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Alessandro Giuseppe Anastasio Volta

Alessandro Volta, 1745-1827, Italian scientist and inventor.

Volta's first important invention was the electrophorus (1775), a device capable of passing an electric charge to another object. His most important discovery, though, followed the experiments of Luigi Galvani on animal electricity: Volta's "voltaic pile" (1800) provided proof that electricity could be conducted through and produced by non-organic matter. In the following year, he was created count by Napoleon.

The volt, the unit of electric potential, is named for him.