He is chiefly remembered for his discoveries in electricity
, made in the basement laboratories of the Royal Institution in London. His discoveries include electro-magnetic rotations
(the principle behind the electric motor) and electro-magnetic induction
(the principle behind the electric generator and transformer).
These discoveries had few practical applications in his lifetime, and the potential for large scale use of electricty wasn't realised until later in the 19th century. However, it was Faraday's work that laid the basis for modern electrical engineering. Click on the links below to find out more about his discoveries .....
As well as his experimental work, Faraday was also an important scientific advisor to the British government and its agencies. He was scientific advisor to the English and Welsh lighthouse authority, Trinity House, for nearly 30 years and in this role he oversaw many innovations in lighthouse technology. You can read about some of these in both Faraday's biography
and the individual lighthouse pages (explore WHERE ... places associated with Faraday
Faraday was also the supreme scientific communicator of his time. He used the lecture theatre of the Royal Institution to popularise science and engineering to his audience and to the print media beyond. In the 1820s he played a role in founding the Christmas lectures for young people, which continue to this day and have been televised since the mid 1960s.