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Published on October 15, 2007

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Philadelphia’s Most Famous ICON:  Philadelphia’s Most Famous ICON Nigel Lockyer Physics and Astronomy September 4, 2005 TO:  TO TO Terrell Owens Philadelphia Eagles--- best selling NFL Jersey TO TO Benjamin Franklin:  Benjamin Franklin Scientist Statesman, politician, founding father, printer, inventor, swimmer, businessman, writer… Perhaps the leading theoretical and experimental physicist of the Age of Reason.. I. Bernard Cohen 1706-1790 The Wharton View:  The Wharton View Entrepreneur and businessman SAS View :  SAS View Franklin—Serious Scientist:  Franklin—Serious Scientist Benjamin Franklin was recognized as THE leading “electrician” in Europe before his role as a statesman (this was his foot in the door in France during war) Copley Medal by Royal Society of London(1753) Fellow of Royal Society Foreign associate of French Academy of Science Prestigious Awards from England and France Curiosity Driven Research:  Curiosity Driven Research Franklin quite his job (~42)--retired Spend all his time doing experiments in electricity (~10 years). No prospect of any useful coming out of his work Couldn’t control himself it was fun, a toy Highly Motivated Shocking Parlor Fun All Over Europe:  Shocking Parlor Fun All Over Europe Friction Charging machine Sparking (ask grandma) Popular with young Quakers in Philadelphia Franklin compared to Newton:  Franklin compared to Newton WHY? Isaac Newton 1642-1727 "You have to compare [Franklin's] notoriety as a scientist with Newton in his time and Einstein in ours. It's the only reasonable comparison.“ Dudley Herschbach, Harvard Nobel Prize Chemistry Best Seller In Europe:  Best Seller In Europe Europeans of the period always recognized Franklin first and foremost as a scientist. His gifts as a writer made him one of the most readable and understandable scientific writers of the time. Louis XV was so fascinated by Franklin's writing that he ordered Franklin's experiments to be performed in his presence Scientific Publication:  Scientific Publication “Experiments and Observations on Electricity Made in Philadelphia in America” (first published in 1751) 5 editions in English 3 editions in French 1 edition in German 1 edition in Italian Electricity (static) first major new science after work of Newton Laboratory Accomplishments in Electricity:  Laboratory Accomplishments in Electricity Single fluid theory of electricity (valid today) Electric fire not created simply transferred (present in all material) + and – charges assignments (backwards) Conservation of Charge (modern physics) Geometrical distribution of charge (points versus rounded surfaces) Understood how Leyden jar “worked” Built 1st parallel plate capacitor (Physics 1 &151) Distinguished between conductors &insulators measured properties of materials) Concept of induced charge (electrostatic induction) grounding Significance of Single Fluid Theory:  Significance of Single Fluid Theory Ben's "single fluid theory" led to the electron theory in 1900: electrons move about conductors much as a fluid might move. Nobel Prize winner and physicist, Robert A. Millikan, called Ben's experiment that led to this theory "probably the most fundamental thing ever done in the field of electricity" Franklin was Nollet’s Nemesis:  Franklin was Nollet’s Nemesis Abbe Nollet first sent a discharge from a Leyden Jar through a company of 180 soldiers holding hands.  This demonstration was before King Louis XV at Versailles.  The King was both impressed and amused as the soldiers all jumped simultaneously when the circuit was completed.  The King requested that the experiment be repeated in Paris.  In the second demonstration, 700 monks in a line received the same treatment.  1700-1770 Head of Monastery Lightning….is it Electricity?:  Lightning….is it Electricity? Franklin designed and published prescription for testing whether lightning was indeed electricity Performed by French scientist D'Abilliard, an avid reader of Franklin's work, for the King at Marly (near Paris) France May 10th 1752 Lightning Casualties in US:  Lightning Casualties in US Lightning has killed more people than hurricanes, tornadoes, ….110/year in US average…X4 as many injured by lightning Hikers, climbers, golfers, soccer players, workers The First Lightning Experiment :  The First Lightning Experiment Actual Lightning Experiment in France Wine bottles for insulation at ground Franklin Suggestion Franklin’s Proposal Friend or Foe:  Franklin’s Proposal Friend or Foe To determine the question whether the clouds that contain lightning are electrified or not, I would propose an experiment to be tried where it may be done conveniently. On the top of some high tower or steeple, place a kind of sentry-box (as in Plate I., Fig. 9), big enough to contain a man and an electrical stand. From the middle of the stand let an iron rod rise and pass bending out of the door, and then upright twenty or thirty feet, pointed very sharp at the end. If the electrical stand be kept clean and dry, a man standing on it when such clouds are passing low might be electrified and afford sparks, the rod drawing fire to him from a cloud. If any danger to the man should be apprehended (though I think there would be none)…….. Lightning Over England:  Lightning Over England Storm came too late and the French ran away with the discovery Franklin liked to play English off against the French…not too hard A Dangerous Kite Experiment:  A Dangerous Kite Experiment Art may be good to look at but it is not always accurate Age of Franklin-too old Technique of experiment not accurate (who is holding kite string?) Keep the silk dry! Electricity is Dangerous:  Electricity is Dangerous Ben Franklin was nearly killed by his early experiments with lightning; he survived only because he luckily didn't receive a strong enough charge. Twice he was knocked senseless - once when he attempted to treat a paralyzed man with electric shock, and another time preparing to kill a turkey by electric shock. In both cases Ben managed to take the whole charge through his hands and arms. He described the feeling as an "unusual blow throughout my whole body from head to foot… after which the first thing I took notice of was a violent quick shaking of my body, which gradually remitting, my senses as gradually returned". In 1753, Swedish scientist Georg Wilhelm Richmann died trying to replicate Franklin's lightening experiment Engineering Student View Practical Uses of Electricity :  Engineering Student View Practical Uses of Electricity Ben tried to kill the Turkey with electrostatic electricity Franklin battery using Leyden jars Christmas dinner for Franklin 1750 Mrs. Ben Franklin (before lightning bell experiments in her house):  Mrs. Ben Franklin (before lightning bell experiments in her house) How to Burn Down your House:  How to Burn Down your House Test the polarity of the clouds Portrait by Mason Chamberlain Engraving by Fischer Two cork balls and clapper in middle Excerpt from Franklin’s letter describing his lightning bells. :  Excerpt from Franklin’s letter describing his lightning bells. In September, 1752, I erected an iron rod to draw the lightning down into my house, in order to make some experiments on it, with two bells to give notice when the rod should be electrified; a contrivance obvious to every electrician. I found the bells rang sometimes when there was no lightning or thunder, but only a dark cloud over the rod; that sometimes, after a flash of lightning they would suddenly stop; and, at other times, when they had not rung before, they would, after a flash, suddenly begin to ring; that the electricity was sometimes very faint, so that, when a small spark was obtained, another could not be got for some time after; at other times the sparks would follow extremely quick, and once I had a continual stream from bell to bell, the size of a crowquill; even during the same gust there were considerable variations. Mrs. Ben Franklin (after bells ringing in the middle of the night):  Mrs. Ben Franklin (after bells ringing in the middle of the night) Franklin Lightning Rod on House:  Franklin Lightning Rod on House Warner House on Daniel Street in Porstmouth N.H. Franklin supervised installation of lightning rod (R. Morse photo 2004) Aurora Borealis:  Aurora Borealis Ben noticed the nature about him Ben recognized the aurora borealis as an electrical phenomenon. Japan Military Interest in Technology:  Military Interest in Technology Ben greatly impacted Count Alessandro Volta who invented the battery which led to Direct Current (DC) electric motors etc. Volta was a follower of the Enlightenment ideal of useful knowledge. He liked to represent his battery as a useful device. (unlike Franklin who was driven by curiosity) Volta explaining battery to Napoleon Ribbon of the Legion d'Honneur Frog’s Leg and Lightning:  Frog’s Leg and Lightning The idea came from Luigi Galvani, an anatomist. Galvani was dissecting a frog when the frog's leg began to twitch. Galvani thought was because of some type of electrical action in the vicinity, such as lightning. Volta tried to duplicate the experiment, and he did on a clear day when there was no lightening. Later realized leg held with two metals Influence of Franklin on Priestley:  Influence of Franklin on Priestley Priestley is father of chemistry (FRS) Offered chemistry position at Penn but turned down Married into money (Wilkenson Family) Lunatic society (scientific meetings Franklin attended) Isolated oxygen Published papers of Franklin on electricity+++ Newton deduced that gravitational force decreased as inverse square law (Principia) Joseph Priestley deduced from experiments of Franklin (charge resides on the outside of a metal can) and symmetry that electricity was also an inverse square law (called Coulomb’s law today for first verification of the law of electrostatic forces (1736-1806)) (Physics 1 Physics 151)(Faraday Cage) Contributions to Others Areas of Science:  Contributions to Others Areas of Science Printed first chart of Gulf Stream Earliest person to report that northeast storms move toward southwest Supported wave theory of light at a time when Newton’s particle theory was popular (referenced by Young) Performed & proposed experiments on heat His fluid theory of heat influenced concept of “caloric” Conservation of Matter, Referenced by founder of modern chemistry Lavoisier(1743-1794) …later beheaded which saddened Franklin Wrote on lead poisoning(80), gout, heat of the blood, deafness, infections from dead bodies, population growth, infant mortality… Calming of waves with a drop of oil-Lord Rayleigh size of molecule? 2cc over an half acre, gives the right number(hair/10,000) Gave electrical shocks for paralysis (never really believed it worked) Collected statistics on benefit of smallpox inoculation (published) Reference I. Bernard Cohen, D. Hershbach We Have Come A Long Way :  We Have Come A Long Way Maxwell 1831-1879 Rutherford Fermi Newton Marie Curie Lawrence Davis Schreiffer Slide34:  2 km World’s most powerful accelerator at Fermilab Protons with 1,000,000,000,000 electron-volt energy Slide36:  ~0.0001 m ~0.0001 ~0.00001 < 0.0001 ~0.1 nm of of of atom atom proton electron < 10-17 cm up quark down quark < 10-17 cm ~100 years ago ~60 years ago ~40 years ago Present Franklin Time Machine:  Franklin Time Machine How excited would Benjamin be about the cutting edge ideas of science and engineering today He would be in heaven! Science Tomorrow using Electrons :  Science Tomorrow using Electrons International Linear Collider Accelerate electrons & anti-electrons Exciting Questions Addressed - Extra dimensions of space? Study “electric” force 10-20 m Dark matter particle 20% of matter missing in universe Are all forces really one? Do all particles have the same mass at high energies? Probe the structure of space—is it made of vibrating strings? Where? Asia, Europe, US? Next Big International Science Project Slide39:  Hoist to Heavens Elevator Use nanotubes ropes & electricity to explore solar system Space Elevator :  Space Elevator The idea of the space elevator was first raised in 1960 by Russian engineer Yuri Artsutanov, 1979 Arthur C. Clarke used it as the centrepiece for his novel The Fountains of Paradise. the cable: 47,000 kilometres long, cruising at 2000 kilometres an hour, 18 hour ride orbit is termed "geostationary" $1.48 a kilogram, compared with $22,000 a kilogram on a rocket. Space station, hotels, clubs, Penn Semester in space Feasible by 2100? Franklin the reasoning Scientist impacts Franklin the statesman:  Franklin the reasoning Scientist impacts Franklin the statesman Ebenezer Kinnersley was Franklin’s friend and scientific colleague, Presbyterian Minister (almost) and was a Professor of English at Philadelphia College-a reasoning man and anti-revivalist who lectured on electricity (Franklin drew up syllabus) "I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use." ----Galileo Galilei “...Some books against Deism fell into my hands....It happened that they wrought an effect on me quite contrary to what was intended by them; for the arguments of the Deists, which were quote to be refuted, appeared to me much stronger than the refutations, in short, I soon became a thorough Deist.” …… Franklin Slide42:  Interesting Religious Views Science Thinking and Impact on the Newly Forming Nation:  Science Thinking and Impact on the Newly Forming Nation EK heard sermon from revivalists and was offended Revivalists trained at Log College (1726-1745) by William Tennet (eventual close Princeton connection) EK counter sermon attacking revivalist ministers (1740) EK writes editorial in Pennsylvania Gazette defending himself & freedom of religion based on private judgement Franklin of course supports EK position (both scientists) Franklin position influenced in England by Priestley, another scientist, who followed John Locke’s philosophy Relates “Right of Judgement” to fact that God made man able to reason to understand God and Christian doctrines, Man uses same reasoning in science to understand world Inalienable right of man to reason for himself leads to Declaration of Independence and Constitution Conclude:  Conclude Top Two physicists in the world at Penn during 1700’s Benjamin Franklin and Ebenezer Kinnersley Long science tradition continues…Nobel Prize three years ago to physics Prof. Ray Davis (Penn)---neutrinos from Sun electrons without charge? What would Franklin think? Penn founded on many ideals that nation was founded upon Curiosity Driven research can open new & huge vistas Don’t go mountain climbing with your umbrella (unless it comes with a lightning rod…..they existed by the way!) Thank you Experts:  Thank you Experts I. Bernard Cohen (scholar on Franklin as a scientist) E. P. Krider (University of Arizona Expert on lightning) http://www.atmo.arizona.edu/personalpages/krider.html Robert A. Morse (Wright Fellow Tufts University) http://www.tufts.edu/as/wright_center/fellows/bob_morse_04/ Hasan Padamsee (Cornell Expert Superconductivity) Walter Isaacson (Author, Benjamin Franklin) Tom Tucker (Author, Bolt of Fate) Ebenezer Kinnersley (Author, Lemay) Ben Franklin's Scientific Amusements (Dudley Herschbach, Harvard) http://athome.harvard.edu/dh/Herschbach.html http://www.sciencefriday.com/pages/2003/Jul/hour2_070403.html http://www.stanfordalumni.org/news/magazine/2002/novdec/showcase/shorttakes.html H.W. Brands (Texas A&M, Author, First American) Ben Franklin (Autobiography) Slide46:  Welcome to Penn

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