Coimbra University Press

Michael Faraday

Michael Faraday (1791-1867) is one of the most respected scientists of all time. Although he is mostly known for his work in the area of physics, his work in the area of chemistry is equally remarkable, namely the discovery of benzene and the development of electrochemistry.

He came from a modest upbringing and began working as a bookbinder apprentice, which allowed him to study a great number of books that he otherwise would not have had access to. His unmatched qualities were discovered by Humphry Davy after he received the young Faraday’s detailed notes on the lectures he had given at the Royal Institute which Faraday had attended. He began his scientific career as Davy’s assistant and later became the Director of the Royal Institution and a fellow of the Royal Society.

Faraday was also a great promoter of science, especially amongst young people. A hundred and fifty years after it was first published, this book continues to be quoted, as it is a testimony of a time when science was avidly sought out by adults and young people and a timeless classic example of pedagogical excellence.