The Google doodle today celebrates the 270th birth anniversary of Alessandro Volta, the 18th century Italian scientist who invented the world’s first electrical battery. This 18th century genius created the Voltaic Pile, an electric battery when he put strips of zinc and silver metal on a disc of damp cardboard and learned it created an electrical current.
This voltaic pile made by him sometime around 1799 is said to have been the forerunner of the modern day battery. A fitting tribute by the search giant to the forefather of electrical science.
Even the ones amongst us who had not heard about Volta till perhaps today have not untouched by him completely. He continues to be present in our midst by way of tiny gadgets and equipments which are powered by the battery. Even the term volt, which is a measure of the electric potential, has been derived from his name.
Volta got the idea for his invention as he watched a dead frog’s leg twitch on being touched by two metals. He then stacked alternating metal discs separated by cardboard and seawater-soaked cloth. The battery designed by Volta was unique in that it was made out of common materials and enabled experimenters for the first time to produce steady, predictable flows of electricity. Within just weeks it inspired a wave of discoveries and inventions and ushered in a new age of electrical science.
The logo illustrates Volta’s battery lighting up the Google letters, and includes typographic details like Volta’s name, the elements he used, and the year he invented the battery.
“One key idea I wanted to communicate was how the voltage of the battery increased as the stack grew,” said doodler Mark Holmes who designed the logo. Holmes said he wanted the doodle to look like it could have been the first advertisement for the world’s first electrical battery.
Though the batteries, as we know them today, appeared only in the late 1950s, the basic concept was built around the idea proposed by Volta. The batteries now put to use have shrunken to a fraction of the size of the ones proposed by Volta, they still continue to be around.