Centre for History and Philosophy of Science University of Leeds Logo

 

 

Electricity as Force or Substance?

Look again at the quote from Preece:

"Some maintain with Du Fay or with Franklin, that [electricity] is a form of matter - a substance; others following Faraday and Grove, consider it a form of force - a motion like heat and light. It must be either one of the other. There is no other category in which to class it. If it is not a form of matter it must be a form of force. The question I propose to discuss is, therefore, is electricity a form of matter, or is it a form of force?"

From William Preece, "The Nature of Electricity", Nature (1880)

Question 1

Who were Faraday and Grove?

Question 2

What are Faraday and Grove most famous for working on?

Question 3

What did Faraday, Grove, and their supporters argue that electricity is? Why?

Question 4

How does the idea of electricity as a force differ from the idea of electricity as a substance?

Previous 7 of 12 Next

Copyright and Legal | Accessibility | Privacy | Freedom of information
Copyright © 2010 University of Leeds