|Born: Jan 17 1706 in Boston, Massachusets Bay
Died: April 17 1790 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
|Fields: Physics, Engineering
Even though Benjamin Franklin is best known as a Founding Father of the United States, a reputation that overshadows his achievements as a scientist and inventor. As one of the leading forces behind the American Enlightenment, he has a huge place in the history of physics thanks to his theories and discoveries regarding electricity. He was one of the first to come up with the principle of a positive and negative charge, as well as the concept of charge conservation. Some of his most well-known inventions include the lightning rod, bifocal lenses and the stove bearing his name. He was also the one to discover the fact that temperature has an effect on the electrical conductivity of a body after his experiment showed that ice does not conduct as well as water. Evidence from his famous kite experiment show that Franklin was insulated during the lightning strike , while those who tried to replicate his experiment ended up electrocuted, which makes it very likely that Franklin also came up with the concept of insulation. Outside of science and politics, Franklin also dabbled in music. One of his most famous inventions is the glass harmonica.
One doesn’t need to look far to see what kind of legacy Benjamin Franklin left. Other than his famous depiction on the $100 US dollar bill, multiple warships, educational institutions, towns and counties have been named after him.
Copley Medal (1753)