Irish innovation in electricity

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Professor Callan (1799-1864), who was Professor of Natural Philosophy at Maynooth, was a pioneer of electrical science and research. His inventions paved the way for the discovery of radio waves, x-rays and the electron. The induction coils he invented are a key component in many modern electronic devices such as camera flashes.


He also built the largest batteries of the time. His electromagnets could lift 20 tons and he built circuits   that could produce 15-inch long sparks (much to the delight of his students). 

Many of Prof. Callan’s coils, batteries and magnets are on display in the National Science Museum at Maynooth.