Physics Research Paper

1684 words - 7 pages

“Teach me and I forget. Show me and I remember. Involve me and I understand.” – Benjamin

Franklin. Benjamin Franklin was raised in a poverty. He nourished himself with literature when he

was just a kid, and worked for his brother as a printer at the age of 17. When he left his brother to

open his own printing press, he became so successful that he retired at the age of 42! This allowed

him to focus on his love for science. Franklin was a polymath (in other words, he was many things)—

an author, printer, politician, scientist, musician, inventor, and much, much more. He made significant

contributions to many fields. However, he is probably best known for his work in science, especially in

electricity and the physics of electricity. For the areas of science in which he worked, he is known for

his studies in the theory of electricity and his useful inventions. These include the Franklin stove, bifocal

eyeglasses, the lightning rod, and daylight savings time.

One of Franklin's greatest claims to fame was his work in electricity. He carried out experiments

with the Leyden jar, sent a current through water to ignite alcohol, made the first battery, ignited

gunpowder, and much, much more (Bellis). He even charged wine glasses so the drinkers would receive

shocks! More importantly though, he began to develop the theory of the relationship between lightning

and electricity; he brought up the idea of protecting buildings by using iron rods. In the summer of

1752, he performed the famous kite experiment, where he drew down electricity from the sky by

charging a Leyden jar from the key at the end of the string. Franklin stated that "electricity is a single

electrical 'fluid'" (electrons) "that may be transferred between bodies". He said the total quantity of

the "fluid" is always conserved. This is a concept known today as one of the fundamental natural law—

the conservation of electrical charge (Timeline 1750-1774).

Inspired by Du Fay (Charles-Francois de Cisternay Du Fay), best known for the discovery

of positive and negative electricity, Franklin found out the amount of “fluid” (today known as

electrons), was responsible for the repelling and attracting of different objects in different situations

(Karam 340). Benjamin Franklin used terminology still used today. An excess of electrical fluid was

considered "positive" while a deficiency of fluid was considered "negative". Benjamin Franklin studied

the relationship between magnetism and electricity and tried to magnetize an object by using electricity.

Today, we know that electricity is generated by either moving a wire in a magnetic field or moving a

magnet in a coil of wire (“Generating Electricity”).

Benjamin Franklin was also known for his many inventions and creations, which were involved

in his experiments with electricity and magnetism (“Inventions”). What fascinated me about Ben’s inventions was that most of them were created because he had a...

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