Biography of Georg Mathias Bose

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Georg Mathias Bose was Professor of Natural Philosophy and developed early theories of electricity. Georg Mathias Bose was born on September 22, 1710, Leipzig, Germany. He was the son of a merchant. Young Georg received degree of Master of Arts when he was only 17 years old. Later Bose was educated at the University of Leipzig (from 1738) and then in Wittenberg, mainly taking cources in general physics, astronomy and the electricity. Georg Mathias Bose was appointed a Professor of Natural Philosophy at Wittenberg.

He was the first to make widespread use of an electrical machine invented by Hauksbee in 1709. He found that electrical experiments could be performed more easily by using the Hauksbee machine. The important improvement to Hauksbee’s machine was Bose’ addition of a prime conductor: a long metal body placed near the rotating globe and insulatedfrom the ground. When the prime conductor was electrified by the globe and touched by a person, a spark was produced.

Bose was performing public experiments with his electrostatic machines. One of such expriments was actually a joke. A charming young lady offered a welcoming kiss to somebody from the audience. However, she was staying on an electrically isolated platform and her body was connected to a hidden charged electrostatic generator. The kiss was accompanied by an electrical spark. A shock obtained by a man sometimes was very strong. Bose described this “funny” experiment in his poemwriten for countess Bruhl very impressively.

In 1744 Georg Mathias Bose published his famous book “Die Electricitat nach ihrer Entdeckung und Fortgang, mit poetischer Feder entworffen” where he described in poetic form his experiments with electricity, including the electrification of an isolated human body. In 1760, during awar with Prussia, Bose was kidnapped to Magdeburg, where he deceased in the following year.

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