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



Cables for MV Power Distribution - Earthed versus Unearthed Systems

Power cables can basically be classified into earthed and unearthed cables, where earthed and unearthed refer to the application for which the cable is...

How to Size Power Cable Duct

Some colleagues had an issue earlier in the week on sizing conduits to be cast in concrete for some power cables . It became clear that none of us had...

Voltage Levels to IEC 60038

The standard aims to consolidate AC and traction voltages within the industry and defines the following bands: band 1 - A.C. systems 100 V to 1...

Induction Motor Calculator

Just added a page to the tools, which will allow you to calculate the synchronous speed, slip and rated torque for an induction motor. Not a particularly...

Write your best report

Years ago I was told that you should always try to write the best report you can.  Many years later I still think on this as one of the better pieces of...

How to Calculate Motor Starting Time

Request to look at induction motor starting time have come up a few times on the site. Hopefully in this post, I give you guys some idea on how to calculate...

Three Phase Current - Simple Calculation

The calculation of current in a three phase system has been brought up on our site feedback and is a discussion I seem to get involved in every now and...

What happened to the cable notes?

If you are wondering what happened to our cable notes, the short answer is that we have moved them to myCableEngineering.com.  The "Knowledge Base" at...

Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC)

Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) is the study of coordinating electromagnetic fields give off equipment, with the withstand (compatibility) of other...

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)...

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