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Encyclopedia > Giovanni Aldini

Giovanni Aldini (April 10, 1762 -- January 17, 1834), Italian physicist born at Bologna, was a brother of the statesman Count Antonio Aldini (1756-1826) and nephew of Luigi Galvani, whose treatise on muscular electricity he edited with notes in 1791.


He became professor of physics at Bologna in 1798, in succession to his teacher Sebastiano Canterzani (1734-1819). His scientific work was chiefly concerned with galvanism and its medical applications, with the construction and illumination of lighthouses, and with experiments for preserving human life and material objects from destruction by fire. He wrote in French and English in addition to his native Italian. In recognition of his merits, the emperor of Austria made him a knight of the Iron Crown and a councillor of state at Milan, where he died. He bequeathed a considerable sum to found a school of natural science for artisans at Bologna.


This article incorporates text from the public domain 1911 Encyclopędia Britannica.


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When the rods were applied to Forster’s mouth and ear, “the jaw began to quiver, the adjoining muscles were horribly contorted, and the left eye actually opened.” When one rod was moved to touch the rectum, the whole body convulsed: indeed, the movements were “so much increased as almost to give an appearance of re-animation”.
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