Electricity has been a subject of scientific interest since at least the early 17th century. The firstelectrical engineer was probably William Gilbert who designed the versorium: a device that detected the presence of statically charged objects. He was also the first to draw a clear distinctionbetween magnetism and static electricity and is credited with establishing the term electricity. In 1775 Alessandro Volta's scientific experimentations devised the electrophorus, a device that produced astatic electric charge, and by 1800 Volta developed the voltaic pile, a forerunner of the electric battery.
However, it was not until the 19th century that research into the subject started tointensify. Notable developments in this century include the work of Georg Ohm, who in 1827 quantified the relationship between the electric current and potential difference in a conductor, Michael Faraday,the discoverer of electromagnetic induction in 1831, and James Clerk Maxwell, who in 1873 published a unified theory of electricity and magnetism in his treatise Electricity and Magnetism. .
Duringthese years, the study of electricity was largely considered to be a subfield of physics. It was not until the late 19th century that universities started to offer degrees in electrical engineering.The Darmstadt University of Technology founded the first chair and the first faculty of electrical engineering worldwide in 1882. In the same year, under Professor Charles Cross, the Massachusetts...