Who Discovered Magnetic Induction/Induced Electricity?

By: Dusty Arlia
Published on November 28, 2011
Last Updated on Saturday, July 18, 2015 at 10:35 PM
Total Updates: 4

The scientific community usually gives credit to the person who is able to first publish their work. Michael Faraday is widely credited for discovering magnetic induction, also called induced electricity. Magnetic induction is the creation of electricity by using the change in magnetic fields. Michael Faraday came across this discovery testing out his hypothesis that electricity can be generated from a constant magnetic field. It was only when he turned off his magnets did he get an electrical reading. This flicker on his electrical meter was enough to spur his curiosity. When this flicker in the electrical meter occurred again when he turned his magnet back on confirmed that this "on/off" change in his magnetic field created a small flicker of current. By moving the magnet past the circuit in a consistent way - usually in some kind of cranked, spinning motion - a regular current could be produced. This lead to our earliest generators.

In Albany, New York, Joseph Henry had made the same observations at about the same time, maybe earlier. He published his results after Faraday did and thus was not given credit as being the person to discover magnetic induction.