Luigi Galvani Facts

Luigi Galvani Facts
Luigi Aloisio Galvani (September 9, 1737 to December 4, 1798) was an Italian physician, physicist and philosopher, who lived and died in Bologna. In 1780, he discovered that the muscles of dead frogs' legs twitched when struck by an electrical spark. This launched the study of bioelectricity, a field that still studies the electrical patterns and signals of the nervous system.
Interesting Luigi Galvani Facts:
Luigi Galvani was born to a middle class family in Bologna, Italy.
Although he originally planned to study for the priesthood, in 1755 he enter the University of Bologna and studied medicine and surgery.
He received his MD and a degree in philosophy in 1759 and in 1762 he became the anatomist of the university.
In 1776 he became an anatomy teacher at the Academy of Sciences where he used autopsies and models in his work.
One of his responsibilities was to present a research paper to the Academy every year for publication in the Academy's periodical.
In his earliest experiment in the field of electrophysiology he noticed that the legs of a dead frog would kick when an electric current was applied to the sciatic nerve.
He was the first researcher to understand that there is a relationship between electricity and life.
Alessandro Volta, a professor of experimental physics at the University of Pavia and inventor of an early battery, repeated Galvani's experiments.
Volta disagreed with Galvani's assessment that the electric current was intrinsic to the frog's body and built the first battery to disprove Galvani's theory.
In 1797 the French founded the Cisalpine Republic and required professors to swear a loyalty oath to the new government
Galvani refused and was stripped of his positions and all of his financial support.
He moved in with his brother in Bologna and died in poverty.
Mary Shelley mentioned Galvani's experiments as part of the background for her novel, Frankenstein.
Galvani's name survives in many contexts including the galvanometer and the galvanic cell.


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