Alessandro Volta

Physicist and Inventor Alessandro Volta

Full Name: Alessandro Giuseppe Antonio Anastasio Volta
Profession: Physicist and Inventor


Biography: Alessandro Volta was an Italian physicist, best known as a pioneer of electrical power. He is held to have invented the electric battery and discovered methane. The unit for electric potential, the volt, is named after him.

Volta invented the voltaic pile in 1799, which was the first electrical battery capable of providing continuous current. This proved the chemical generation of electricity and disproved those that thought it a purely biological phenomenon.

The voltaic pile gave rise to the rapid development of many other discoveries: the electrolysis of water into oxygen and hydrogen by William Nicholson and Anthony Carlisle, as well as the isolation of various chemical elements by Humphry Davy (sodium, potassium, calcium, boron, barium, strontium, and magnesium).

Born: February 18, 1745
Birthplace: Corno, Duchy of Milan
Star Sign: Aquarius

Died: March 5, 1827 (aged 82)

Married Life

  • 1794-09-22 Physicist Alessandro Volta (49) weds Teresa Peregrini

Historical Events

  • 1800-03-20 Alessandro Volta reports his discovery of the electric battery in a letter to Joseph Banks, president of the Royal Society of London
  • 1861-09-04 British Association for Advancement of Science proposes standard units of electrical measurement (the Volt after Alessandro Volta; the Ohm after Georg Ohm) at its 31st annual meeting (Manchester, England)