Alessandro-VoltaAlessandro Volta is a well-known physicist, who is famous for creating a first practical electric cell. Moreover, his work proved that it is possible to produce electricity through a chemical reaction. He was not just a physicist but was also greatly known for his work in the field of chemistry and electrical science.

Other than this, he was the first person who discovered methane gas (common household gas). He noticed that, if methane is combined with air then it can cause an explosion when ignited with flame.

Biography – Lifespan

Alessandro Volta was born in the house of a respectable family in Como Italy in the year 1745. His father, Filippo Volta, left him when he was just 7 years old. In difficult times, his uncle helped him to continue his studies at home and then at the Jesuit boarding school. During his education years, Volta faced many challenges and family pressure to become a lawyer. However, his ideas and aims led him to chose his own path. Alessandro Volta is also honored to have served at the Royal School in Como as a physics professor in the year 1774.

Furthermore, Volta also got the chance to perform his experimental work at Cesare Gattoni’s laboratory of physics. Gottani was a wealthy person and was a Volta’s friend. To learn further, Volta shared his first scientific paper with Giambatista in which he discussed the possibilities of creating electricity by rubbing two substances together.

At last, Volta spent his last days with his wife Maria Teresa and his three sons at Como till his death which happened on 5th March 1827.

Contributions And Discoveries

There are various contributions that he made to the field of science. Some of his most important contributions including inventions and discoveries are:

  • Voltaic Cell – In 1799, Volta made an electrochemical cell that could generate electricity continuously by a chemical reaction.
  • Voltaic Pile – Voltaic pile was the first electric battery that Alessandro Volta made by combining multiple voltaic cells. He demonstrated the voltaic pile in the year 1800.
  • Discovery of Methane – Volta was the first person who discovered and isolated the methane gas that is used in the kitchen. He isolated the gas between the years 1776 and 1778 when he was researching on marsh gas.
  • Electroscope – He is also known for developing the electroscopes which had the power to discover the results of electric charge.
  • Electricity by Rubbing of Metals – He also observed that contact electricity is produced when two different metals are brought in to contact and rubbed.
  • Volta’s Law – Volta worked on electrochemical series and gave Volta’s law. The law states that different metals used in battery produce different voltages. The electrochemical list has the metals that are arranged based on the losing of electrons easily.

Interesting Facts

  • In 1791, Volta was successfully awarded the fellowship of the Royal Society of London.
  • Due to his Volta’s law for electrochemical series, the Royal Society has awarded him with Copley Medal.
  • The unit of electric potential in the International System of Units is the voltage for giving the honor to Volta.
  • The famous, Napoleon Bonaparte, also granted him the title ‘Count’ for his valuable work of inventing the battery. The title of Count used to be awarded to people in Europe for their great works.

Cite this Page

Abdul Wahab, "Alessandro Volta," in Science4Fun, April 13, 2020,