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Although not as celebrated as many other scientific inventions, the smoothing iron has its own rich history of development stretching all the way from 400 B.C. to the present.

Applying discoveries Michael Faraday had made a few decades earlier, William Stanley designed the first commercial transformer for Westinghouse in 1886.

In the 17th century, German scientist Otto von Guericke built and carried out experiments with a sulfur globe that produced static electricity.

Few inventions have affected human history as much as the steam engine. Without it, there would have been no locomotives, no steamers and no Industrial Revolution.

By the late 1800s, electricity had long been discovered and was no longer considered a novelty. The science of how to store, enhance, or transmit electrical current was just beginning to evolve, and eccentric scientist Nikola Tesla (1856-1943) was on the cutting edge of that research.

Charles-Augustin de Coulomb didn't invent the torsion balance, but he was the first to discover it could be used to measure electrical charge – the first device capable of such a feat.

The main figure behind the first transatlantic telegraph knew very little about the science or engineering behind it, but was convinced that with it a fortune could be made.

For thousands of years, electricity was an ephemeral phenomenon – there one second and gone the next. The voltaic pile changed that forever.

This device for measuring resistance in a circuit, still widely used today, was "discovered" in 1843, but had been invented a decade earlier. The inventor's name was not Wheatstone.

In the modern world, virtually everyone is familiar with electricity as an accessible, essential form of energy.

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