Friday, July 10, 2020

The Man who Invented Light

Before the age of electricity, humans were mainly active during the day when the sun shone. At night they crept into their caves, and later into houses, where they used fire to produce light (and heat). Although fire can be controlled to a certain extent using wax candles or oil or gas lamps, it has its limitations as it is not easy to transport or store. It gives off sooty smoke, and can cause devastating damage.

Of course, no-one needed to invent electricity as it has always been there, like light and gravity. It is an integral part of every plant and animal. In the Bahrain Science Centre we have done experiments to show that electricity also exists in air, water and soil.

What humans needed to do was devise ways to produce electricity on demand, to send it down wires (or through the air) to switch it on and off as required, and to invent machines that could use its efficient power. Many scientists and technologists have contributed to this exciting scientific journey including Alessandro Volta (first battery) and Michael Faraday (first electric motor and dynamo) but it was the American inventor, Thomas Edison, who was regarded as the ‘Father of the Electric Light’.

Light_bulb_Edison_2Edison invented the first practical light bulb and light socket, the first powerful electricity generator, first electrical distribution system (using DC) and electricity meter as well as the first phonograph and movie camera. He eventually owned 1,093 patents, which is still a world record.

On New Year’s Eve in 1879, Edison stunned the world when he switched on the electricity system in his Menlo Park Laboratory in New Jersey, USA. When he flicked the switch, his workshop as well as the whole village surrounding it, was suddenly bathed in a warm, yellow light. Thousands of people flocked to see the magical ‘electric village’. It looked like a dream come true but they also realized that it was the beginning of a new age.

Three days after Thomas Edison died on 18th October 1931, at the age of 84 years, electric lights throughout the USA were dimmed for one minute to honor the man who lit up the world.

In 2015, the United Nations’ ‘Year of Light’, is fitting for us to remember this great scientific pioneer who, through sheer hard work and determination and a hefty dose of dogged entrepreneurship, did something that had never been done before. There is a lesson in Edison’s life for all of us.

Professor Mike Bruton
MTE Studios Director,
Bahrain Science Centre.

MOST READ

Lulu Hypermarket Welcomes Shoppers to Expanded Dana Mall Store

Lulu Hypermarket’s Dana Mall flagship store has expanded to serve up a whole new shopping experience for eager Bahrain shoppers. Now 40% much large,...

Gulf Air Operates to 25% of its Network by Resuming Direct Flights to and from Abu Dhabi and Dubai

Gulf Air, the national carrier of the Kingdom of Bahrain, is proudly announcing that it will resume its direct Abu Dhabi and Dubai flights...

Northern Governorate launches disinfection campaign

Northern Governor, Ali bin Al-Shaikh Abdulhussain Al-Asfoor, has asserted that the disinfection campaigns carried out by the Northern Governorate are part of the national...

Bahrain Airport Company partners with ACI World for new virtual training course

Bahrain Airport Company (BAC) has partnered with Airports Council International (ACI) World to Implement a virtual training course that will enable Tahleeq team members...

Launch of the First Design and Brands Virtual Event

Tremendous preparations are being made to launch the first-of-its-kind Brand and Design Forum in the kingdom of Bahrain. The forum, which is organized by...

Google now lets you see dinosaurs in the real world through augmented reality

It’s one thing to read about the massive dinosaurs that used to roam the Earth; it’s quite another to imagine how they’d look stomping...

Innovative Virtual Fashion Show to be organized by Medpoint

Medpoint Design and Events Management is hosting the first of its kind Global Women’s Virtual Fashion Forum & Show which will highlight topics that...

stc Bahrain pioneers ahead in 5G technology

stc Bahrain, a world class digital enabler, announced the launch of the Kingdom’s first integrated large-scale indoor 5G commercial deployment, setting a new benchmark...

National Taskforce for Combating Coronavirus highlights measures taken to mitigate the spread of COVID-19

The National Taskforce for Combating Coronavirus (COVID-19) held a press conference at the Crown Prince Centre for Training and Medical Research at the Bahrain...

Gulf Air Appoints Bahraini Senior Manager Cabin Crew

Gulf Air, the national carrier of the Kingdom of Bahrain, has appointed Mr. Abdulrauf Meer Abdulrahim as Senior Manager Cabin Crew to manage one...

HH Shaikh Khalid chairs ‘Estijabah’ meeting

Supreme Council for Youth and Sports (SCYS) First Deputy Chairman and and Bahrain Olympic Committee (BOC) President HH Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa...

RHF receives donation from BASREC

Royal Humanitarian Foundation (RHF) received a donation from Bahrain Ship Repairing and Engineering Company (BASREC) in support of needy families registered with the foundation. BASREC...

Swift Data Sharing to Combat Disease Outbreak! by Dr. Jassim Haji

In the course of disease outbreaks, swift data sharing is critical as it allows for a better understanding of the origins and spread of...

Batelco to Launch “Global Zone Kuwait” in Partnership with Ooredoo Kuwait

Batelco, the leading digital solutions provider in Bahrain has announced the establishment of “Global Zone Kuwait”, which will offer an ecosystem platform to further...

Zain Group joins ‘The Valuable 500’ to unlock opportunities for people with disabilities

Zain Group, a leading mobile telecom innovator in eight markets across the Middle East and Africa, proudly announces its inclusion in The Valuable 500,...