Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Is it true that it's Franklin who in 1747 discovered the plus & minus of el. charge?

  1. Apr 11, 2009 #1
    Is it true that it's Benjamin Franklin who in 1747 discovered the plus and minus of electrical charge?!?

    Is the year 1747 of any significance for the discovery of electricity at all?!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 11, 2009 #2

    Evo

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Re: Is it true that it's Franklin who in 1747 discovered the plus & minus of el. char

    You've already been warned not to post your numerology nonsense, so if that's where you are headed, don't go there.
     
  4. Apr 11, 2009 #3

    Janus

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Re: Is it true that it's Franklin who in 1747 discovered the plus & minus of el. char

    And to answer the question: Franklin invented the convention of labeling batteries (in his case, Leyden jars) with the symbols + and -, as he was of the opinion that electricity was a flow from a surplus to a deficit. Of exactly what this surplus consisted of or what actual direction it flowed, he didn't know. Given a fifty-fifty chance, he guessed.

    It wasn't until over a 100 years later that the idea of electricity being the a charge was introduced. and almost 150 until the term "electron" was coined for the elementary charge of electricity.

    At the end of the 19th century a negatively charged particle that fit the bill was discovered and was named the electron.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: Is it true that it's Franklin who in 1747 discovered the plus & minus of el. charge?
  1. Is it true? (Replies: 10)

  2. Is it true (Replies: 20)

  3. Is it true that (Replies: 5)

Loading...