51

The volt, ohm and farad were introduced by the same person, Latimer Clark, a cable engineer, in a paper in 1861. He started the tradition of naming units after scientists. He initially distorted all names: the unit names ohma, volt, galvat (from Galvani), and farad (from Faraday). In his words, he "neglected etymological rules". In that same year, a ...


10

Mander's Carnocycle blog has a post Carlisle, Nicholson and the discovery of electrolysis with a detailed account of the story. I will only give the highlights. On March 20th, 1800 Volta wrote to Sir Banks, the President of the Royal Society in London, describing the construction of his pile. It was an alternating assemblage of zinc and silver disc pairs ...


9

The "decision" came from Franklin c. 1750, and predates voltaic piles. Franklin followed the one-fluid theory of electricity proposed by Watson in 1746, and explained electric discharges in a Leyden jar by the fluid flowing from the side with its excess (+) to the side with its lack (-). Which side had the excess/lack he decided more or less ...


8

Ampère did. Ampère's force law (not to be confused with one of Maxwell's equations, "Ampère"'s circuital law, which Ampère never wrote down, as Ampère didn't deal with the field concept), written in modern vector notation, gives the force that current elements $I_1 d\vec {\ell }_1$ and $I_2 d\vec {\ell }_2$ exert on one another to be: $$d^2\vec{F_{21}^A} = -...


8

Yes, it was derived from the looks of voltaic batteries. More generally, the early symbols for circuit diagrams (cell, resistor, capacitor, etc.) were based on the physical appearance of the devices they represented. This lasted until the 1950-s, when the advent of the transistor changed the scene, see Icons and Electronics by Jones-Imhotep for the ...


8

For a long time it was not only believed but even ascertained that electric signals moved not just as fast but faster than light, even "instantaneously". The original experiments involving electrostatic discharges of the Leyden jar were made even before wires were introduced. According to Fahie's History of Electric Telegraphy, one of the early experimenters,...


8

Thomson drew his conclusion based on his calculation of the charge to mass ratio of the "corpuscular carriers of negative charge in cathode rays". Quoting Thomson's Nobel Lecture of 1906: This constant value, when we measure $e/m$ in the c.g.s. system of magnetic units, is equal to about $1.7\times10^7$. If we compare this with the value of the ...


6

One manifestation of static electricity, the lightning, is known since the prehistoric times, a theoretical idea of electric charge first explicitly appears in works of William Gilbert around 1600. We already have a thread When and where was Electricity used for the first time?, that discusses history of electricity in more detail, so I will only add what is ...


6

Google really is your friend. history.com says E.W. Culgan, a telegraph manager in Pittsburgh, reported that the resulting currents flowing through the wires were so powerful that platinum contacts were in danger of melting and “streams of fire” were pouring forth from the circuits. In Washington, D.C., telegraph operator Frederick W. Royce was ...


5

In order to obtain a nonpulsating power source some early investigators used Wimshurst or similar static electricity generators, or batteries of many small storage cells. (The discovery of the electron, David L. Anderson)


5

The color code was developed in the 1920's by the Radio Manufacturers Association (RMA) as a three band code for resistor values. The three bands were more compact than the number value because the third band represented the number of zeroes. For example, 250 000 Ω was reduced to three bands. In addition, color bands remained visible in whatever position a ...


5

Einstein's physics teacher, H. F. Weber, apparently did not teach him any Helmholtz, as Einstein wrote in a 10 August 1899 letter to Mileva Marić: I returned the Helmholtz volume* and am at present studying again in depth Hertz's propagation of electric force.** The reason for it was that [I] didn't understand Helmholtz's treatise on the principle of ...


5

This is a form of a law known as Joule heating, Joule's first law, or the Joule-Lenz law. It is the simplest form of the law. Joule discovered, in the 1840s, that the power in a circuit was proportional to the current squared times the resistance. He published a short paper entitled "On Production of Heat by Voltaic Electricity". Joule used the form $$P=I^...


4

Sort of, if we interpret "electricity" and "formal equation" narrowly. Then the only other contender is Cavendish, who in 1775 did experiments with various capacitors, established that charge on them was proportional to voltage, and introduced the notion of capacitance as the proportionality constant, so $Q=CV$. Of course, he did not call voltage "voltage", ...


4

The symbol i is still used in mathematics; j is an invention of an electrical engineers, usually attributed to Charles P. Steinmetz. See for example Introduction of $\imath$ and $\jmath$ notations for the imaginary unit As to why j was chosen, the following is quoted from a 1921 book, "Tables of Complex Hyperbolic and Circular Functions" by Arthur Edwin ...


4

I will assume "non-instantaneous" means something other than electric discharge in the atmosphere, from animals like eels and torpedo fishes, or electrostatic generators like the Leyden jar or the van der Graaf generator. Then the answer is the voltaic pile invented by Volta in 1799, "the first electrical battery that could continuously provide an electric ...


3

The Tesla Society has a photo of a "Allis-Corliss Engine." Wikipedia identifies this as a large steam-powered engine. And over at vintagemachinery.org, it is stated explicitly that The duty of the World's Fair [Corliss] engine will, however, be of a different nature from that of the Corliss engine at the Centennial, which transmitted its power to ...


3

Yes, there is: https://archive.org/details/historyoftheorie00whitrich A history of the theories of aether and electricity : from the age of Descartes to the close of the nineteenth century by Whittaker, E. T. It also contains history of optics, quantum mechanics and relativity.


3

The simplest electric generator contains copper wire, and permanent magnet (loadstone). You need no grease. There is no doubt that copper wire could be made, but probably was not readily available. With some effort, you can make it yourself, using technology available to the Romans. (They did make very fine wire of gold, for example). It will be a bit ...


3

Some data: The plan for the famous 1867 textbook Treatise on Natural Philosophy by William Thomson (Professor of Natural Philosophy at the University of Glasgow for over 50 years) and Peter Guthrie Tait contemplated four volumes; the printing of the first volume began in 1862 and was completed in 1867. The other three volumes never appeared. It was intended ...


3

On my opinion, the following citation from Poincare answers this question: “At the time, when Maxwell initiated his studies, the laws of electrodynamics adopted before him explained all known phenomena. He started his work not because some new experiment limited the importance of these laws. But, considering them from a new standpoint, Maxwell noticed that ...


3

I think we have an answer. The original paper is in French by Perrin. The translation is in Nature (1896). NEW EXPERIMENTS ON THE KATHODE RAYS Jean Perrin. It is a two paged article. https://www.nature.com/articles/053298a0 With the help of magnetic deflection, he directed the cathode rays into a electroscope connected to a Faraday cylinder (see Figure 1). ...


3

According to the Royal Society of Chemistry site, the hydrogen electrode was discovered by Max Le Blanc. Chemists like Max Le Blanc to begin to plot ‘polarisation’ curves to investigate the electrochemical processes – his invention of the hydrogen electrode would anchor all measurements to a common standard. Encyclopedia.com provides further details.


3

You are indeed right, these two signs (+) and (-) have confused generations of scientists. I have searched for more than 10 years on Volta's assignment on the signs of battery terminals. I will summarize my findings below. What is disappointing when these chemistry or physics teachers say...well, it was just a convention. Sorry, this is not true, scientists ...


2

Oliver Heaviside's 1893 Electromagnetic Theory (vol. 1) mentions "Ampere's Rule [or 'formula' or 'law'] for deriving the magnetic force from the current" in a handful of places (cf. p. 64). He calls it "Ampère's 'dodge'" in his 1892 Electrical Papers (vol. 1) p. 261. Probably the most curious statement by Heaviside on Ampère is in his paper "The Mutual ...


2

There are two reasons: As explained by Alexandre Eremenko, the laws of electrodynamics before Maxwell (like Ampere's force law, Neumann's law of induction, Weber's law, etc.) explained all the known phenomena in an action at a distance manner. When action at a distance theories fell out of favour, the pioneers of these theories were mostly discredited. Not ...


2

The law was first¹ formulated by Joseph Louis Lagrange in 1773,² followed by Carl Friedrich Gauss in 1813,³ both in the context of the attraction of ellipsoids. Notes¹ Pierre Duhem's Leçons sur l'électricité et le magnétisme (liv. 1, chap. 4, p. 22-23) shows that Lagrange has priority over Gauss. Others after Gauss discovered "Gauss's Law," too.² Lagrange, "...


2

A great source on the history of particle physics is Pais's Inward Bound, see also references in In which experiments the charge to mass ratio of proton was determined? thread on Physics SE. Charge to mass ratios for various ions were measured soon after Thomson's discovery of the electron, first for hydrogen apparently by Wien in 1898 based on canal (or ...


2

my question: why is the coulomb (and ampere) the size it is today, which an outrageous size that makes it impractical for direct use? The coulomb has that value because in the mid 19th century electrical engineers needed practical units for submarine cables and telegraphy. In 1861 a committee of the British Association for the Advancement of Science was ...


2

Most of these books will be available at academic libraries. You can search on worldcat to see which academic libraries have the book near you. https://www.worldcat.org/


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