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Franklin's key contribution to the understanding of electricity was his discovery that lightning shared similar characteristics as the electricity that was found in rubbed amber by the ancient Greeks. Franklin's work was situated at around 1752, whereas the work of the ancient Greeks extend way back into the early history of western civilization, to the time of the flowering of Ancient Greek literature and philosophy (The Electricity Forum, 2012). Meanwhile, work on the early modern history of electricity exists that date back to 1769, testifying to the jump starting of the science of electricity generation not too long after Franklin's work with lightning (Priestley, 1769; Tom Henry's Code Electrical Classes Inc., 2012). Volta and Galvani would advance the understanding of electricity even further, by giving to the world the understanding of how electricity works in the context of Galvani's experiment with frogs. Volta's understanding of the way electric current is made from Galvani's frog experiments would drive the field forward. Volta understood that when two metal conductors contact water/moisture in frog bodies, electricity was generated. This insight paved the way for the creation of the first modern batteries, in 1792. Moreover, another important derivation of Volta's work on electricity is that of the ability of electricity to travel through conductor wires (The Electricity Forum, 2012): In this way, a new kind of electricity was discovered, electricity that flowed steadily like a current of water instead of discharging itself in a single spark or shock. Volta showed that electricity could be made to travel from one place to another by wire, thereby making an important contribution to the science of electricity. The unit of electrical potential, the Volt, is named after Volta (The Electricity Forum, 2012) On the other hand, whereas Volta demonstrated electricity transfer by wire, the development of large-scale transmission of electricity is credited to Michael Faraday. Faraday inverted the hypothesis that electricity is able to generate magnetism, and posited that magnetism could also bring about the generation of electricity, a hypothesis that was proven to be correct from his own experimental setups. The answer to Faraday's problem of generating electricity with the use of magnets lay in setting the magnets into motion. He was able to then show that magnetic fields in motion set into play the dynamics of electricity generation in this fashion. Four decades from that work by Faraday, on the other hand, Thomas Edison would set in motion the experiments that would bring about the production of the electric DC generator on a scale that could be considered practical. It was with DC electricity that Edison first lit up his experimental transmission and lighting infrastructure in New York and in his lab. On the other hand, while the Edison setup was functional, DC current faced many criticisms of its shortcomings, which led to AC electricity being developed and eyed as a more suitable mode of electricity generation and transmission on large scales (The Electricity Forum, 2012). The work of Edison deserves special mention for the vast number of peripheral ...Show more


Electricity Table of Contents I. History of Electricity Generation 4 II. Improvements in Electricity Generation and Transmission through the Centuries 8 III. The Evolution of the Ideas Relating to Electricity Generation 10 Reference List 12 I. History of Electricity Generation Modern electricity generation owes its roots to the kite experimentations of Benjamin Franklin, which gave rise to more nuanced understandings of the nature of electric power and the nature of lightning as an electricity form (Tom Henry's Code Electrical Classes Inc., 2012)…
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