English electrical engineer Willoughby Smith discovers photoconductivity when he observes that selenium conducts electricity better when exposed to light.
Irish physicist George Stoney estimates the charge on the particle of electricity which he would later call the electron.
Physicist John Kerr of Scotland discovers that birefringence can be induced in a transparent material by applying a strong electric field so that it is transverse to the light beam, a phenomenon now referred to as the Kerr electro-optic effect.
American physicist Henry Rowland experimentally proves that a moving electric charge is magnetically equivalent to an electric current.
English physicist Joseph Swan, who had invented a primitive electric light in 1860, demonstrates a practical incandescent light bulb in his country; inventor Thomas Edison makes a similar demonstration of the electric light he independently invented in America.
At the suggestion of Henry Rowland, American physicist Edwin Hall carries out an experiment while working on his doctoral thesis that results in his discovery of the Hall effect, which refers to the voltage difference produced by a magnetic field applied perpendicularly to a solid carrying an electric current.