New Google Doodle Honors Alessandro Volta, Forefather of the Modern Battery

Elie Chahine

Alessandro Volta’s 270th Birthday

*Throws metal strips in saltwater, changes world forever*

A new Google Doodle is celebrating what would have been the 270th birthday of the Italian physicist Alessandro Volta, who in the year 1800 published a theory that led to the modern battery.

As TIME wrote back in 2007, Volta “realized metals could produce a current and developed the first battery, or ‘voltaic pile,’ a series of copper and zinc strips in salt water that gave off an electric current instead of static electricity.”

Undated picture of Italian physicist and inventor Alexander Volta (1745 - 1827)Born February 18, 1745 in Como, Italy, Volta’s invention was the result of a professional competition with Luigi Galvani, who discovered that dissected frogs’ legs would twitch when probed with a wire.

Galvani believed the frogs’ muscles generated the electricity, while Volta thought the animal tissue was only a conductor.

The debate galvanized Volta to experiment with conductivity (often on his own tongue). Eventually, Volta put together…

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Italy lands on a comet!

After 10 years spent in the deep darkness of interplanetary space through the Solar System, yesterday the Rosetta spacecraft successfully landed on comet 67p/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

Read the full article on Kappa Language School’s website.