Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Oh, Google Doodle! February 18, 2015

Copyright © Françoise Herrmann

Check out today's Google Doodle at (and click on the Doodle)! Today's Google Doodle celebrates Alessandro Volta's 270th birthday on Feb. 18, 1745, the inventor of the voltaic pile (i.e.;battery)! 

Google Doodles are the delightful and beautifully crafted daily changes to the Google logo posted on the splash search page. For an archive of the Doodles, search for GoogleDoodles. Perhaps that one day there might be a Google Doodle exhibit to light up MOMAs worldwide! This is charming, whimsical, highly technical and amazingly participatory art!

Google’s Doodle is linked to a Wikipedia article about Alessandro Volta. In the article you will find out that Volta’s invention was reported to The Royal Society in 1880, and then to the Institut de France, two of the oldest learned societies on record, founded respectively in 1660 and 1795, where the invention was granted Letters patent.

In the Wikipedia article, you will also learn that Alessandro Volta’s invention concerned the production of electricity using a chemical reaction at a time when electricity was thought to be produced exclusively by living beings, according to Galvani’s “frog leg” experiments identifying animal electricity. Volta’s pile or battery placed two metals in contact with a liquid electrolyte (sulfuric acid mixed with water, or soaked saltwater brine paper), creating a voltaic cell where electricity flows as result of a series of electrochemical transfers and reactions.

You will also find out that Alessandro Volta is credited with the discovery of methane, and subsequently the study of electrical capacitance where his experiments resulted in Volta’s law of capacitance, and electrical potential became known as the “volt”. This work in experimental physics was carried out at the University of Pavia, in Italy where Alessandro Volta was chair and professor for 40 years.  

 Below, today's animated Google Doodle celebrating Alessandro Volta's sparks of genius 
(Copyright © Google Inc.)

Wikipedia - Letters Patent
Wikipedia - Alessandro Volta

Wikipedia - Luigi Galvani
Wikipedia - Capacitance 
Wikipedia - Voltaic pile 
The Royal Society
Institut de France
Google Doodles

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