Part 15 - Part 14
Human Intelligence is absorbed in discovering the benefits that painstakingly delving into Natures secrets delivers.
When problem solving endeavors are approached with a lively, dedicated, and Contemplative Attitude, participants are eventually rewarded with positive results. And as we note here, one head spinning discovery leads to another.
Anticipating an explosive demand for portable and hand held electrically driven devices, Physician Luigi Galvani (1737-1798) and Alessandro Volta (1745-1827) two Italian Physicists, independently set about inventing an equally portable Energy Source.
Just joking. However, jokes not withstanding, applied Human Intelligence is quite capable of predicting such a scenario.
These two Great Minds were the leading edge of Direct Current research and
paved the way for the profusion of the stored energy devices that we are familiar with today.
William Gilbert's discovery of the relationship between Electricity and Chemistry furnished the vanguard of understanding necessary to initiate building an electric energy source that fueled much experimentation and further Invention.
Thanks to the intellectual efforts these two men made, modern portable Direct Current storage devices have slipped the restrictive leash of the fixed wall-socket, and mobilized Electrically driven Tools of every description.
Preceding the introduction of Alternating Current, in the latter part of the nineteenth century, mechanically generated Direct Current power was the standard source of Electricity. Suffering from the common malady affecting much Human activity, the desire to dominate, relegated Direct Current to a secondary status from which it is valiantly recovering in recent times. To Humanities belated benefit.
Luigi Galvani invented the Electro-Chemical Cell which carries his name. Luigi Galvani is also remembered for the ferrous metal protecting Galvanizing process.
Alessandro Volta accomplished the breakthrough of combining several Galvanic Cells to form the Voltaic Pile.
The significance of this Voltaic Pile is the fact it was the first ever Electric Battery.
Battery, in this context, means a unit composed of two or more Cells. Constructing single cells as a battery, extends the versatility of the available Energy.
An Electric Battery can be configured in either of two ways. One is where Voltage is predominant, and the other is where Current is predominant.
In an example of an Electric
Battery where Cells are connected Positive Terminal to Negative
Terminal, as in the Voltaic Pile, individual Cells contribute to
increased Voltage. This is termed a Series Connection.
When multiple Cells are arranged so all Positive Terminals are connected to a single point and all Negative Terminals connected to another single point available Current is increased. When configured in this mode Voltage remains equivalent to the output of a single Cell. This setup is termed a Parallel Connection.
Our dedicated Thinkers were discovering much useful knowledge, but Nature has a trait of expecting one to earn Her rewards. Whilst the Voltaic Pile offered the immeasurably useful benefit of Accumulative Voltage, it also presented a serious disadvantage as well. If the Pile were to rendered Practical this problem simply had to overcome.
The construction of Galvani's Cell permitted Polarization of the
Positive Terminal. This simply means that as Current flows from Negative
to Positive, gases are produced.
The Primary gas, Hydrogen, is attracted to the Positive Terminal, and remains there. After a short period the gas builds up and effectively insulates the terminal, preventing any further Current flow.
This drawback was resolved by English Chemistry Professor John Daniell
(1790-1845) whose restructured Galvanic Cell produced a stable,
dependable Current.The Daniell Cell provided the impetus that
accelerated the advancement of Scientific exploration and experiments.
In a common, ironic twist, for the effective functioning of the early Galvanic Cell, Hydrogen gas presented a conspicuous disadvantage. But this same gas in the same situation, proved to be the key player for the two men who made the momentous discovery of Electrolysis.
Electrolysis is the decomposition of Compounds into their component parts when a Direct Current is applied to a molten or liquefied Compound in a suitable Solution.
The most useful Electro-Chemical process of Electrolysis was discovered by William Nicholson (1753-1815) and Anthony Carlisle. (1768-1840)
Nicholson was an English Chemist and talented Writer. Carlisle was an English Surgeon with a serious interest in Science.
In addition to finding extensive demand for it's manifold benefits in the burgeoning Industrial Age, Electrolysis provided the means of revealing and identifying numerous stable Elements. Helping Scientists to fill gaps in the Periodic Table.
As so often happens regarding Human activity, new knowledge is not always discovered in isolation. While much knowledge has been common amongst Nations, and particularly so in modern times, Intuition still plays a vital role in both the Discovery, and Comprehension, of everything new. As it always has.
Discoveries are effected by Thinkers who are in touch with the storehouse of knowledge Two or more Humans can make the same discovery, at the same time. This enigmatic phenomenon can occur any-time, between anybody, anywhere on Earth.
With zilch awareness of each other's parallel involvement
The foregoing is just one more fascination of the capabilities of the
Human Mind. A capability that can be profitably employed in the
competent execution of Collaboration.
Subsequent to Nicholson and Carlisle observing the spectacle of Electrolysis, the same wonder was independently discovered by German Scientist Johann Ritter, (1776-1810) a daring man with an insatiable appetite for way out experimenting.
Johann Ritter is credited with the distinction of being the first observer of the phenomenon of Electroplating. And discovering Ultraviolet Radiation.
Assiduous use of Human intelligence opens up New Worlds. And how!
Nicholson and Carlisle recognized
that well wetted hands delivered a shock when touching the terminals of
the Voltaic Pile they had constructed, but the Current was not strong
enough to be sensed by dry skin. The pair concluded that water ensured a
They also noticed that by adding Cells to the Voltaic Pile they were experimenting with, in the series configuration mentioned above, the intensity of the shock was increased.
These guys were nuts.
The two men went on to construct a Voltaic Pile consisting of one hundred Cells. Periodically taking pause to gauge the increase in intensity of the output. These two bright, but rather foolhardy, minds measured increases of Current by applying shocks to various parts of their bodies. Including the conducting of a Current through their Brain by inserting probes in their ears.
William Nicholson commented he believed it prudent not to do so repeatedly. He wasn't alone in his Desire to push the boundaries of common sense. His contemporary in Germany shared the same passion. Johann Ritter also had a tendency for such experiments.
Misplaced Enthusiasm can easily distort Human intelligence.
Motivated by the pleasing results of their Current increasing experiments, Nicholson and Carlisle moved on to other research. They used their new-found Belief, that water ensured a sounder connection, by placing several drops of the liquid where the Terminal Leads of their Voltaic Pile made contact with the object of their experiment.
During one such episode of dropping water on the Terminals, Carlisle
observed, to quote his words, a “disengagement” of a small amount of gas
at the point
Further Investigation led William Nicholson to believe this gas smelt like Hydrogen.
William was inspired to cut the Positive Lead of their Voltaic Pile and
insert in a series connection, a glass tube filled with water, sealed
using corks, with a wire protruding at either end, leaving a gap of
forty four millimeter between the wires within the water filled tube.
When the wire was reconnected to the Voltaic Pile, a steady stream of tiny bubbles was emitted from one of the wires inside the tube of water.
The embryo of electrolysis had been discovered. Electricity was now beginning to look rather useful indeed.
Just one industrial application of Electrolysis is in the production of Aluminium. Exponentially reducing processing costs. Taking aluminium from being one of the most expensive metals to purchase, to one of the least expensive.
The Power of Human Intelligence, to heed Nature, understand Her Laws, then put those Laws to work in Harmony with Her, reaps mighty rewards.
Human Intelligence Rocks!
Part 15 - Part 14
Next - Well Deserved Recognition