Skip to main content
Create interactive lessons using any digital content including wikis with our free sister product
. Get it on the
Pages and Files
Alexander Graham Bell
Count Ferdinand Von Zepplin
Elizabeth Garrett Anderson
Ludwig Van Beethoven
Mary Ann Evans (George Eliot)
Add "All Pages"
Who is Alessandro Volta?
Alessandro Volta, Italian physicist, known for his pioneering work in electricity. Volta was born in Como and educated in the public schools there. By 1800 he had developed the so-called voltaic pile, a forerunner of the electric battery, which produced a steady stream of electricity. In honor of his work in the field of electricity, the electrical unit known as the volt was named in his honor
When was he born?
February 18, 1745.in
Where was he born?
Como, Lombardy, Italy
When did he die?
Was he married?
Why was he important?
1775 Volta devised the electrophorus, a device that produced a static electric charge.
1777 he studied the chemistry of gases, discovered methane
1779 he became professor of physics at the University of Pavia
1794 Volta married Teresa Peregrini, daughter of Count Peregrini; the couple had three sons.
1800 he developed the so-called voltaic pile, a forerunner of the electric battery
1810 In honor of his work in the field of electricity, Napoleon made him a count
1815 the Emperor of Austria named him a professor of philosophy at Padova.
1816 Volta's works were published in five volumes in Florence
1881 an important electrical unit, the volt, was named in his honor. Volta.
What did he do to be famous?
who was in his family?
Volta worked on the [[/w/index.php?title=Electrophorus&action=edit&redlink=1|electrophorus]] that makes a static electric charge in 1775. Volta also studied what we now call capacitance, developing separate means to study both electrical potential V and charge Q, and discovering that for a given object they are proportional. This may be called Volta's Law of [[/w/index.php?title=Capacitance&action=edit&redlink=1|Capacitance]], and likely for this work the unit of electrical potential has been named the [[/wiki/Volt|volt]]. Around 1791 he began to study "[[/w/index.php?title=Animal_electricity&action=edit&redlink=1|animal electricity]]". In this way he discovered Volta's Law of the [[/w/index.php?title=Electrochemical&action=edit&redlink=1|electrochemical]] series, and the law that the [[/w/index.php?title=Electromotive_force&action=edit&redlink=1|electromotive force]] (emf
) of a [[/w/index.php?title=Galvanic_cell&action=edit&redlink=1|galvanic cell]]. In 1800, He invented the
, an early [[/wiki/Battery|electric battery]], which made a steady [[/wiki/Electric_current|electric current]]. It is credited as the first electrochemical cell.
In honor of his work in the field of electricity, [[/wiki/Napoleon|Napoleon]] made him a count in 1810. A museum in Como, the
, has been built in his honor and exhibits some of the original equipment he used to conduct experiments. In 1881, an important electrical [[/wiki/Unit|unit]], the [[/wiki/Volt|volt]](V), was named in his honor. There have also been innovations and discoveries named after Alessandro Volta including the [[/w/index.php?title=Toyota_Alessandro_Volta&action=edit&redlink=1|Toyota Alessandro Volta]], and the [[/w/index.php?title=Volta_Crater&action=edit&redlink=1|Volta Crater]] on the Moon.
Volta married the daughter of Count Ludovico Peregrini, Teresa, with whom he raised three sons. In 1779 he became professor of experimental physics at the University of [[/wiki/Pavia|Pavia]], a chair he occupied for almost 25 years. Volta is buried in the city of Como. At the
near [[/wiki/Lake_Como|Lake Como]] there is a museum devoted to explaining his work.
Early life and works
Volta was born in [[/wiki/Como|Como]], Italy on February 18, 1745. In 1774, he became a physics professor at the Royal School in Como. A year later, he improved and popularized the [[/wiki/Electrophorus|electrophorus]], a device that produced a static electric charge. His promotion of it was so extensive that he is often credited with its invention, even though a machine operating in the same principle was described in 1762 by Swedish professor [[/wiki/Johan_Wilcke|Johan Wilcke]].
In the years between 1776-78, Volta studied the [[/wiki/Chemistry|chemistry]] of [[/wiki/Gas|gases]]. He discovered [[/wiki/Methane|methane]] after reading a paper by [[/wiki/Benjamin_Franklin|Benjamin Franklin]] on "flammable air" and carefully searching for it in Italy. In November, 1776, he found methane at [[/wiki/Lake_Maggiore|Lake Maggiore]], by 1778 he managed to isolate methane.
[[home#cite_note-3|]]] He devised experiments such as the [[/wiki/Combustion|ignition]] of methane by an electric [[/wiki/Electrostatic_discharge|spark]] in a closed vessel. Volta also studied what we now call electrical [[/wiki/Capacitance|capacitance]], developing separate means to study both electrical potential (
) and charge (
), and discovering that for a given object, they are proportional. This may be called Volta's Law of capacitance, and likely for this work the unit of electrical potential has been named the [[/wiki/Volt|volt]].
In 1779 he became professor of experimental physics at the [[/wiki/University_of_Pavia|University of Pavia]], a chair he occupied for almost 25 years. In 1794, Volta married an aristocratic lady also from Como, Teresa Peregrini, with whom he raised three sons: Giovanni, Flaminio and Zanino.
help on how to format text
Turn off "Getting Started"