Who was the first person to appreciate the value and usefulness of normalizing electric potential energy to each charge carrier (i.e. electric potential)?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Why isn't there a "gravitational potential" - of course there is. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravitational_potential Everything else can be found in open sources as well. \$\endgroup\$ – Eugene Sh. Mar 12 '18 at 16:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ I don't see how this is "too broad". It's a straightforward question and Tony was able to answer it just fine. \$\endgroup\$ – Adam Haun Mar 12 '18 at 17:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ Because he's asked two completely different questions. \$\endgroup\$ – Leon Heller Mar 12 '18 at 18:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ Also, the second question is nothing to do with electronic design. \$\endgroup\$ – Leon Heller Mar 12 '18 at 18:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ I edited to remove the second question and nominated this for reopening. \$\endgroup\$ – Adam Haun Mar 12 '18 at 19:54

Who was the first person to appreciate the value and usefulness of normalizing electric potential energy to each charge carrier?

Michael Faraday starting in 1812 then in 1832, he completed a series of experiments aimed at investigating the fundamental nature of electricity; Faraday used "static", batteries, and "animal electricity" to produce the phenomena of electrostatic attraction, electrolysis, magnetism, etc.

The name of Potential was first given to this function by George Green, who made it the basis of his treatment of electricity.

Green's essay was neglected by mathematicians till 1846, and before that time most of its important theorems had been rediscovered by Gauss, Chasles, Sturm, and Thomson Essay on the Application of Mathematical Analysis to the Theories of Electricity and Magnetism, Nottingham, 1828. Eeprinted in Crelle's Journal, and in Mr. Ferrer's edition of Green's Works.

Ref J.C. Maxwell A Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism 1873

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Bit of an own goal by the "mathematicians" of the time then :) \$\endgroup\$ – Solar Mike Mar 12 '18 at 18:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ I was going to suggest Volta. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alessandro_Volta \$\endgroup\$ – George Herold Mar 12 '18 at 18:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes Volta created a chemical battery and many before him knew about lightning and its potential, but in electromagnetic history, Faraday's Experiments on charges and discharges, with flux fields surrounding the wire were the inspiration to create a unified theory by Maxwell while the German Magnetic Group ( of which Gauss and Green were part of) did relevant theory of magnetics. \$\endgroup\$ – Tony Stewart Sunnyskyguy EE75 Mar 12 '18 at 19:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yet even before Volta , Galvani proved two wires of zinc and copper could create a voltage detected by the tongue as taste, and eye as light and to the ear as sound. Volta found the electrolyte to strengthen the current. (Sulphuric acid in saltwater) But Faraday realized the true potential with his extensive experiments \$\endgroup\$ – Tony Stewart Sunnyskyguy EE75 Mar 12 '18 at 19:40

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