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Michael Faraday's Electric Frogs


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Channel: The Royal Institution
Categories: Chemistry   |   Science  
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Why did the Royal Institution used to have a froggery? Before more sophisticated methods for detecting electricity emerged, Michael Faraday and his colleagues used a rather brutal method…
No frogs were harmed in the making of this video. Well, not since the 1800s.
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In the archives of the Royal Institution there is a long dead frog in a glass box, with metal plates sticking through his legs. There are also accounting records of orders for live frogs, and a wooden board that once marked the location of the froggery. See a photo of the frog on our advent calendar here:

Luigi Galvani pioneered the use of frogs as a way of testing for electric current when he discovered that a dead frog’s legs would twitch when sparked with electricity. Michael Faraday and his mentor Humphry Davy were at the forefront of early experiments with electricity and electromagnetism, but imagine trying to do those experiments without any reliable way of testing your circuits.

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