Essay on Michael Faraday: His Life and the Liquefaction of Gases

2196 Words9 Pages
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…show more content…
He heated, in a sealed glass tube, a solid compound of chlorine and water and noticed an oily liquid separating from the compound. One of the other researchers present at the time, John Ayrton Paris, berated Faraday on his dirty apparatus but Faraday was happy to inform the gentleman the next day, after performing some tests on the "impurity" that the oily substance was in fact liquid chlorine (Crowther, 22-23). The entire text of Faraday's letter to Ayrton on March 6th, 1823 is below: "Dear Sir, The oil that you noticed yesterday turns out to be liquid chlorine. Yours faithfully, M. Faraday" (James, 296). The pressure in the test tube had heightened considerably due to liberation of chlorine from the solid compound and this pressure was enough to result in liquefaction. Using the same procedure, Faraday was also able to reduce other "permanent" gases such as sulphurreted hydrogen, nitrous oxide and ammonia to liquid state (Faraday, 12-18). He thus showed that the distinction that had hitherto been drawn between vapors and gases was fallacious and that permanent gases were merely vapors of liquids that had low boiling points (Crowther, 22-23). His research won acclaim in scientific circles and people as famous as Andre-Marie Ampere (James, 328). Faraday indicated in a letter to the French scientist Charles-Gaspard De La Rive on March 24th, 1823 that

More about Essay on Michael Faraday: His Life and the Liquefaction of Gases

Get Access