Giovanni Battista Beccaria

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Giovanni Battista Beccaria (Italian: [bekkaˈriːa]; 3 October 1716 – 27 May 1781),[1] Italian physicist, was born at Mondovì, and entered the religious Order of the Pious Schools or Piarists, in 1732, where he studied, and afterward taught, grammar and rhetoric. At the same time, he applied himself with success to mathematics.[2]

He became professor of experimental physics, first at Palermo and then at Rome, and was appointed to a similar position at Turin in 1748. He was afterwards made tutor to the young princes de Chablais and de Carignan, and continued to reside principally at Turin during the remainder of his life. In May 1755 he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of London,[3] and published several papers on electrical subjects in the Phil. Trans.. In 1759, King Charles Emmanuel III of Sardinia, who had invited him to Turin, employed him to measure the degree of meridian arc in Piedmont.[2]

Beccaria did much, in the way both of experiment and exposition, to spread a knowledge of the electrical researches of Benjamin Franklin and others. His principal work was the treatise Dell’ Elettricismo Naturale ed Artificiale (1753), which was translated into English in 1776.


  • Elettricismo artificiale (in Italian). Torino: Stamperia reale. 1772.
  • Dell'elettricismo artificiale (in Italian). Vol. 1. Macerata: Antonio Cortesi. 1793.
  • Gradus Taurinensis (in Latin). Torino: Stamperia reale. 1774.
  • Della elettricità terrestre atmosferica a cielo sereno (in Italian). Torino. 1775.
  • Lettere di un Italiano ad un Parigino intorno alle riflessioni del sig. Cassini de Thury sul grado torinese (in Italian). Firenze: Gaetano Cambiagi. 1777.
  • Dell'elettricismo terrestre e atmosferico (in Italian). Vol. 2. Macerata: Antonio Cortesi. 1793.


  1. ^ Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Giovanni Battista Beccaria" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  2. ^ a b Rines, George Edwin, ed. (1920). "Beccaria, Giovanni Battista" . Encyclopedia Americana.
  3. ^ "DServe Archive Persons Show". Royal Society. Retrieved 7 February 2020.