Michael Faraday (the father of electrical engineering) 

By on

MichaelFaraday
Michael Faraday - the father
of electrical engineering
Famed English chemist and physicist Michael Faraday was born on September 22, 1791, in Newington Butts, a suburb of Surrey just south of the London Bridge. His family was not very well off and could only afford to give Faraday a basic education. When he was 14, Faraday was apprenticed to a bookbinder. Much of his learning came from reading the books he was binding.

At the age of 20, Faraday attended a series of lectures presented by English chemist Humphrey Davy. Faraday later wrote to Davy requesting a job as his assistant. He was turned down, but a year later Davy appointed him as a chemical assistant for the Royal Institution. Shortly after, Faraday was invited by Davy to accompany him on a European tour.

Upon his return, Faraday continued assisting with experiments at the Royal Institution. In 1821, he published his work on electromagnetic rotation, the theory that was used to create electric motors. In 1831, Faraday makes a significant discovery, the principle of electromagnetic induction. This principle was used to create the electric generator and transformer. This development was crucial in making electricity a practical and useful form of energy.

In the 1840s, Faraday's health began to deteriorate. He eventually died on August 25, 1867.

Faraday's contributions to science and his research on electricity made big leaps towards modern uses of energy and he is commonly regarded as the farther of electrical engineering. His name lives on as the "farad," a scientific term for a unit of electrical capacitance. A statue of Faraday stands in London, and there is a memorial of him placed near his birthplace of Newington Butts.

Faraday's life lived out, and continues to inspire one of his most famous quotes: "But still try, for who knows what is possible..."

Related Information



Steven McFadyen's avatar Steven McFadyen

Steven has over twenty five years experience working on some of the largest construction projects. He has a deep technical understanding of electrical engineering and is keen to share this knowledge. About the author

myElectrical Engineering

comments powered by Disqus

  1. tokks's avatar tokks says:
    11/14/2012 7:15 PM

    If he was born in 1971 how come he invented the elctro magnet in 1840

    • Steven's avatar Steven says:
      11/14/2012 7:38 PM

      It would have difficult for him. 1971 or 1791 - you can see how I did it. Thanks for pointing out the mistake tokks and I've corrected the date.


Comments are closed for this post:
  • have a question or need help, please use our Questions Section
  • spotted an error or have additional info that you think should be in this post, feel free to Contact Us



EU Code of Conduct on Data Centres - Best Practices

The European Union is implementing a voluntary code of practice for participants with the aim of improving the overall efficiency of data centres. As part...

What is an Open Delta Transformer

In three phase systems, the use of transformers with three windings (or legs) per side is common.  These three windings are often connected in delta or...

Understanding electric motor insulation & temperature

Anyone specifying or using electric motors should have a basic understanding how the insulation is related to temperature. Three classes of insulation...

3 Phase Loads

Three phase systems are derived from three separate windings, either connected in delta or star (wye). Each winding can be treated separately, leading...

How a Digital Substation Works

Traditionally substations have used circuit breakers, current transformers (CT), voltage transformers (VT) and protection relays all wired together using...

Motor Starting - Introduction

Motor starting and its associated problems are well-known to many people who have worked on large industrial processes. However, these things are, of course...

Power Factor

Power factor is the ratio between the real power (P in kW) and apparent power (S in kVA) drawn by an electrical load. The reactive power (Q in kVAr)...

8 Steps to Low Voltage Power Cable Selection and Sizing

A recurring theme on our forums is cable sizing. Now many installations are unique and require special consideration. However, a lot of the time things...

Battery Sizing

This article gives an introduction to IEEE 485 method for the selection and calculation of battery capacity.

Electromechanical Relays

Electromechanical relays have been the traditional backbone of electrical protection systems.  While over recent years these have been replaced by microprocessor...

Have some knowledge to share

If you have some expert knowledge or experience, why not consider sharing this with our community.  

By writing an electrical note, you will be educating our users and at the same time promoting your expertise within the engineering community.

To get started and understand our policy, you can read our How to Write an Electrical Note