circuits test

Michael Faraday used to keep a froggery, full of live frogs

How would you measure electricity before the voltammeter has been invented? Faraday, and his mentor Humphry Davy, had a solution. Borrowing from the famous experiments of Luigi Galvani, they kept a ready stock of frogs handy.

When he had a circuit that needed testing, Faraday would carefully select a frog, tenderly pick it out of the froggery, and delicately smash it’s head in.

He’d then place metal plates under the frog’s leg muscles and link to them to his circuit. If electricity was flowing, the frog legs would twitch.

For several years, this was the only reliable method of testing for electricity. Luckily, he soon invented the voltammeter in 1833, which quantified electrical charge as it passed through chemical compounds and measured the gas given off.

Watch the full animation here.

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