Faraday Converts Magnetic Force into Electricity (Chronology of European History)
Article abstract: Faraday converts magnetic force into electricity through experiments that reinforce the belief in field theory, arguing that light, electricity, and magnetism are interrelated.
Summary of Event
Early in the nineteenth century, scientists who studied heat, light, electricity, and magnetism sought unifying features that would link these phenomena together. They did so because their experimental evidence contradicted the established principles of Newtonian science, which considered these phenomena as separate and distinct subjects acting as straight-line forces between centers of bodies. Their experiments suggested that these forces exerted their influence as waves acting through some medium. With this evidence, physicists began to think in terms of a field of forces rather than straight-line effects. This growing belief in a field theory benefited from the influential nineteenth century German Naturphilosophie school of philosophy, which sought a unity in nature to prove that a Weltseele, a world spirit or force, was the sole power in place in nature.
Naturphilosophie heavily influenced the Danish scientist, Hans Christian Øersted, during his graduate studies in Germany. When he returned to Denmark, Øersted embraced this belief in the unity of forces and sought demonstrable evidence of a link between electricity and magnetism. In 1813, he published results of an...
(The entire section is 1481 words.)
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