Volta's life and works                          Volta's localities                                  Selected reference


1745 February 18 - Born in Como in northern Italy to the patrician family of Filippo and Maddalena dei Conti Inzaghi.

1760 November - Enrolled in the Seminary in Como for studies in philosophy and the classics. He mastered Latin, French and English and learned to read Dutch, Spanish, Russian and old Greek fluently.

1763 - His interest in physics and chemistry led to correspondence on electricity with the Abbé Jean-Antoine Nollet in Paris and later with Prof. Giovanni Battista Beccaria at University of Turin.

1769 April 18 - His first memory in electricity, “De vi attractiva ignis electrici” was published in Como.

1771 July - Appear his second memory “Novus ac simplicissimus electricorum apparatus, seu corporibus eteroelectricis, quae fiunt idioelectrica, experimenta atque observationes” was addressed to Prof. Lazzaro Spallanzani at University of Pavia.

1774 October 22 - Appointed director of the Royal School in Como. In November 1775 he became professor of Physics.

1775 Announced the invention of the Electrophorus, an electrical generating device that attracted wide notice,in a letter to Joseph Priestley.

1776 November 3 - Discover the Methane. Observed the bubbling of methane in swamps and began the publication of a series of seven letters on his experiments with marsh gas that led to the development of Volta's Lamp electrically ignited, and the 'electric pistol'.

1777 April 18 - In a letter to Prof. Carlo Barletti at University of Pavia, Volta described a possible electrical signalling system from Como to Milan.
Summer:  Volta transforms the electric pistol into a Eudiometer, an instrument used to study the 'breathableness' of the air, in other words, the percentage of dephlogistic air (oxygen) in the air.

1779 September 3 - Began the first of many visits to Switzerland, Alsace and France.
Accepted the professorship in physics at the University of Pavia, a post he held for four decades.

1780 - His invention of the Condenser. This valuable, high-sensitive device, draws capacitance, stores electrical energy and accumulates even the faintest traces of electricity, which would go undetected by the most sensitive electrometers.

1781 September 1 - Began a voyage to Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, Holland, England and France lasting about a year.

1782 May - In London Volta gave a reading of his paper on the structure and the use
of the condenser at the Royal Academy of Science.

1783 Summer - Received by the Emperor Joseph II on a visit to Vienna. Proceeded to Berlin.

1790 - Volta improves his eudiometer and eudiometric measures to such an extent that even in 1805 von Humboldt and Gay-Lussac consider that it will be difficult to perfect it further.

1791 - Galvani published "De viribus electricitatis in motu musculari commentarius", his experiments in electrical stimulation of animal tissue that led to his theory of  'animal electricity'. He sent a copy of his report to Volta.

1792 - Volta at first approved, then, by his own experiments, began to doubt Galvani's explanations of the frog's legs phenomenon. Experimenting and correspondence with other scientists continued, leading to a famous controversy as to its true nature.

1793 - He arrives at determining the co-efficient equal at 0,00354, of the dilatation of air at constant pressure, with a greater precision than that obtained nine years later by Gay-Lussac. Today is accepted the co-efficient 0,00366.

1794 Awarded the Copley's Gold Medal by the Royal Society of London, the most important prize in chemistry.
Volta carries out measurements of the vapour tension of water which anticipate those of John Dalton obtained six years later and again are much more precise.
September 22 - Married to Donna Maria Alonsa Teresa Peregrini. Three sons were later born.

1797 Volta became aware of the importance of the contact of dissimilar metals in electrical stimulation.

1799 In the end of december the great and very important Volta's discovery, the Electric Battery, realized in Como.

1800 March 20 - Dispatched a communication to the Royal Society of London, addressed to the Right Honorable President Sir Joseph Banks outlining his discovery of a source of constant-current generation from a 'Pile' of dissimilar metals. The letter, written in French, was read on 26 June and prompted new experiments among the members of the Society.

1801 September 1 - Left on an extended journey to Paris where Volta lectured several times before the Institut National de France on his recent discoveries. Napoleon Bonaparte enthusiastically participated in the sessions and recommended many rewards and honors for Volta.
December 2 - The commission of distinguished scientists appointed by the Institut National de France gave its report affirming Volta's discovery of constant-flow electricity and recommending the award of its gold medal.

1805 August 26 - He was created a Knight of the Legion of Honor and received the sword and badge.

1806 May 1 - Volta was created a Knight of the Iron Crown.

1809 February 19 - Volta became Senator of the Realm.

1810 October 11 - He was granted the title of Count.

1816 - Volta's works were published in five volumes in Florence.

1819 - Retired to the family estate between Como and Camnago near Como.

1827 March 5 - at 82 Volta died in Como

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