Michael Faraday was born on September 22, 1791 in London, in a very poor family. His father was a blacksmith, and his mother a servant before her marriage. Faraday received little formal education, but he became one of the greatest scientists in history in a time when science was usually the preserve of people born into wealthy families. By his research on the magnetic field around a conductor carrying a direct current, Faraday established the basis for the concept of the Electromagnetic Field in physics. He also established that magnetism could affect rays of light. He discovered the principles of electromagnetic induction and diamagnetism, and the laws of electrolysis. His inventions of electromagnetic rotary devices formed the foundation of electric motor technology. It was largely due to his efforts that electricity became practical for use in technology. The unit of electrical capacitance is named "farad" in his honor, with the symbol F. As a chemist, Faraday discovered benzene, investigated the clathrate hydrate of chlorine, invented an early form of the Bunsen burner and the system of oxidation numbers, and popularised terminology such as "anode", "cathode", "electrode" and "ion". Faraday ultimately became the first and foremost Fullerian Professor of Chemistry at the Royal Institution, a lifetime position. Physicist Ernest Rutherford stated, "When we consider the magnitude and extent of his discoveries and their influence on the progress of science and of industry, there is no honour too great to pay to the memory of Faraday, one of the greatest scientific discoverers of all time."
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