NND.f)
Toward!the!end!of!the!18th!century,!however,!the!genie!was!still!bottled!up.!It!required!an!intense!
scientific!debate!over!the!meaning!of!a!scientific!discovery,!involving!the!behavior!of!frogs’!legs,!to!
set!it!free.!
!
The!debate!was!between!two!experimental!scientists,!a!physician!and!a!physicist.!Italian!physician!
and! anatomist! Luigi! Galvani’s! experiments! on! the! behavior! of! frogs’! nerve!and! leg! muscles!
stimulated!by!electric!currentvariously! generated! by! Leyden! j ars,! lightning! storms,! and! metal !
objectsled! him! to! conclude! that! the! animal’s! leg! (its! muscle! and! nerve)! “probably! bears! two!
opposite!surfaces,!internal!and! external,!corresponding!to! the! internal!and!external!plate!of! the!
Leyden!jar.”!Galvani!discovered!that!the!static!electricity!provided!by!the!Leyden!jar!or!by!nearby!
lightning!storms!was!not!necessary!to!catalyze!the!frog!leg’s!sudden!extensions!and!contractions.!It!
was! “enough! to! connect! leg! nerves! and! muscles! through! metallic! conductors,! thus! realizing!
[completing]!a!circuit!similar!to!that!which!develops!in!a!Leyden!jar”![19].!!!
!
Galvani!believed!he!had!proven!“that!the!nervous!principle!was!electrical,”!that!he!had!discovered!
the!“long-sought!for!‘vital!force’…the!most!controversial!subject!of!the!time”![20].!He!named!the!
phenomenon!he!had!meticulously!observed!over!several!years!“animal!electricity”!and!published!
his!experimental!results!in!1791,!simultaneously!sending!his! paper!to! the! soon-to-be! renowned !
Italian!physicist!Alessandro!Volta.!!
!
Volta! replicated! Galvani’s! experiments! and! decided! the! source! of! the! visible! results! caused! by!
electricity!was!not!in!the!animal!but!in!the!differing!metals!that!touched!it,!such!as!an!iron!scalpel!
or!a!brass!hook!from!which!it!was!sometimes!suspended!or!the!metal!plate!on!which!it!sometimes!
lay.!Volta!believed!“that!the!unusual!electrical!behavior!observed!by!Galvani!involved!two!different!
types!of!metals,”!and! that!the!animal!tissue! was!irrelevant:!“any! moist!material! between!the! two!
metals!would!produce!electricity”![21].!
!
In! 1793! Volta! published! his! theory! of! bi-metallic! electricity! in! the! Royal! Society’s!Philosophical!
Transactions,! “setting! in! motion! both! a! major! advance…as! well!as! a! particularly! strident!
controversy!that!was!to!occupy!the!life!sciences”!throughout!the!following!centuries!(even!to!the!
present!moment).!He!left!no!doubt!there!“was!no! electricity!in!living!thingsGalvani!had!simply!
misinterpreted! his! findings”! [22].!Galvani! then! conducted! an! experiment! that! demonstrated!his!
animal!electricity!without!the!intervention!of!metal,!showing!that!when!a!nerve!section!of!a!frog’s!
leg! muscle! touched! the! outside! surface! of! the! muscle,! it! contracted.! Chary! of! controversy,! he!
published!his!result!anonymously!in!1794.!When!Volta!and!others!discounted!this!finding,!Galvani!
followed! the! experim ent! with! another! in! 1797,! the! year! before! he! died,! s howing! that! when! the!
nerves!of!a!frog’s!two!legs!made!contact,!both!legs!contracted.!(Figure!7)!
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Citizens. Advances in Social Sciences Research Journal, 7(12) 362-383.
!
G*F2/')65)\$-#$%*S()96P6)'_H'/*E'%=5)h0'%)=0')(2/C$&'),C)$)('&=*,%),C)=0')/*F0=)(&*$=*&)%'/#')=,2&0'()
=0')*%=$&=)(2/C$&'),C)=0')-'C=)(&*$=*&)%'/#'7)<,=0)-'F()&,%=/$&=5)+@b.ID?)M$/&,);*&&,-*%,)k9Pl5)
)
This!experiment,!considered!foundational!for! the!future!discipline!of!electrophysiology,! was! also!
“passed!by,!practically!unnoticed!by!the!scientific!community”![23].!Though!decades!later!his!work!
would!be!validated,!Galvani!died!a!disappointed!man.!
!
Meantime,! Volta! was! continuously! experimenting! with! various! metals! for! his! electric! “pile,”!
measuring!and!ranking!each!metal’s!conducting!potential.!Alternating!discs!of! dissimilar!metals,!
each!pair! separated!by! a! dielectric!plate!such!as!cardboard,!were!themselves!separated!by!brine-
soaked!cloth!(the!electrolyte)!and!stacked!one!on!top!of!the!other.!When!Volta!connected!a!wire!to!
each! end! of! his! “pile,”! one! electrode! positive,! the! other! negative,! an! electric! current! flowed!
continuously.!By!simply!disconnecting!the!wire!at!one!or!the!other!end!of!the!stack,!he!halted!the!
flow!of!electricity.!!
!
Volta’s!electricity!appeared!to!be!of!a!new!kind,!one!that!produced!a!steady,!reliable!current!that!
“rushed!forward!like!water!in!a!river!so!that!it!was!called!an!electric!current.”!And!it!was!storable,!
portable,!and!reusable![24].!
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G*F2/')O5)+&0'E$=*&)"/$L*%F),C)4,-=$S()YPile5Z)Cuivre)E'$%()&,HH'/W)rondelle7)(-*&'),/)*%(-2$=,/5)
+@b.ID?)h*R*H'"*$5)
!
In!1800,!Volta!submitted!his!findings!to!the!Royal!Society’s!Proceedings.!The!impact!of!his!article!
was!immediate.!Within!a!year!he!was!called!to!demonstrate!his!invention!to!Napoleon!and!his!court,!
gaining!a!life!pension!and!the!title!of!count!for!his!trouble.!Voltaic!pilesthe!world’s!first!batteries
were!immediately!built!and!put!to!experimental!use!in!laboratories!all!over!Europe!and!America.!!
!
Volta’s! invention! utterly! eclipsed! Galvani’s! discovery! of! bioelectricity.! Life! and! electricity! were!
henceforth! considered! separate! phenomena.! Indeed,! ordinary! people! “even! forgot,”!unlike! their!
18th! century! forbears,! “to! wonder! what! the! nature! of! electricity! was,”! and! the! buildout! of! an!
electrical! civilization! proceeded! “without! [anyone]! noticing,! or! thinking! about,! its! [biological]!
consequences”![25].!In!hindsight!we!could!ask,!was!Volta’s!victory!a!Pyrrhic!one?!(The!question!is!
of!course!moot.)!
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Citizens. Advances in Social Sciences Research Journal, 7(12) 362-383.
>A+I@4D.f)@G)NTD)DUDIN.@M!\8DNAI)G@.ID)
Over! the! ensuing! decades! Volta’s! battery! was! constantly! improved,! as! was! the! scientific!
understanding!of!electricity,!with!such!basic!properties!as!charge!(coulombs),!electric!potential!or!
voltage!(volts),!current!or!amperage!(amps),!resistance!(ohms),!and!power!(watts)!rigorously!stated!
in!the!form!of!mathematical-scientific!laws.!!
!
The!next!major!turning!point!in!the!scientific!understanding!of!electricity!arrived!by!chance!in!April!
1820.!A!Danish!physicist,!Hans!Christian!Ørsted,!was!preparing!a!lecture!on!Voltaic!electricity!when!
he!noticed!that!whenever!he!completed!an!electric!circuit!in!a!wire!conductor,!a!nearby!compass!
needle!instantly!and!briefly!deflected!from!its!at-rest!position!pointing!to!magnetic!north,!and!when!
he!switched!the!current!off,!it!again!deflected,!but!in!the!opposite!direction.!Ørsted!had!accidentally!
confirmed! electricity! and! magnetism! were! somehow! related,! despite! the! widespread! belief! they!
were! separate! phenomena.! After! further! experimentation,! he! showed! that! the! magnetic! field!
produced!by!a!moving!electric!current!circled!around!the!wire!carrying!the!current.!In!July!1820!he!
published!his!revolutionary!finding.!!
!
On!reading!Ørsted’s!paper!a! German! chemist,! Johann! Schweigger,!discovered!that! a!coiled!wire!
surrounding!a!compass!needle!(which!was!in!effect!a!small!magnet)!caused!the!needle!to!deflect!
whenever!the!coil’s!circuit!was!closed!(turned!on)!or!opened!(shut!off).!And!the!more!turns!in!the!
coil,!the!greater!the!deflection.!In!September!1820!he!presented!his!discovery!of!the!“multiplier,”!so!
named! because! each! additional! coil! multiplied! the! effect! of! an! electric! current! on! a!magnetized!
needle.!!
!
Scientists! all! over! Europe! made! double! haste! to! understand! the! new! “electro-magnetic”! force.!
Meantime! Schweigger’s! multiplier! could! also! be! used! to! detect! electric! currents,! the! sensitive!
magnetic!needle!deflecting!whenever!the!weakest!current!coursed!through!the!little!wire!cage!(the'
multiplier)! surrounding! it.! It! enabled!researchers! to! measure! current! and! conduct! scientifically!
meaningful! experiments.! The! prototype! galvanometer! (so! named! in! honor! of! Galvani)! was!
immediately! adopted! and! continuously! improved! on! throughout! most! of! the! remainder! of! the!
century.!
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G*F2/')P5))+&0'E$=*&)"/$L*%F),C)$)F$-#$%,E'='/7)<$('"),%)+&0L'*FF'/S()"'(*F%5)I)*%"*&$='()=0')C-,L)
,C)&2//'%=)C/,E)$)<$=='/B)X%,=)H*&=2/'"[)$%")B1)*%"*&$='()=0')"'C-'&=*,%),C)=0')%''"-')L*=0*%)=0')
E$F%'=*&)C*'-"5)+@b.ID?)\-'%%)+)+E*=0)kcOl5)
!
Ørsted’s!paper!also!inspired!a!brilliant!young!French!mathematician,!André-Marie!Ampère,!to!set!
up! his! own! experiments.! Observing! a! demonstration!of! Ørsted’s! discovery,! Ampère! suspected!
magnetism! was! an! inherent! property! of! an! electric! currant.! If! so,! a! magnet! was!not! needed! for!
experimental! proofs.! In! September! 1820,! Ampère! showed! that! two! parallel! electrified! metal!
conductors!were!attracted!when!their!currents!flowed!in!the!same!direction!and!repelled!when!they!
flowed! in! opposite! directions.! No! magnetic! needle! was! needed! to! prove! that! a! moving! electric!
current! was! an! inherently! electromagnetic! phenomenon! or! force.! Magnetism! was,! in! effect,! a!
fundamental!property!of!a!current!of!electricity!in!motion!(as!opposed!to!static!electricity).!
!
During! this! time! Ampère’s! colleague! François! Arago! demonstrated! that! a! coiled! electric! wire!
attracted!metal!filings!when!electrified!and!dropped!them!as!soon!as!the!coil’s!circuit!was!broken.!
By!putting!an!iron!bar!inside!a!wire!coil!and!electrifying!the!coil!Arago!discovered!that!the!bar!would!
be! temporar ily! magnetized,! as ! Schweigger! had! sh own,! and! that! an! electr ic! current! produ ced! “a'
cylinder'of'magnetism'around' the' [conducting]'wire”![26].!Ampère!had!meanwhile!demonstrated!
that!the!greater!the!intensity!of!the!electric!current,!the!greater!the!magnetic!force,!and!that!their!
relationship!could!be!stated!mathematically.!!
!
Ampère! also! theorized! an! “‘electrodynamic' molecule’' (the' forerunner' of' the' idea' of' the' electron)'
served'as'the'constituent'element'of'electricity'and'magnetism”![27].!Ampère!believed!all!atoms!(a!
purely! hypothetical! concept! in! the! 1820s)! possessed! electromagnetism,! and! thus! all! matter!
(including! life! itself)! was! inherently! electromagnetic,! a! belief! shared! by! his! English! scientific!
correspondent,!Michael!Faraday.!
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Citizens. Advances in Social Sciences Research Journal, 7(12) 362-383.
Like! Ampère! and! Arago,! Faraday! too! was! immediately! inspired! by! Ørsted’s! discovery.! Within!
months! he! had! set! up! an! experimental! demonstration! of! electromagnetic! rotary! motion! by!
suspending!a!freely!moving!wire!in!a!container!of!conductive!mercury!surrounding!a!bar!magnet.!
He!then!electrified!the!wire!and!thereby!created'a'magnetic'field'around'it,'which'interacted'with'
the'field'of'the'magnet,'pushing'the'wire'around'[the'magnet]'in'a'circular'motion”!for!as!long!as!he!
maintained! the! wire’s! circuit.! Faraday’s! was! the! first! of! many! lab! demonstrations! and! working!
prototypes!of! the! electric!motor,! all!of! which!were!decades! in!advance! of! practical,!commercial!
motors.!!
!
His!discovery!of!what!he!called!“electromagnetic'rotation”!through!the!interaction!of!a!magnet!and!
a! current! in! a! conductor! “so' excited' Faraday' that' he' spent' the' next' decade,' on' and' off,' trying' to'
understand' the' physics' behind' electromagnetism,”! [28]! even! as! he! worked! on! other! pressing!
scientific! and! technical! problems! assigned! him! in! his! role! as! the! superintendent! of! the! Royal!
Institution!of!London’s!research!laboratory.!!
!
In! 1824! an! English! inventor,! William! Sturgeon,! decided! to! create! a! practical! device! that! would!
enable! the! newly! discovered! electromagnetic! force! to! perform! work.! He! wound! a! coil! of! wire,!
insulated!with!varnish,!loosely!around!an!unmagnetized!iron!horseshoe!and!made!a!closed!circuit!
in!the!wire,!temporarily!magnetizing!the!iron!(as!Schweigger!and!Arago!had!shown).!By!switching!
the!current!off!the!magnetic!force!was!simultaneously!shut!off.!Switching!it!on!caused!“the'ordinary'
iron”!to!mysteriously!“come'alive…as'if'an'invisible'force'were'jumping'from'the'wire'into'the'iron,”!
[29]!enabling!his! seven-ounce!electromagnet!to! lift!a!nine-pound! weight,! using!the! current! of!a!
single-cell!battery.!Sturgeon!found!he!could!regulate!the!magnet’s!power!by!adjusting!the!current’s!
strength,!exactly!as!Ampère!had!suggested.!
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G*F2/')9]5)+=2/F',%S()0,/('(0,')E$F%'=5)m)*()&,%"2&=*#')E'/&2/B)*%)&2H(7)")=0')(L*=&07)I)=0')
&2//'%=5)K$=='/B)%,=)(0,L%5)+@b.ID?)h*R*H'"*$5)
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Citizens. Advances in Social Sciences Research Journal, 7(12) 362-383.
A! young! American! physicist,! Joseph! Henry,! learned! of! Sturgeon’s! electromagnet! in! 1827.! The!
following! year! he! combined! “Schweigger’s' multiplier' with' Sturgeon’s' electromagnet”! and! tightly!
wound! a! horseshoe-shaped! iron! bar! with! several! layers! of! insulated! wire.! In! 1829! he! publicly!
demonstrated'an'electromagnet'with'400'turns,'or'about'35'feet,'of'insulated'wire,”!making!a!magnet!
that!“possessed'power'superior'to'that'of'any'before'known”![30].!!
!
Although! Henry’s! magnets! were! capable! of! lifting! hundreds! and! later! thousands! of! pounds,! he!
discovered!that!beyond!a! certain!number!of! turns! of! wire!magnetic!power! dropped!off.!(Ohm’s!
theory! of! resistance,! published! in! Germany! in! 1827,! was! unknown! to! most! English-speaking!
scientists!until!his!book!about!it!was!translated!fourteen!years!later.)!!
!
The! problem! of! electromagnetic! energy! loss! over! distance! had! been! predicted! in! 1824! by! the!
English! mathematician! and! physicist! Peter! Barlow,! who! like! many! scientists! of! the! time! was!
intrigued! by! the! prospect! of! electromagnetic! communication,! but! had! “‘found' such' a' sensible'
diminution’'of'the'needle’s'deflection'through'only'200'feet'of'wire,!as'at'once'to'convince'me'of'the'
impracticability'of'the'scheme’”![31].! In! other!words,! after!travelling!200! feet,!an! electromagnetic!
circuit!lost!its!power!to!deflect!a!galvanometer!needle—to!do!work.!
!
Intrigued!by!this!difficulty,!between!1828!and!1830!Henry!conducted!numerous!experiments!that!
demonstrated!the! effects!of!two!different!types! of! electromagnets!used! in!co mbinat ion! wi th! two!
different!types!of!battery!that!he!called!“quantity”!and!intensity”!by!virtue!of!their!differing!abilities!
to! lift! weight! (“quantity”)! with! a! large! low-voltage,! high-current! battery,! or! to! transmit!
electromagnetic!energy!over!long!distances!(“intensity”)!with!a!series!of!low-current!batteries!that!
generated!the!requisite!high!voltages!to!push”!the!current!over!long!distances.!Henry’s!results!were!
in! his! own! words,! “directly' applicable' to' Mr.' Barlow’s' project' of' forming' an' electro-magnetic'
telegraph”![32].!He!published!his!findings!in!January!1831.!They!were!to!prove!revolutionary!for!
the!development!of!the!long-distance!electric!telegraph,!which!despite!decades!of!experimentation,!
had!never!left!inventors'!workshops!and!laboratories.!
!
A8>bINA@8)
In!December! 1831,! the!prodigious! experimentalist! Michael! Faraday!read! the!first! of!what! would!
become! a!long!series! of!papers! to! a!Royal!Institution! audience.! He!reported! on!his!experiments,!
conducted! during! the! prior! summer! and! early! fall,! which! showed! magnetism! induced! electric!
current!in!a!conducting!wire.!His!historic!paper!was!published!later,!in!April!1832.!Many!scientists,!
including!Ampère!and!Ørsted,!were!convinced!that!if!an!electric!current!possessed!magnetism!as!an!
inherent! property,! magnetism' should' as' well' possess' an!electric' force.! But! the! indissoluble!
connection!between!electricity!and!magnetism!had!eluded!scientists.!For!ten!years!no!one!had!been!
able!to!prove!it.!
!
In' his' talk' that' December,' Faraday' provided' the' first' experimental' proofs' that'
“induction”'was'possible.'In'one'of'his'early'experiments'he'wound'a'carefully'insulated'
wire'tightly'around'one'side'of'an'unmagnetized'iron'ring'and'connected'both'its'ends'
to'a'battery;'on'the'opposite'side'of'the'ring'he'did'the'same'thing,'connecting'its'wires'
to'a'galvanometer.'The'two'coils'were'carefully'separated'on'the'ring.'When'the'battery-
connected'coil’s'circuit'was'made'on'its'side'of'the'iron'ring,'the'iron'was'magnetized'
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and' induced' a' current' in' the' coiled' wire' on' the' opposite' side,' registered' by' the'
galvanometer' needle’s' immediate' deflection.' In' Faraday’s' words,' “the' impulse' at' the'
galvanometer,' when' contact' was' completed' or' broken,' was' so' great' as' to' make' the'
needle'spin' round' rapidly'four'or'five'times' before'the' air'and' terrestrial' magnetism'
could'reduce'its'motion'to'mere'oscillations”'[33].'
!
!
G*F2/')995)N0')'%"(),C)=0')L*/')&,*-),%)=0')-'C=)L'/')&,%%'&='")=,)$)<$=='/BW)=0,('),%)=0')/*F0=7)=,)$)
F$-#$%,E'='/5)N0')=L,)&,*-()L'/')('H$/$='"),%)=0')*/,%)/*%F5)+@b.ID?)h*R*H'"*$5)
!
Joseph! Henry! independently! discovered! induction! and! shares! the! honor! of! its! discovery! with!
Faraday.!Henry!published!his!experimental!results!later!in!1832,!after!Faraday.!
!
In!his!1831!experiments!proving!induction,!Faraday!discovered!that!in!addition!to!electric!current!
and! magnetism,! motion! was! a! third! factor! that! influenced! the! generation! of! a! continuous!
electromagnetic!current.!In!another!of!his!induction!experiments,!he!attached!the!ends!of!a!wire!coil!
to!a!galvanometer!and!then!plunged!a!bar!magnet!into!the!coil.!Each!time!he!moved!the!magnet!in!
or!pulled!it!out!of!the!wire!coil,!the!galvanometer!registered!a!current!first!in!one!direction!and!then!
the! other.! “Then,' by' constantly' moving' the' bar' magnet' in' and' out' of' the' coil' he' could' make' the'
galvanometer'needle'vibrate'from'side'to'side'in'phase'with'the'motion'of'the'magnet”![34].!Increased!
velocity! of! th e! magnet’s! motions! in! and! out! of! the! co il! induced! an! increased! voltag e! in! the! coil ,!
measured!by!the!spin!of!the!galvanometer’s!needle.!But!if!neither!the!coil!nor!the!magnet!was!moved!
in! relation! to! one! another,! no! current! registered.! Relative! motion! was! necessary! to! induce! a!
persistent!current.!
“Something'was'traveling'from'the'magnet'into'the'wire.”'With'this'experiment'Faraday'
showed'“that'electricity' wasn’t'some'hissing' liquid' that'could'only' be' funneled' along'
inside'a'wire,”'like'a'current'of'water,'but'“could'be'brought'into'existence'by'an'invisible'
force'that'spread'from'a'moving'magnet,”'a'force'that'“stretched'across'empty'space”'
[35].'
!
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Baldwin, I. (2020). Discov ery of El ectricity and the Electromagnetic F orce: It s Importance for E nvironme ntalists, Educators, Physicians, Politicians, and
Citizens. Advances in Social Sciences Research Journal, 7(12) 362-383.
Faraday! had! been! inspired! by! Arago’s! famous! 1824! rotating! disc! experiment.! Arago! manually!
rotated!an!unelectrified!copper!disc,!above!which!he!suspended!a!magnetic!needle.!The!needle!spun!
whenever!he!rotated!the!disc.!No!electric!current!was!used,!only!mechanical!motion.!Copper!was,!
furthermore,!non-magnetic.!The!effect!had!proved!inexplicable.!To!solve!the!riddle!posed!by!Arago’s!
“rotations,”! Faraday! decided! to! design! “an! improved! version! of! Arago’s! disc! experiment.! He!
mounted!a!copper!disc!on!a!brass!axes![sic]!so!that!it!could!freely!rotate!between!two!poles!of!a!
permanent![horseshoe]!magnet.!He!then!connected!the!disc!to!a!galvanometer!by!attaching!one!wire!
to!its!centre!and!another!touching!its!rim”![36].!When!the!crank!was!turned!to!rotate!the!disc,!the!
disc’s!motion!cut!through!the!magnet’s!field!and!induced!a!radial!flow!of!current!in!the!disc!from!its!
axle,!or!center,!to!its!outer!edge.!Turning!the!crank!in!the! opposite! direction!reversed!the!flow!of!
induced!electric!current!from!rim!to!axle.!
!
G*F2/')9:5)N0')&,HH'/)"*(&)>)*()-,&$='")<'=L''%)=0')=L,)H,-'(),C)$)0,/('(0,')E$F%'=)!5)N0')L*/'Q
<*%"*%F)H,(=)K)*()&,%%'&='")<B)L*/')X%,=)(0,L%[)=,)=0')&'%='/),C)=0')&,HH'/)"*(&)$%")=0')L*/'Q
<*%"*%F)H,(=)KS)<B)L*/')=,)=0'),2='/)'"F'),C)=0')"*(&)#*$)=0')(-*"*%F)&,%=$&=)E5)K,=0)L*/'()-'")=,)$)
F$-#$%,E'='/)X%,=)(0,L%[5)+@b.ID?)h*R*H'"*$5)
!
Faraday! wrote,! “Here! therefore! was! demonstrated! the! production! of! a! permanent! current! of!
electricity!by!ordinary!magnets.”!And:!“If!a!terminated!wire![or!disc]!is!moved!so!as!to!cut!a!magnetic!
curve![line!of!force],!a!power!is!called!into!action!which!tends!to!urge!an!electric!current!through!it”!
[37].!In!sum,!Faraday!had!shown!“how!a!magnetic!field!and!continuous!mechanical!motion!would!
!
!
380!
Vol.7,!Issue!12,!December-2020!
Advances!in!Social!Sciences!Research!Journal!(ASSRJ)!
produce!a!continuous!electric!current”![37].!He!had!solved!Arrago’s!riddle!and!provided!definitive!
proof! of! electromagnetic! induction,! “one! of! the! greatest! scientific! achievements! of! all! time,”! a!
discovery!with!“tremendous!technological!consequences”![38].!!
!
Faraday’s!induction!ring! was! the!first! prototype!of! what!later! became! an! electrical!transformer,!
improved!continuously!by!others!ever!since!he!first!demonstrated!it,!which!proved!essential!to!the!
long-distance!alternating!current!(AC)!electric!power!grids!toward!the!end!of!the!century.!Faraday’s!
copper!disc!rotating!in!a!magnetic!field!demonstrated!the!operating!principle!of!the!direct!current!
(DC)! generator,! or! dynamo,! that! (after! many! iterations)! over! the! next! four! decades,! powered!
industry!and!lit!up!residences!and!offices!around!the!world.!
!
Later,!Faraday!experimentally!showed!that!all!substanceswhether!solid,!liquid,!or!gasreacted!
to!‘magnetic!forces’!and!were!mostly!“diamagnetic”!or!repelled!by!either!magnetic!pole,!aligning!at!
right!angles,!while!a!few,!such!as!iron,!nickel,!and!cobalt,!were!“paramagnetic”!or!attracted!by!either!
magnetic!pole,!aligning!parallel.!He!summarized!his!discovery!with!a!telling!image:!“If!a!man!could!
be!suspended!with!sufficient!delicacy…and!placed!in!the!magnetic!field,!he!would!point!equatorially,!
for! all! the! substances! of! which! he! is! formed,! including! the! blood,! possess! this! property”! of!
diamagnetism,!or!repulsion![39].!!
!
By! the! mid-1840s,! when! the! commercial! development! of! the! electric! or! “magneto-electric”!
telegraph!was!underway,!Faraday!had!come!to!believe!three-dimensional!“lines!of!force…were!the!
vehicle! that! conveyed! the! [electromagnetic]! forces! and! were! physically! present! in! space.”! He!
eschewed!straight! lines! for! curves! and!“curved!paths”! and! introduced! the! terms!“electro-motive!
force”! and!even!more! significantly! for!the! future! of!physics,! “lines!of! force”!and!“magnetic!field,”!
which!conveyed! the!“idea!that!space!itself!could!be!the!seat!of![electromagnetic]!forces.”!Defying!
Newtonian! “action! at! a! distance”! in! empty! space,! all! Faraday’s! careful! experimental! findings!
suggested!“that!nothing!happened!at!a!distance,!that!all!forces!and!all!induction”!acted!“along!paths!
that!were!rarely!straight”![40].!
!
Since!his!experiments!with!polarized!light!in!1845!had!showed!him!that!magnetism!“could!affect!a!
ray!of!light,”!Faraday!had!become!convinced!“magnetism!was!a!universal!property!of!matter”![41].!
In!an!extemporaneous!talk! before!a!Royal! Institution! audience!in!April! 1846,!Faraday!shared!his!
radical! vision! with! a! surprised! audience:! “[T]he! universe! was! crisscrossed! by! lines! of! force
electric,! magnetic,! and! possibly! other! kinds….‘atoms’! were! merely! the! centers! of! forces! that!
extended!through!all!space.!When!disturbed,!the!lines!of!force!vibrated!laterally!and!sent!waves!of!
energy! alo ng! their! lengths,! like! wav es! along! a! [sh aken]! rope,! at! a! rapid ! but! finite! speed.! Light,” !
Faraday!suggested,!“was!probably!one!manifestation!of!these!vibrations,”!which!were!“vibrations!
of!the!lines!of!forces!themselves”![42].!
!
Faraday!had,!in!effect,!outlined!scientific!ideas!that!would!in!due!course!revolutionize!physics!and!
transform! human! life! in! the! 20th!century.! Humanity! was! poised! to! bathe! itself! in! new!
electromagnetic!fields!that!did!not!“act!at!a!distance,”!but!made!direct!physical!contact!with!objects,!
both!inanimate!and!animate.!
!
)
)
!
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381!
b.U?)http://dx.doi.org/10.14738/assrj.712.9532!
Baldwin, I. (2020). Discov ery of El ectricity and the Electromagnetic F orce: It s Importance for E nvironme ntalists, Educators, Physicians, Politicians, and
Citizens. Advances in Social Sciences Research Journal, 7(12) 362-383.
KA.NT)@G)NTD)NDUD\.!;T)
Immediately! after!his!paper! on! electromagnets! was!published!in! 1831,!Joseph!Henry! “set! out! to!
demonstrate! the! practicability! of! an! electromagnetic! telegraph…[using]! a! small! battery! and! an!
‘intensity’!magnet!connected!through!a!mile!of!copper!bell-wire!strung!throughout!a!lecture!hall”!at!
New!York’s!Albany!Academy,!where!he!taught![43].!He!placed!a!permanent!bar!magnet!in!the!space!
between!the!two!poles!of!a!horseshoe!electromagnet!next!to!a!bell.!When!he!closed! the!mile-long!
circuit,!the!bar!magnet!deflected!and!rang!the!nearby!bell,!returning!to!its!position!when!the!circuit!
was!shut!off.!The!following!year,!when!he!moved!to!teach!at!Princeton,!he!repeated!the!experiment,!
connecting!his!lab!to!his!home!by!using!a!remote!electromagnet!to!activate!a!local!circuit!that!rang!
a!bell!in!his!house,!alerting!his!wife!he!was!coming!home!for!lunch.!!
!
“Henry!realized!it!would!be!easy!to!communicate!just!by!agreeing!that!different!arrangements”!of!
the!ringing!could!“represent!different!letters.”!And!when!one!of!his!students!“switched!the!battery!
on!and!off,!his!friends!in!the!next!room!or!even!down!the!hall!would!hear!the!ringer!sound!in!short!
bursts,!just!as!fast!as!the!hand!could!move”![44].!In!1838,!when!a!frustrated!Samuel!Morse!showed!
up!at!the!professor’s!doorstep!and!was!welcomed!in,!he!began!to!take!notes!that!would!change!the!
world.!
!
The! telegraph! was! the! first! commercially! significant! electromagnetic! technology! to! be! globally!
deployed.!“Within!thirty!years,”!of!Morse!and!Vail’s!1845!launch!of!their!telegraphic!system!in!the!
US,!“there!were!over!650,000!miles!of!wire,!30,000!miles!of!submarine!cable”!linking!all!inhabited!
continents,!and!“20,000!towns!and!villages!were!on-line”![45].!The!“Victorian!Internet”!had!spread!
“with!astonishing!speed”!according!to!one!historian,!“more!rapidly!than!today’s!Internet,”!and!“by!
1870!formed!a!world-wide!telecommunications!system”![46]!that!remained!in!use!until!the!1950s.!
!
I@8IUb+A@8+)
In!the!mid-19th!century!human!beings!began!to!alter!Earth’s!natural!electromagnetic!environment!
by!rolling!out!wired!electric!technology!on!a!global!scale.!We!do!not!understand!the!environmental!
effects!of! this!rollout,!which!ramped!up!in!the!late!1870s!with!the!invention!of!the!telephone,!the!
light!bulb,!the!dynamo,!the!alternator,!and!the!modern!transformer,!permitting!AC!current!to!power!
industry,!make!skyscrapers,!and!light!up!the!world.!By!the!end!of!the!19th!century!Hertz’s!discovery!
of!radio!waves!was!being!put!to!use,! and!after! World! War!I!electromagnetic!energy!was! freed!to!
travel! across! space! without! the! inconvenience! and! expense! of! wires,! creating! wholly! new!
applications!and!industries,!including!radio,!radar,!TV,!computers,!and!cell!phones.!!!
!
Nearly!two!centuries!after! the!discovery! of! electromagnetism,! environmentalists,! educators,! and!
medical! professionals! remain! largely! uninformed! about! how! it! functions! either! theoretically! or!
practically,!and!therefore!ignorant!of!what!risks!it!might!pose!to!our!natural!environment,!to!human!
health,!or!to!the!immense!planetary!structures!governed!by!the!electromagnetic!force:!the!global!
electric! circuit,! the! ionosphere,! and! the! magnetosphere.! How! much! longer! can! such! willful!
ignorance!about!risk!continue!to!run!consistently!parallel!to!the!immense!scientific!and!technical!
knowledge!needed!to!maintain!and!keep!constructing!the!electric!edifice!of!21st!century!civilization?!
!
!&R%,L-'"F'E'%=()
Thanks!to!Abigail!Stone!for!creating!the!illustrations!in!Figures!1,!2,!and!4.!Thanks!to!Rob!Williams!
for!critical!reading!and!advice.!
!
!
382!
Vol.7,*Issue*12,*December-2020!
Advances*in*Social*Sciences*Research*Journal*(ASSRJ)!
References(
1. See%137-page%“Bibliography”%in%Arthur%Firstenberg,%The$Invisible$Rainbow:$A$History$of$Electricity$and$Life%(White%
River%Junction,%VT%&%London:%Chelsea%Green,%2020),%413551.%%
2. Firstenberg,%Op.$Cit.,%3941%and%365377.%
3. Ibid.,%115116.%
4. Ibid.,%Op.$Cit.,%116.%
5. Elizabeth%Pastor%Guzman,%“Tuning%in%to%the%Earth’s%Natural%Rhythm,”%Brain$World$Magazine,%Summer%
2014.%https://brainworldmagazine.com/tuning-in-to-the-earths-natural-rhythm/.%Accessed%December%15,%2020.%
%
6. Martin%Blank%&%Reba%Goodman,%“DNA%is%a%fractal%antenna%in%electromagnetic%fields,”%International$Journal$of$
Radiation$Biology,%87,4%(2011).%https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.3109/09553002.2011.538130.%
Accessed%July%21,%2020.%%
7. Firstenberg,%Op.$Cit.,%118.%
8. Iona%Miller,%“Schumann%Resonances,%Psychophysical%Regulation%&%Psi%(Part%1),”%Journal$of$Consciousness$
Exploration$&$Research,%4,%6%(July%2013).%https://quwave.com/316-971-1-PB.pdf%Accessed%December%15,%2020.%
9. Firstenberg,%Op.$Cit.,%120.%
10. Ibid.,%153154.%
11. Ibid.%
12. Arthur%Firstenberg,%7.%
13. “The%Electric%Ben%Franklin,”%Undated.%https://www.ushistory.org/franklin/science/electricity.htm%Accessed%
September%28,%2020.%
14. “Franklin’s%Lightning%Rod,”%The%Franklin%Institute.%Undated.%https://www.fi.edu/history-resources/franklins-
lightning-rod%%Accessed%September%28,%2020.%
15. “The%Electric%Ben%Franklin,”%Op.$Cit.%
16. “Benjamin%Franklin%Explains%the%Leyden%Jar,”%The%Atlas%Society.%February%22,%
2012.%https://www.atlassociety.org/post/benjamin-franklin-explains-the-leyden-jar%Accessed%July%23,%2020.%
17. Firstenberg,%Op.$Cit.,%5.%
18. Ibid.,%5,%8.%
19. Marco%Piccolino,%“Luigi%Galvani%and%animal%electricity:%two%centuries%after%the%foundation%of%
electrophysiology,”%Trends$in$Neuroscience,%20,%10,%
1997.%https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0166223697011016%Accessed%July%27,%2020.%
20. Robert%O%Becker%&%Andrew%M%Marino,%Electromagnetism$&$Life$(Belcher,%LA:%Cassandra%Publishing,%2010;%
originally%published%by%State%University%of%New%York%Press,%1982),%9.%
21. “Voltaic%Pile1800,”%National%MagLab.%December%10,%2014.%https://nationalmaglab.org/education/magnet-
academy/history-of-electricity-magnetism/museum/voltaic-pile-1800%%Accessed%August%3,%2020.%
22. Becker%&%Marino,%Op.$Cit.,%10.%
23. Piccolino,%Op.$Cit.%
24. David%Bodanis,%Electric$Universe:$How$Electricity$Switched$On$the$Modern$World,%(New%York:%Three%Rivers%
Press/Random%House,%2005),%5.%
25. Firstenberg,%Op.$Cit.,%46.%
!
!
383!
URL:%http://dx.doi.org/10.14738/assrj.712.9532!
Baldwin, I. (2020). Discovery of Electricity and the Electromagnetic Force: Its Importance for Environmentalists, Educators, Physicians, Politicians, and
Citizens. Advances in Social Sciences Research Journal, 7(12) 362-383.
26. “Michael%Faraday’s%electric%magnetic%rotation%apparatus%(motor),”%The%Royal%Institution.%
Undated.%https://www.rigb.org/our-history/iconic-objects/iconic-objects-list/faradays-motor%Accessed%August%
6,%2020.%
27. J%B%Shank,%“André-Marie%Ampère,”%Britannica%Online%Encyclopedia,%updated%
https://www.britannica.com/biography/Andre-Marie-Ampere%Accessed%August%20,%2020.%
28. Jim%Al-Khalili,%“The%birth%of%the%electric%machines:%a%commentary%on%Faraday%(1832)%‘Experimental%researches%in%
electricity’,”%Philosophical$Transactions%A,%2015.%%http://europepmc.org/article/PMC/4360079%Accessed%August%
04,%2020.%
29. Bodanis,%Op.$Cit.,%16.%
30. David%Hochfelder,%“Joseph%Henry:%Inventor%of%the%Telegraph?”%The%Smithsonian%Institution,%1998
2007.%https://siarchives.si.edu/sites/default/files/pdfs/jhpp/JHP_Inventor_of_the_Telegraph.pdf%Accessed%
September%03,%2020.%
31. Ibid.%
32. Ibid.%
33. Al-Khalili,%Op.$Cit.%
34. Ibid.%
35. Bodanis,%Op.$Cit.,%66.%
36. Ibid.%
37. Ibid.%
38. Glenn%S%Smith,%“Joseph%Henry’s%role%in%the%discovery%of%electromagnetic%induction,”%European$Journal$of$Physics,%38%
(2017).%https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/0143-0807/38/1/015207%Accessed%September%14,%2020.%%%
39. Nancy%Forbes%and%Basil%Mahon,%Faraday,$Maxwell,$and$the$Electromagnetic$Field:$How$Two$Men$Revolutionized$
Physics$(Amherst,%NY:%Prometheus%Books,%2019),%100.%
40. Ibid.,%109.%
41. Ibid.,%101.%
42. Ibid.,%102.%
43. Hochfelder,%Op.Cit.%
44. Bodanis,%Op.$Cit.,%19-20.%
45. Tom%Standage,%The$Victorian$Internet%(New%York%&%London:%Bloomsbury,%1998),%102.%
46. J%B%Calvert,%“The%Electromagnetic%Telegraph,”%April%7,%2007,%University%of%Denver%archives.%
https://mysite.du.edu/~jcalvert/tel/morse/morse.htm%Accessed%December%16,%2020.%
... Henry had, in fact, already invented the telegraph [6] and referred to it as "a philosophical toy," that is, an item solely of scientific curiosity. Before he had rung bells in his Princeton classroom in 1832, he had placed "something resembling a small clickable castanet, like a little metal tongue," next to an electromagnet. ...
Article
The principle of electromagnetic induction was independently discovered by Michael Faraday (England) and Joseph Henry (USA) in 1831–32. The momentous discovery gave birth to numerous inventions that made civilization “modern,” beginning with the telegraph. First the telegraph and then the telephone required the installation of millions of miles of electric wire to cross continents and oceans in order to function as a global telecommunications system. These wires created a wholly new, anthropogenic electromagnetic environment, whose frequencies were orders of magnitude greater than those occurring naturally. Its effects on human beings, particularly inside cities, and the biosphere generally were unknown. Even now, more than a century later, the medical and environmental effects of this worldwide wired infrastructure are at best but partially understood. The telecommunications revolutions of the mid- and late 19th century were eagerly anticipated and implemented swiftly on an unprecedented scale, creating the technological basis for worldwide instantaneous communication. This paper describes the key discoveries that created the scientific and technical breakthroughs that allowed the first telecommunications revolutions to take place.
... Schematic representation of the geomagnetic shield. From[19]. Advances in Social Sciences Research Journal (ASSRJ) Services for Science and Education -United Kingdom ...
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Despite the importance for understanding the nature of the geomagnetic field, and especially its potential for radically disrupting modern civilization [1], virtually all scientific publications relating to it are based upon the false assumption that the geomagnetic field is generated in the Earth’s fluid core. By adhering to an outmoded paradigm, members of the geoscience community have potentially exposed humanity to globally devastating risks, leaving it unprepared for an inevitable geomagnetic field collapse. There is no scientific reason to believe that the geomagnetic field is generated within the fluid core. Convection is physically impossible in the fluid core due to its compression by the weight above and its inability to sustain an adverse temperature gradient. There is no evidence of ongoing inner core growth to provide energy to drive thermal convection or to cause compositional convection. Moreover, there is no mechanism to account for magnetic reversals and no means for magnetic seed-field production within the fluid core to initiate dynamo amplification. Earth’s nuclear georeactor, seat of the geomagnetic field, has none of the problems inherent in putative fluid-core geomagnetic field production. With a mass of about one ten-millionth that of the fluid core, georeactor sub-shell convection can potentially be disrupted by great planetary trauma, such as an asteroid impact, or by major solar outbursts or even by human activities, for example, by deliberate electromagnetic disturbance of the near-Earth environment, including the Van Allen belts. Furthermore, sub-shell convection disruption might trigger surface geophysical disasters, such as super-volcano eruptions [2-4]. Scientists have a fundamental responsibility to tell the truth and to provide scientific understanding that benefits humanity.
... Schematic representation of the geomagnetic shield. From[4]. ...
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Earth's magnetic field acts as a shield, protecting life and our electrically-based infrastructure from the rampaging, charged-particle solar wind. In the geologic past, the geomagnetic field has collapsed, with or without polarity reversal, and inevitably it will again. The potential consequences of geomagnetic collapse have not only been greatly underestimated, but governments, scientists, and the public have been deceived as to the underlying science. Instead of trying to refute or advance a paradigm shift that occurred in 1979, global geoscientists, individuals and institutions, chose to function as a cartel and continued to promote their very-flawed concepts that had their origin in the 1930s and 1940s, consequently wasting vast amounts of taxpayer-provided research money, and making no meaningful advances or understanding. Here, from a first person perspective, I describe the logical progression of understanding from that paradigm shift, review the advances made and their concomitant implications, and touch upon a few of the many efforts that were made to deceive government officials, scientists, and the public. It is worrisome that geoscientists almost universally have engaged in suppressing or ignoring sound scientific advances, including those with potentially adverse implications for humanity. All of this suggests that the entire institutional structure of the geophysical sciences, funding, institutions, and bureaucracies should be radically reformed.
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Morse's telegraph rested upon three scientific advances which occured between 1800 and 1830: the development of battery technology, the formulation of laws governing the behavior of electrical components in circuits, and the discovery of electromagnetic phenomena. Joseph Henry was crucial to the development of the early telegraph. His work on electromagnetism made it possible for the electric current to manifest itself as useful mechanical work. Henry developed electromagnets of sufficient lifting power, but which drew relatively small currents; these magnets were the heart of Morse's telegraph receiver. Morse also used electromagnets as relays, which allowed him to transmit signals over great distances. Morse often acknowledged his debt to Henry, and the two enjoyed a cordial working relationship until the mid-1840s. But during the bitter and protracted litigation over Morse's patent, Henry testified (unwillingly, he claimed) against the inventor. This began a lifelong quarrel between the two men, the specifics of which were tedious and petty. In general terms, however, their conflict arose over different notions regarding scientific discovery and technological innovation.
Article
Luigi Galvani and his famous experiments on frogs carried out in the second half of the 18th century belong more to legend than to the history of science. Galvani not only laid the foundations of a new science, electrophysiology, but also opened the way for the invention of the electric battery, and thus for the development of the physical investigations of electricity. However, in spite of the widespread celebration of his work, Galvani's scientific endeavours have been largely misrepresented in the history of science. The scholar of Bologna has a stereotyped image as an 'occasional' scientist, who started his studies by chance, largely ignored the scientific theories of his time and wandered aimlessly in mental elaborations until the physicist of Pavia, Alessandro Volta, entered the field, correctly interpreted Galvani's results and eventually developed the electric battery. With the present understanding of electrical phenomena in excitable membranes, it is now time to reconsider the real matter raised by Galvani's discoveries and by his hypothesis of an intrinsic 'animal electricity', and to make a clearer evaluation of a revolutionary phase of scientific progress.
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