Alessandro Volta, Italian physicist and physiologist.
Was born on February 18, 1745 in the town of Komo near Milan. Studied at school of the award of Jesuits in Komo where found abilities to rhetoric and showed interest in natural sciences. Taught physics in the gymnasium in Komo, in 1779 became professor of the university in Pavia. Since 1815 – the director of philosophical faculty in Padua. Works Volta are devoted to electricity, chemistry and physiology. Volta invented the number of electric devices (the electrophorus, the electrometer, the condenser, the electroscope , etc.). In 1776 Volta found and investigated combustible gas (methane).
Having become interested in the "animal electricity" opened for L. Galvani, Volta made the number of experiments and showed that the observed phenomena are connected with availability of the closed circuit consisting of two diverse metals and liquid. Volta considered the reasons of "galvanism" physical, and physiological actions – one of manifestations of this physical process.
Having made experiments with different couples of electrodes, Volta established that the physiological irritation of nerves of subjects is stronger, than are spaced far apart from each other two metals in the following row: zinc, the tin foil, tin, lead, iron, brass, etc. to silver, mercury, graphite. This well-known number of tension (activities) Volta was also the center of effect; the muscle of the frog was only passive, though very sensitive electrometer, and active links were metals from which contact there was their mutual electrization.
Making numerous comparative and physiological experiments, Volta observed at animals big electric excitability of nerves in comparison with muscles and also smooth muscles of intestines and the stomach in comparison with skeletal. He found electric irritability of organs of vision and taste in the person. These works were of great importance in the history of methods of the physiological experiment.
In 1800 Volta invented the so-called Voltaic column – the first source of the direct current. The invention voltaic the column brought Volta the world glory and exerted huge impact not only on advancement of science about electricity, but also on all history of the human civilization. The voltaic column announced approach of the new era – electricity eras.
Volta it was elected the member Parisian and other academies, Napoleon made him the graph and senator of the Italian kingdom. Volta is called by the name voltage unit – volt.
Died Volta on March 5, 1827.Top