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Module 9 | Session 4 | Benjamin Franklin & Electricity
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We go through a passage that talks about Benjamin Franklin's you initial interactions with Philosophy.

Anupam Mishra is teaching live on Unacademy Plus

Anupam Mishra
Batch of 2018 IIM Lucknow || Former Verbal & Quant Faculty || Loves Philosophy || Trekker || Enfield enthusiast || Powerlifter

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  1. Reading Comprehension For the CAT The Genre Series Module 9 Session 3 "Benjamin Franklin & Electricity" A Course By: Anupam Mishra


  2. Structure & flow of Sessions. Reading the Passage Para-wise Summary Central Idea Word- meanings No specific Questions to be solved (Shall have a separate course for that)


  3. Some Quips about the Passage O Passage part of The Life of Benjamin Franklin, Illustrated by Tales, Sketches, and Anecdotes O Was an American Author O Widely known by his alias Peter Parley. O Was a member of the Massachusetts State Senate. O Curiosities of Human Nature, Famous Men of Ancient Times, Peter Parley's tales about America and Australia, Recollections of a Lifetime, etc. are some of the major books published by him. O "An investment in knowledge pays the best interest." - Benjamin Franklin Author: Samuel Goodrich


  4. The Passage (part 1) It was in the year 1746, that Franklin first attended to the branch of philosophy in which he afterwards became so distinguished. During that year he was in Boston, and there met with Dr. Spence, who showed him some experiments in electricity. It was a subject altogether new to him, and, though the experiments were not very well performed, they surprised and pleased him. If you take a stick of sealing-wax, or a glass tube, or a piece of amber which has been a long time untouched, and bring it near some small pieces of paper, chaff, or other light substance, it produces no impression upon them. But if you first rub lightly and briskly the wax, the tube, or the amber, with a piece of dry woolen cloth, or cat skin, and then bring it near any of these light substances, you will find that they fly to it, and remain upon it. The power which attracts these substances, and which is excited by the rubbing, is called electricity


  5. The Passage (part 2) Amber which is a brittle mineral substance, of a yellow, and sometimes a reddish brown color, is the substance with which the first electrical experiment was performed, ages ago, by a Greek philosopher of the name of Thales. Several centuries passed without any thing being known upon this subject, beyond the fact that these substances possessed this power. At length it began to attract the attention of modern philosophers. In 1742, several ingenious Germans engaged in the subject, and the results of their researches astonished all Europe. They obtained large apparatus, by means of which they were enabled to collect large quantities of the electric fluid, and produce several wonders which had been before unobserved


  6. The Passage (part 3) These experiments excited the curiosity of other philosophers. Mr. Peter Collinson, fellow of the Royal Society of London, ab ut the year 1745, sent to the library company of Philadelphia a glass tube, with some account of its use in making such experiments Franklin eagerly seized the opportunity of repeating those which he had seen at Boston, and, by much practice, acquired great readiness in performing those of which they had an account from England. He was soon enabled to make a number of important discoveries, and his house was, for some time, continually full of people who came to see the new wonders. His observations upon the subject were, from time to time, communicated to his friend Collinson, in a series of letters, the first of which is dated March 28, 1747.


  7. Para-Summaries Paragraph -1 O The 1st paragraph describes when & how Benjamin Franklin got initiated with Philosophy. How he was intrigued by some experiments demonstrated by a certain Dr. Spence. Paragraph 2 O The 2nd paragraph basically describes the concept of Static electricity. This part essentially explains in detail how when one rubs a wax-stick, a tube, an amber piece, they attract tiny pieces of paper, chaff etc.


  8. Para-Summaries Paragraph 3 O In this paragraph, the author goes a bit into details about the history of the discovery of electricity. He tells us how the Germans after a big hiatus engaged in the subject & hence delivered unprecedented wonders. Paragraph 4 O The author says how the other philosophers were influenced by the Germans results & how via a chain of events Franklin took up the opportunity of repeating his Boston experiments & attained proficiency in them.


  9. Para-Summaries Paragraph 5 O The last paragraph says how Franklin then started making new discoveries & communicated his observations to friend Collinson via letters. And how there would always be people visiting him to see his wonders.


  10. Central Idea of Passage P1: The 1st paragraph describes when & how Benjamin Franklin got initiated with Philosophy P2: The 2nd paragraph basically describes the concept of Static electricity P3: The author establishes that the stories are after all exaggerated to some extent, yet they aren't completely baseless. The Caribs were actually quite cruel, ferocious, & enterprising P4: In this paragraph, the author goes a bit into details about the history of the discovery of electricity. P5: The last paragraph says how Franklin then started making new discoveries & communicated his observations to friend Collinson via letters. The theme of the passage, as is clear from the introduction & closing, is clearly built around Benjamin Franklin & how he got involved with science & eventually made discoveries of significance. While catering to this however, the passage does give the reader background & details about Electricity in general.