Volta, Alessandro, Conte

Volta, Alessandro, Conte

(älĕs-sän`drō kôn`tā vôl`tä), 1745–1827, Italian physicist. He was professor of physics at the Univ. of Pavia from 1779 and became famous for his work in electricity. Napoleon I made him a count and a senator of the kingdom of Lombardy. Volta invented the so-called Volta's pile (or voltaic pile); the electrophoruselectrophorus,
device used to generate static electric charges. It has two parts: a nonconducting plate (e.g., of hard rubber) that is negatively charged and a metal plate with an insulated handle.
..... Click the link for more information.
; an electric condenser; and the voltaic cellvoltaic cell,
a simple device with which chemical energy is converted into electrical energy. Two dissimilar metals (e.g., copper and zinc) are immersed in an electrolyte (e.g., a dissolved sulfate). If the metals are connected by an external circuit, one metal is reduced (i.e.
..... Click the link for more information.
. The voltvolt
[for Alessandro Volta], abbr. V, unit of electric potential and electromotive force. It is defined as the difference of electric potential existing across the ends of a conductor carrying a constant current of 1 ampere when the power dissipated is 1 watt.
..... Click the link for more information.
, a unit of electrical measurement, is named for Volta.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/