Two volumes. First printed in the Philosophical Transactions in the same year, the eleventh series presents Faraday’s researches on electro-statical induction. This series was “undertaken with a view to test an idea which he had long possessed, that the forces of attraction and repulsion exercised by free electricity are not the resultant of actions exercised at a distance, but are propagated by means of molecular action among the contiguous particles of the insulating medium surrounding the electrified bodies, which he therefore calls the dielectric. By this idea he [was] led to some very remarkable views upon induction, or in fact upon electrical action in general” (Thomson, Phil Mag, July 1854, p. 50).
Itwas in the area of experimental electricity that Michael Faraday accomplished his life’s most important work as well as the work for which he is best known. In 1831, experimental science was transformed when his experiments proved that frictional electricity from the clouds was the same as animal electricity, such as that of the electric eel. “Faraday repeated all the experiments in this newly discovered field and added many more of his own. In one of his notebooks we read: ‘Change magnetism into electricity.’ He experimented patiently, but with no success. Yet it seemed clear to him that if a current-bearing conductor possesses a magnetic field it should in some way be possible to induce an electric current by means of a magnetic field…
“In 1931 in a series of never-to-be-forgotten experiments, Faraday in quick succession discovered the laws of induced currents, and in so doing laid that foundations for the unparalleled triumphs of modern electricity. He made the fundamental discover that whenever lines of magnetic force are made to cut across a conductor [imagine a magnet moving across a wire] or a conductor is made to cut across lines of force, a current is induced in the conductor. In this basic principle lay the invention of the dynamo, the electric motor, the induction coil and transformer, the x-ray, and a host of revolutionizing application of this mysterious form of energy. Without this discovery, electricity would still be the plaything of science. Immediately following this, Faraday in a series of researches worked out the laws of electrochemical action and invented the first accurate electric measuring instrument” (Darrow, Masters of Science and Invention, pp. 76-77).
ALSO INCLUDED: Grove, William R. "On a new Voltaic Combination" AND “On Voltaic Series and the Combination of Gases by Platinum” in The London, Edinburgh, and Dublin Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science Volume 13, 1838, pp. 430-431 AND Volume 14, 1839, pp. 127-130. FIRST EDITIONS OF GROVE’S DESCRIPTION AND DEMONSTRATION OF THE INVENTION OF THE FIRST FUEL CELL – an improved form of voltaic cell which Faraday used in his demonstrations before the Royal Society. Simply put, fuel cell technology generates electricity within the chemical reaction created via the combination of hydrogen and oxygen. Together the two papers trace the evolution of Grove’s fuel cell. Item #667
CONDITION & DETAILS: 2 Volumes. London: Richard and John E. Taylor. (8.5 x 5.5 inches; 213 x 138mm). [viii], 486, [258 page index], 4. Ex-libris bearing only a small paper label at the spine and a discreet stamp on the title page. Bound in three quarter polished black calf over marbled paper boards. GIlt-ruled and lettered at the spine. Minor rubbing and scuffing; tightly and solidly bound. Slight age toning and foxing. Both volumes are in very good condition.