INTRODUCTION

Two centuries ago Alessandro Volta invented the battery. He was then 54 years old and one of Europe’s most famous physicists. Since 1778 he had been Regius Professor of Experimental Physics at Pavia University and been running the Physics Laboratory, which we have recently reconstructed.. Not only is our Department named after him, but also the unit of measure of potential, which Volta called "tension", is named the "volt". 125 pieces of apparatus invented or used by him have been conserved and we have used these to create numerous 3D animations. We are also digitalising his works, in a 15-volume nationally published edition, and analysing in great detail his contributions to theory. The Historical Group of the "A. Volta" Physics Department of Pavia University is delighted to be gradually publishing the results of this work, for the benefit of academics and students, to celebrate Volta’s bicentenary.