Luigi Galvani

This passage is about scientist Luigi Galvani and his use of electricity in his research.

Lexile Level: 680L

Categories: People & Places Science & Technology


The English word "galvanize" comes from an Italian scientist, Luigi Galvani. To galvanize means to energize or goad a being into action. Of course, Galvani studied electricity. He lived in Bologna in the eighteenth century. Like many scientists of his time, Galvani was in search of the source of life. He thought electricity might be that source. He is now credited with the discovery of bioelectricity. His experiments revealed that animal nerves and muscle produce electricity. He discovered this while dissecting a frog. He found that delivering a charge to the frog's limb could make the limb move. He called this phenomenon "animal electricity." The process of delivering a shock to a nerve came to be known as "galvanism." Galvani's discoveries inspired many other scientists and thinkers. His rival, Alessandro Volta, built upon Galvani's experiments. He invented the battery. Years later, Galvani's discoveries inspired Mary Shelley when she wrote the book "Frankenstein."


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