Volta

Volta

[vohl-tuh, vol-; It. vawl-tah]
Volta, Alessandro, Conte, 1745-1827, Italian physicist. He was professor of physics at the Univ. of Pavia from 1779 and became famous for his work in electricity. Napoleon I made him a count and a senator of the kingdom of Lombardy. Volta invented the so-called Volta's pile (or voltaic pile); the electrophorus; an electric condenser; and the voltaic cell. The volt, a unit of electrical measurement, is named for Volta.
Volta, river, c.290 mi (470 km) long, formed in central Ghana, W Africa, by the confluence of the Black Volta (or Mouhon, c.840 mi/1,350 km long) and the White Volta (or Nakambe, c.450 mi/720 km long), both of which rise in Burkina Faso. The river flows generally south, through a large delta, to the Gulf of Guinea at Ada. The Volta River system drains c.150,000 sq mi (388,500 sq km). Lake Volta (c.3,275 sq mi/8,480 sq km), one of the world's largest artificial lakes, extends c.280 mi (450 km) upstream behind Akosombo Dam, SE Ghana, in the Ajena Gorge. The dam (370 ft/113 m high; completed 1965), the principal unit of the Volta Development Project, regulates the flow of the Volta River, stores water for irrigation, and generates hydroelectricity (750,000-kW capacity) that supports a large aluminum industry. Since the 1980s, droughts have at times reduced the water impounded by the dam and diminished the electricity that can be generated.
Volta, Lake, Ghana: see Volta, river.

Lake, Ghana. One of the world's largest artificial lakes, it was formed in 1965 when the Akosombo Dam dammed the Volta River and created a reservoir that extends about 250 mi (400 km) upstream to beyond the former confluence of the Black Volta and White Volta rivers. It covers 3,283 sq mi (8,502 sq km), or 3.6percnt of Ghana's area. It is a major fishing ground and provides irrigation water for farmland in the Accra plains. The dam generates enough hydroelectric power to supply most of Ghana's electricity needs.

Learn more about Volta, Lake with a free trial on Britannica.com.

(born Feb. 18, 1745, Como, Lombardy—died March 5, 1827, Como) Italian scientist. In 1775 he invented the electrophorus, a device used to generate static electricity. He taught physics at the University of Pavia (1779–1804). After Luigi Galvani in 1780 produced an electric current by connecting two different metals with the muscle of a frog, Volta began experimenting in 1794 with metals alone and found that animal tissue was not needed to produce current. He demonstrated the first electric battery in 1800. In 1801 he demonstrated the battery's generation of current before Napoleon, who made him a count and senator of the kingdom of Lombardy. In 1815 he was appointed director of the philosophical faculty at the University of Padua. The volt was named in his honour in 1881.

Learn more about Volta, Alessandro (Giuseppe Antonio Anastasio) with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Lake, Ghana. One of the world's largest artificial lakes, it was formed in 1965 when the Akosombo Dam dammed the Volta River and created a reservoir that extends about 250 mi (400 km) upstream to beyond the former confluence of the Black Volta and White Volta rivers. It covers 3,283 sq mi (8,502 sq km), or 3.6percnt of Ghana's area. It is a major fishing ground and provides irrigation water for farmland in the Accra plains. The dam generates enough hydroelectric power to supply most of Ghana's electricity needs.

Learn more about Volta, Lake with a free trial on Britannica.com.

(born Feb. 18, 1745, Como, Lombardy—died March 5, 1827, Como) Italian scientist. In 1775 he invented the electrophorus, a device used to generate static electricity. He taught physics at the University of Pavia (1779–1804). After Luigi Galvani in 1780 produced an electric current by connecting two different metals with the muscle of a frog, Volta began experimenting in 1794 with metals alone and found that animal tissue was not needed to produce current. He demonstrated the first electric battery in 1800. In 1801 he demonstrated the battery's generation of current before Napoleon, who made him a count and senator of the kingdom of Lombardy. In 1815 he was appointed director of the philosophical faculty at the University of Padua. The volt was named in his honour in 1881.

Learn more about Volta, Alessandro (Giuseppe Antonio Anastasio) with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Search another word or see Voltaon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature