Alessandro Volta

Date of birth: 18 February, 1745. Como, Italia.

Date of death: 5 March, 1827. Como, Italia.


Volta found his way to study physics even though his family wanted him to dedicate to legal service. In 1774, he became professor of physics at the Royal School in Como. One year after, he improved the electrophorus, an instrument that produced charges of static electricity. Later, in 1776-77 he dedicated to study chemistry, and specialized in the chemistry of gases. In 1779, he became professor of physics at the University of Pavia, a chair he occupied for almost 40 years.

Napoleon Bonaparte was impressed by Volta’s work and conferred several honors to him over the years. In 1809 Volta became a member of the Royal Institute of the Netherlands, where he was made a count, in 1810, by Bonaparte. In 1819, he finally retired to private life in his country house in Camnago, where he died in 1827. Alessandro Volta was married to Teresa Peregrini, and they had three sons.


Alessandro Volta is remembered as the pioneer of electricity and power. As the result of an investigation caused by the disagreement with his colleague Luis Galvani, by 1800, Volta announced the discovery of the first electric battery, later known as the voltaic pile. This invention meant that electricity could be generated chemically, which collided with the previous idea that preached that electricity could only be generated by living beings. This first invention, lead the creation of the field of electrochemistry.
During his immersion on chemistry of gases, during 1776-77, he discovered methane.

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