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6 March 2014 1:04 pm ,
Vol. 343 ,
Magdalena Koziol, a former postdoc at Yale University, was the victim of scientific sabotage. Now, she is suing the...
Antiretroviral drugs can protect people from becoming infected by HIV. But so-called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP...
Two studies show that eating a diet low in protein and high in carbohydrates is linked to a longer, healthier life, and...
Considered an icon of conservation science, researchers at World Wildlife Fund (WWF) headquarters in Washington, D.C.,...
The new atlas, which shows the distribution of important trace metals and other substances, is the first product of...
Early in April, the first of a fleet of environmental monitoring satellites will lift off from Europe's spaceport in...
Since 2000, U.S. government health research agencies have spent almost $1 billion on an effort to churn out thousands...
- 6 March 2014 1:04 pm , Vol. 343 , #6175
- About Us
18 February 1999 7:00 pm
is the birthday of Alessandro Volta, an Italian physicist born in 1745 who discovered how to produce electric current. It was known that muscles in dead frogs contract when two dissimilar metals (brass and iron) are put in contact with one another and the muscle. Volta proposed that the source of the electricity was not the animal tissue but rather the junction of the metals, and he made a list that ranked metals according to the strength of the sensation they produced on his tongue. By 1800, Volta discovered how to create high electric currents, using two arrangements of conductors: one a pile of silver and zinc discs separated by cardboard moistened with brine; the other a series of glasses containing saltwater and connected with bimetallic, curved electrodes. This paved the way for discoveries about electromagnetism and the invention of electrical machines. The unit of electric potential, the volt, is named in his honor.
[Source: Roy Porter, Ed., The Biographical Dictionary of Scientists (Oxford University Press, ed. 2, 1994).]