A diagram of Faraday's iron ring apparatus. Change in the magnetic flux of the left coil induces a current in the right coil.
Electromagnetic induction was first discovered by
Michael Faraday, who made his discovery public in 1831.
 It was discovered independently by
Joseph Henry in 1832.
In Faraday's first experimental demonstration (August 29, 1831), he wrapped two wires around opposite sides of an iron ring or "
torus" (an arrangement similar to a modern
toroidal transformer). Based on his understanding of electromagnets, he expected that, when current started to flow in one wire, a sort of wave would travel through the ring and cause some electrical effect on the opposite side. He plugged one wire into a
galvanometer, and watched it as he connected the other wire to a battery. He saw a transient current, which he called a "wave of electricity", when he connected the wire to the battery and another when he disconnected it.
 This induction was due to the change in
magnetic flux that occurred when the battery was connected and disconnected.
 Within two months, Faraday found several other manifestations of electromagnetic induction. For example, he saw transient currents when he quickly slid a bar magnet in and out of a coil of wires, and he generated a steady (
DC) current by rotating a copper disk near the bar magnet with a sliding electrical lead ("Faraday's disk").
Faraday explained electromagnetic induction using a concept he called
lines of force. However, scientists at the time widely rejected his theoretical ideas, mainly because they were not formulated mathematically.
 An exception was
James Clerk Maxwell, who used Faraday's ideas as the basis of his quantitative electromagnetic theory.
 In Maxwell's model, the time varying aspect of electromagnetic induction is expressed as a differential equation, which
Oliver Heaviside referred to as Faraday's law even though it is slightly different from Faraday's original formulation and does not describe
motional EMF. Heaviside's version (see
Maxwell–Faraday equation below) is the form recognized today in the group of equations known as
Heinrich Lenz formulated the law named after him to describe the "flux through the circuit".
Lenz's law gives the direction of the induced EMF and current resulting from electromagnetic induction.