John Frederic Daniell

John Frederic Daniell
John Frederic Daniell
London, UK


John Frederic Daniell was born in 1790 in London and is known for inventing an improved battery that replaced the voltaic cell, the Daniell cell.

Daniell was a chemist and meteorologist with several important scientific contributions. In 1820 he invented a dew-point hygrometer for measuring atmospheric humidity. His research led to improvements in greenhouses, showing the importance of humidity. In 1831 Daniell became the first professor of chemistry at the new King's College in London. A year later he received the Rumford Medal of the Royal Society for his invention of a new pyrometer, for measuring heat, and for his papers detailing its uses.

Daniell's greatest achievements were his improvements to the voltaic cell, which was the first source of continuous electricity. It was of limited use because it begins losing power rapidly as current is drawn. In 1836 Daniell created an improved electric cell that supplied an even current during continuous use. This sparked electric research and found commercial applications. In 1837 Daniell was presented the highest award of the Royal Society, the Copley Medal, for the invention of the Daniell cell.

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