Michael Faraday: His Life and the Liquefaction of Gases

opinion Essay
2193 words
2193 words

Michael Faraday: His Life and the Liquefaction of Gases

Michael Faraday was born on September 22nd, 1791, at Newington in Surrey, England to a Sandemanian family (Crowther, 7). The Sandemanians were an almost unknown off-shoot of the Presbyterian Church. Faraday was baptized in the Church but only became an official member in 1821. His religion was an important part of his life, though it featured little in his work (Crowther, 25-26 and Day, 28). From an early age Faraday showed a passion for facts and distrust for authority, two qualities that would later on characterize his scientific studies (Crowther, 9). He always had to see something occur for himself before putting any stock in it. He repeated experiments he saw in scientific books and journals to convince himself of their veracity. His first professional foray into the field of chemistry was in 1813 as an employee of the famous Sir Humphrey Davy at the Royal Institution in London (Crowther, 12). It was Faraday's enthusiasm for science which helped him attain the position for, till that time, he had been well on the way to a career as a bookseller. He eagerly went to work on his passion. His first published paper, "An Analysis of Naturally Occurring Caustic Lime" appeared in the Quarterly Journal of Science in 1816 (Crowther, 19).

Faraday's work on the liquefaction of gases came at a time when the Royal Institution was experiencing lean times and researchers had been forced to turn their attention towards the commercial aspects of science in order to survive. In between working on steel for surgical instruments and improving the manufacture of glass for optics, Faraday continued his research. After fruitlessly heating gases in an attempt to liquefy them, Faraday chan...

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...rton and Company

Inc. 1993.

- Crowther, J. A. Men of Science: The Life and Discoveries of Michael Faraday. New

York: The MacMillan Company. 1920.

- Day, Peter, ed. The Philosopher's Tree: Michael Faraday's Life and Work in His Own

Words. Bath: Bookcraft Limited. 1999

- Faraday, Michael. Liquefaction of Gases: Papers. Chicago: The University of Chicago

Press: 1906.

- James, Frank A. J. L., ed. The Correspondence of Michael Faraday Volume I. Exeter:

Short Run Press Ltd. 1991.

- "Tribute to Michael Faraday." Current Science Volume 61. No.12. December 25, 1991.


- Tweney, Ryan D. "Procedural Representation in Michael Faraday's Scientific Thought."

PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association,

Volume1986, Issue Volume Two: Symposia and invited papers (1986), 336-344.

In this essay, the author

  • Describes michael faraday's life and the liquefaction of gases. he was baptized in the church but became an official member in 1821.
  • Explains that faraday's work on the liquefaction of gases came at a time when the royal institution was experiencing lean times and researchers had to turn their attention towards the commercial aspects of science.
  • Explains that faraday's experiments in liquefaction were performed on sir humphrey davy’s request to work with the hydrate of chlorine under pressure
  • Explains how they enclosed a glass tube hermetically sealed and found chlorine and water had separated from each other and the chlorine gas had condensed into the liquid form.
  • Analyzes how faraday's work on gases was not the crowning achievement of his prodigious career, but his discoveries led to many applications of liquefied gases.
  • Explains that faraday was elected a fellow of the royal society in 1823 and was appointed director of his laboratory. he investigated the relation between magnetism and electricity using coils of wire and iron.
  • Explains that faraday lectured frequently at the royal institution, which would have been curtailed without him. charles pasley wrote to colonel drummond about his availability for lectures.
  • Opines that it is an object to have the most eminent man in that line, and one accustomed to teaching, like mr. faraday is.
  • Narrates how faraday suffered a breakdown due to the excessive strain his labors had placed on him. his later experiments led him to investigate the connection between magnetism and light.
  • Explains that michael faraday was one of the most respected and admired scientists in history. his work was revolutionary and his dedication to his chosen area of expertise unparalleled.
  • Opines that it is their wish, if possible, to become acquainted with a method by which they may write... in more natural and easy progression.
  • Analyzes faraday's meticulous, methodical progression as he moved from gas to gas. his entire science was painstakingly organized and ingrained with the necessity of procedure.
  • Analyzes how faraday maintained his humility and unselfishness despite his magnificent achievements.
  • Explains that faray's genius and kindness was not confined to the scientist’s laboratory and institutional lecture halls; he was keen to inculcate in children the love for knowledge and experiment.
  • Opines that michael faraday was one of the greatest scientific discoverers of all time.
  • Opines that michael faraday's papers on the liquefaction of gases are often overlooked in light of his many much greater accomplishments.
  • Cites brock, william h. and crowther, j. a. men of science: the life and discoveries of michael faraday
  • Cites james, frank a. j. l., ed. the correspondence of michael faraday volume i. exeter: short run press ltd.
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