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Encyclopedia > Luigi Galvani
Luigi Galvani

Luigi Galvani - Italian physician famous for making frogs' legs twitch.
Born September 9, 1737
Bologna, a State of the Church
Died December 4, 1798
Bologna, a State of the Church
Institutions University of Bologna
Known for bioelectricity

Luigi Galvani (September 9, 1737December 4, 1798) Italian physician and physicist who lived and died in Bologna. In 1771, he discovered that the muscles of dead frogs twitched when struck by a spark.[1] He was a pioneer in modern obstetrics, and discovered that muscle and nerve cells produce electricity. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... is the 252nd day of the year (253rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Events 12 February — The San Carlo, the oldest working opera house in Europe, is inaugurated. ... For the food product, see Bologna sausage. ... Coat of arms Map of the Papal States; the reddish area was annexed to the Kingdom of Italy in 1860, the rest (grey) in 1870. ... is the 338th day of the year (339th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1798 (MDCCXCVIII) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Friday of the 11-day slower Julian calendar). ... For the food product, see Bologna sausage. ... Coat of arms Map of the Papal States; the reddish area was annexed to the Kingdom of Italy in 1860, the rest (grey) in 1870. ... The University of Bologna (Italian: , UNIBO) is the oldest continually operating degree-granting university in the world, and the second biggest university in Italy. ... Bioelectromagnetism (sometimes equated with bioelectricity) refers to the electrical, magnetic or electromagnetic fields produced by living cells, tissues or organisms. ... is the 252nd day of the year (253rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Events 12 February — The San Carlo, the oldest working opera house in Europe, is inaugurated. ... is the 338th day of the year (339th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1798 (MDCCXCVIII) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Friday of the 11-day slower Julian calendar). ... For other uses, see Doctor. ... Not to be confused with physician, a person who practices medicine. ... For the food product, see Bologna sausage. ... Obstetrics (from the Latin obstare, to stand by) is the surgical specialty dealing with the care of a woman and her offspring during pregnancy, childbirth and the puerperium (the period shortly after birth). ... For other uses of Muscles, see Muscles (disambiguation). ... This article is about cells in the nervous system. ... Electricity (from New Latin ēlectricus, amberlike) is a general term for a variety of phenomena resulting from the presence and flow of electric charge. ...

Contents

Early life

Galvani attended Bologna's medicine school and became a medical doctor like his father. In 1764 he married a well-liked woman of society, the only daughter of a professor at the University of Bologna. In 1772 Galvani became president of the university.


Frog legs

The electrochemical behavior of two dissimilar metals [(zinc (Z) and copper (C)] in a bimetallic arch, in contact with the electrolytes of tissue, produces an electric stimulating current that elicits muscular contraction.[2]

In about 1766, Galvani began investigating the action of electricity upon the muscles of frogs. By observing the twitching in the muscles of frog legs suspended by copper hooks on an iron rail, Galvani was led to the invention of the metallic arc. The arc was made of two different metals, such that when one metal was placed in contact with a frog’s nerve and the other in contact with a muscle, a contraction would occur.[3] Image File history File links Galvani's_legs. ... Image File history File links Galvani's_legs. ... For other uses, see Copper (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Iron (disambiguation). ...

Statue of Galvani in Bologna.

In 1783, according to popular version of the story, Galvani dissected a frog at a table where he had been conducting experiments with static electricity, Galvani's assistant touched an exposed sciatic nerve of the frog with a metal scalpel, which had picked up a charge.[citation needed] At that moment, they saw sparks in an electricity machine and the dead frog's leg kick as if in life. The observation made Galvani the first investigator to appreciate the relationship between electricity and animation — or life. This finding provided the basis for the current understanding that electrical energy (carried by ions), and not air or fluid as in earlier balloonist theories, is the impetus behind muscle movement. He is typically credited with the discovery of bioelectricity. Image File history File linksMetadata Galvani-statue. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Galvani-statue. ... For the food product, see Bologna sausage. ... Distribution of frogs (in black) Suborders Archaeobatrachia Mesobatrachia Neobatrachia - List of Anuran families The frogness babe is an amphibian in the order Anura (meaning tail-less from Greek an-, without + oura, tail), formerly referred to as Salientia (Latin saltare, to jump). ... Static electricity is a class of phenomena involving the net charge present on an object; typically referring to charged object with voltages of sufficient magnitude to produce visible attraction, repulsion, and sparks. ... The sciatic nerve (also known as the ischiatic nerve) is a large nerve that runs down the lower limb. ... For other uses, see Scalpel (disambiguation). ... Balloonist theory was a theory in early neuroscience that attempted to explain muscle movement by asserting that muscles contract by inflating with air or fluid. ... Bioelectromagnetism (sometimes equated with bioelectricity) refers to the static voltage of biological cells and to the electric currents that flow in living tissues, such as nerves and muscles, as a result of action potentials. ...


Galvani coined the term animal electricity to describe whatever it was that activated the muscles of his specimens. Along with contemporaries, he regarded their activation as being generated by an electrical fluid that is carried to the muscles by the nerves. The phenomenon was dubbed "galvanism", after Galvani, on the suggestion of his peer and sometime intellectual adversary Alessandro Volta. For other uses of Muscles, see Muscles (disambiguation). ... Nerves (yellow) Nerves redirects here. ... In biology, galvanism is the contraction of a muscle that is stimulated by an electric current. ... This article is about the physicist Alessandro Volta. ...


Animal electricity vs. heat electricity

Galvani's investigations led shortly to the invention of an early battery, but not by Galvani, who did not perceive electricity as separable from biology. Galvani did not see electricity as the essence of life, which he regarded vitalistically. Galvani believed that the animal electricity came from the muscle. Galvani's associate Alessandro Volta, in opposition, reasoned that the animal electricity was a physical phenomenon, i.e. a metallic electricity. A battery is of one or more electrochemical cells, which store chemical energy and make it available in an electrical form. ... Vitalism is the doctrine that vital forces are active in living organisms, so that life cannot be explained solely by mechanism. ... This article is about the physicist Alessandro Volta. ...


While, as Galvani believed, all life is indeed electrical, specifically that all living things are made of cells and every cell has a cell potential, biological electricity has the same chemical underpinnings as the flow of current between electrochemical cells, and thus can be recapitulated in a way outside the body. Volta's intuition was correct. Volta, essentially, objected to Galvani’s conclusions about “animal electric fluid,” but the two scientists disagreed respectfully and Volta coined the term galvanism for a direct current of electricity produced by chemical action.[4] Drawing of the structure of cork as it appeared under the microscope to Robert Hooke from Micrographia which is the origin of the word cell being used to describe the smallest unit of a living organism Cells in culture, stained for keratin (red) and DNA (green) The cell is the... In biological cells that are electrically at rest, the cytosol possesses a uniform electric potential or voltage compared to the extracellular solution. ... A demonstration electrochemical cell setup resembling the Daniell cell. ...


Thus, owing to an argument between the two, in regard to the source or cause of the electricity, Volta built the first battery in order to specifically disprove his associate's theory. Volta's "pile" became known therefore as a voltaic pile A copper-zinc Voltaic pile A Voltaic pile on display in the Tempio Voltiano The Voltaic pile is the first modern electric battery, invented by Alessandro Volta in 1800. ...


Later life

Lucia, Galvani's wife died in 1790 at age 47. Luigi died eight years later at the age of 61.


Miscellaneous

  • Galvani's report of his investigations were mentioned specifically by Mary Shelley as part of the summer reading list leading up to an ad hoc ghost story contest on a rainy day in Switzerland—and the resultant novel Frankenstein—and its electrically reanimated construct.
  • Galvani's name also survives in the Galvanic cell, the galvanometer and galvanization.
  • Galvani crater, on the Moon, is also named after him.

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (née Godwin) (30 August 1797 – 1 February 1851) was an English romantic/gothic novelist and the author of Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus. ... This article is about the 1818 novel. ... The Galvanic cell, named after Luigi Galvani, consists of two different metals connected by a salt bridge or a porous disk between the individual half-cells. ... Wire carrying current to be measured Restoring spring N and S are poles of magnet A galvanometer is a type of ammeter — an instrument for detecting and measuring electric current. ... Galvanization or galvanisation refers to any of several electrochemical processes named after the Italian scientist Luigi Galvani. ... Galvani is a lunar crater that lies close to the northwestern limb of the Moon, due south of the larger Volta walled plain. ... This article is about Earths moon. ...

References

  1. ^ Luigi Galvani (1737-1798) – Eric Weisstein’s World of Scientific Biolgraph.
  2. ^ Malmivuo, J., & Plonsey, R. (1995). Bioelectromagnatism: Principles and applications of bioelectric and biomagnetic fields. New York: Oxford University Press., Ch.1
  3. ^ Luigi Galvani – NNDB
  4. ^ Luigi Galvani – IEEE Virtual Museum.

See Also

Galvanization or galvanisation refers to any of several electrochemical processes named after the Italian scientist Luigi Galvani. ...

Further reading

  • Kandel E.R., Schwartz, J.H., Jessell, T.M. (2000). Principles of Neural Science, 4th ed., p.6. McGraw-Hill, New York.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Luigi Galvani

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External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Luigi Galvani (195 words)
Luigi Galvani (September 9, 1737 - December 4, 1798) was an Italian physician and physicist who lived and died in Bologna.
Galvani coined the term animal electricity to describe the material or phenomenon that activated the muscles of his specimens.
Galvani and contemporaries regarded muscle activation as resulting from an electrical fluid or substance in the nerves.
Luigi Galvani (314 words)
Galvani's investigations led shortly to the invention of an early battery, but not by Galvani, who did not perceive electricity as separable from biology.
Galvani saw electricity instead as the essence or the stuff itself of life, which he regarded vitalistically.
While, as Galvani believed, all life is indeed electrical--in that all living things are made of cellss and every cell has a cell potential--biological electricity has the same chemical underpinnings as the flow of current between electrochemical cells, and thus can be recapitulated in a way outside the body.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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