Michael Faraday
Michael Faraday was one of the ten children of a blacksmith. Lack of funding could not take young Faraday beyond reading and writing, consequently he never went to school and was able to work as an assistant to a bookbinder in 1805, that was the only contact he had with books.
Michael Faraday

One day his boss ( one version of the anecdote) asked him to hand over a bound book to Sir Humphry Davy who was then the President of the Royal Society of Chemists in London. Young Faraday found Davy giving a lecture and had to wait to hand over the book. He started listening to his lecture and was very attracted and fasicinated by the lecture on chemistry that Davy was delivering. (Davy was famous for his oratory skills and was supposed to be a very handsome personality, which even attracted people without any chemistry background) After the talk Faraday was overwhelmed. He met Davy afterwards handed over the books and requested him to give him a job as a lab assistant never mind even it is for washing the test tubes. Davy's initial reaction was negative, but Faraday was persistant.

After a lot of delay Humphry Davy did give him a job to carry his brief case and follow him where ever he went and to wash the glass ware in his lab. That was sufficient for young Faraday, he grabbed the opportunity and managed to do remarkable work in different fields of physics and chemistry in very short time.


22-09-1791: 25-08-1867
Born in : Newington, Surrey

Faraday worked with relentless zeal in Davy’s laboratory and showed clear signs of a genius. He developed method for liquifying gas, discovered benzene and worked on electrolytic conduction. He formulated Faraday’s laws of electrolysis, which are one of the most accurate generalisations in science.


He studied the interrelations of electricity and magnetism and worked out the first electric generator – the first practical device for turning heat and mechanical energy into a continuous flow of electric current, on which rests the entire electric field world of today.

It is said that his boss Davy became very jealous of Faraday, and even interfered in some matters against him, yet when some one asked him what was his greatest discovery, the reply was "Faraday".

Sir Humphry Davy was the President of the Royal Society of Chemists in london at the time when Faraday joined him as a lab assistant, later Faraday occupied the same position.

Just imagine a boy without any formal schooling became one of the greatest of scientists.

It just indicates that to succeed what is necessary is a strong desire and will to achieve. Other things will follow.

Source: Asimov on Chemistry
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C.V. Raman
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