A profile of Alessandro Volta.
Born: 18 February 1745, Como, Italy.
Died: 5 March 1827.
Alessandro Volta was a physicist and pioneer in the study of electricity. The term “Volt”, a measurement of electricity, was named after Volta. Volta also made discoveries in electrostatics, meteorology and pneumatics. His most famous invention, however, is the first battery.
Around 1800, Volta invented a wet battery called a Voltaic Pile. The Voltaic Pile consisted of discs of copper and zinc separated by discs of paper or cardboard (soaked in salt water). Volta attached copper wire to the top and bottom of this ’Pile’, so when the circuit was closed, electricity flowed through the pile.
Volta’s battery has been refined by other scientists and is still commonly used today.