(September 22, 1791 – August 25, 1867)
Faraday’s paradox is unique. He was the poorest and the least fortunate of all the great scientists. His parents were so poor that they could not sustain his school fees for long. Thus, he only received little elementary education. But he studied at leisure; and his inquisitive mind turned him into a voracious reader and researcher. He worked for Humphry Davy. And eventually grew-up to become the greatest experimentalist in the entire history of science: spending more than 50 years conducting thousands of electrical, chemical, and magnetic experiments in his labs. He ran superlative experiments longer than some prominent scientists lived their entire lives. His discoveries ramified and revolutionized various branches of science. That was why succeeding giants found him irresistible. Nikola Tesla, Albert Einstein, Ernest Rutherford and James Clerk Maxwell all borrowed ideas from him. One of the reasons why Thomas Edison refused to share royalties with Tesla was because some of those innovative ideas, which Tesla perfected, originated from Faraday. And throughout their lives, Albert Einstein and Ernest Rutherford remained fascinated by the colossal accomplishments of Michael Faraday. Einstein kept a picture of him (alongside those of Isaac Newton and James Clerk Maxwell) for inspiration; whereas Rutherford strived to emulate his researching prowess.