Explore iconic objects and original apparatus from the Ri Collection, including key items from the amazing individuals who have researched, lectured and lived at the Ri.
The first electrical battery, invented by Volta in 1800 in Genoa, Italy. This voltaic pile, made before 1813, was presented to Michael Faraday by Volta in 1814.
Developed in 1964, Porter’s first ruby laser was used to speed up chemical reactions by short bursts of energy.
The first ever prototype of Davy’s miner’s safety lamp. Created in 1815, it was designed to be lit safely for miners to use without allowing the heat from the flame to explode the concentration of methane gas often found as miners dug deeper.
Dating from the early 1800’s, these small glass jars are filled with some of Davy’s original element samples of sodium, calcium, magnesium and chlorine from when they were first isolated.
Dewar’s first ever vacuum flask. Created in 1892 to hold liquefied gases at extremely low temperatures, this object is the forerunner of the Thermos flask.
Have you ever wondered why the sky is blue? The answer was first discovered over 150 years ago right here at the Royal Institution using this tube.
In 1859 Tyndall used a collection of apparatus, including this tube to measure the absorptive powers of gases in the atmosphere. The result of his experiments was the discovery of Greenhouse Gases and their effects on the earth.
The first surviving Faraday apparatus, dating from 1822, which demonstrates his work in magnetic rotation. Faraday used this mercury bath to transform electrical energy into mechanical energy, creating the first electric motor.
Faraday had created the first transformer in August 1831. A few months later he designed and made this simple piece of apparatus based on his ring, developing the first ever electric generator.
These liquids are some of the first examples of metallic gold colloids, made by Michael Faraday over 150 years ago
Faraday created a number of iron filing diagrams in 1851 to demonstrate magnetic lines of force.
Created in 1831 and used to show that magnetism could directly produce a spark, this apparatus provided further evidence for Faraday's view of the inter-convertibility of all forces.
The apparatus, consisting of an electromagnet, used by Michael Faraday in a ground-breaking experiment showing that light and glass are affected by magnetism.
Made by Faraday in his laboratory in the basement of the Royal Institution in August 1831, thus creating the first ever electric transformer.
Isolated for the first time in 1825 this hydrocarbon is now an important raw material in manufacturing dyes, explosives, rubber, phenol and therapeutic chemicals.
The way we quantify electricity was first devised by Michael Faraday using this piece of apparatus, known as a voltammeter.
The first model which demonstrates the structure of an enzyme, providing an explanation for how enzymes speed up a chemical reaction in terms of its physical structures. First mapped by David Chilton Phillips & Louise Johnson’s research team in 1965 by x-ray diffraction methods.
The first ionization spectrometer designed and constructed by William Henry Bragg in 1912-13, used to measure variations in scattering angles of crystals in order to determine their structures. This is the basis of Crystallography.