Faraday as a Discoverer
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This is a biography of Faraday, the famous British chemist, written by one of his collaborators in the 1880s. Oersted, in 1820, discovered the action of a voltaic current on a magnetic needle; and immediately afterwards the splendid intellect of Ampere succeeded in showing that every magnetic phenomenon then known might be reduced to the mutual action of electric currents. The subject occupied all men's thoughts: and in this country Dr. Wollaston sought to convert the deflection of the needle by the current into a permanent rotation of the needle round the current. He also hoped to produce the reciprocal effect of causing a current to rotate round a magnet. In the early part of 1821, Wollaston attempted to realise this idea in the presence of Sir Humphry Davy in the laboratory of the Royal Institution.