Through the 19th century the research in the Royal Institution's laboratories was carried out by individual professors or researchers, working by themselves or with assistants. The laboratories were some of the best equipped in Europe at this time and were made famous by the important discoveries made by Michael Faraday in the 1830s and 40s. These included electro-magnetic induction in 1831, leading to the invention of the first electric generator and transformer, and the magneto-optical effect and diamagnetism in 1845.
In 1853 John Tyndall was appointed as Professor of Natural Philosophy and began his own research projects alongside Faraday in the laboratory. During his career he undertook important work on diamagnetism as well as investigating such diverse topics as radiant heat, spontaneous generation and the movement of glaciers. Other professors appointed in this period include T.H. Huxley, Edward Frankland, John Hall Gladstone, James Dewar and John William Strutt.
Apart from their own research, RI Professors were often called upon to undertake research for or to advise government departments and organisations such as Trinity House.
1831 Faraday discovers electro-magnetic induction and
creates the first electric generator and transformer
1834 Faraday introduces scientific terms such as
eletrode, cathode, anode and ion.
1836 Faraday creates and tests the Faraday Cage
1845 Faraday discovers the magneto-optical effect, leading
to the development of field theory of electromagnetism
1860s Tyndall works on radiant heat and discovers what is
now known as the 'greenhouse effect'.
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