Introducing electricity through experiments:
Yahya Naci Efendi's treatise on electrical fluid
In early 19th century, the teaching of sciences at the Imperial Engineering School in Istanbul was mostly based on the material translated from textbooks compiled for the French 'grandes écoles'. Translations and compilations were generally made by the professors of the school. Yahya Naci Efendi (d.1824), a lecturer in French language and sciences, compiled in 1812 a treatise introducing the properties of electricity through experiments. His aim was also to show that the lightning flash and the thunderbolt were electrical phenonemons. Yahya Naci's main source was the chapter on electricity of Mathurin-Jacques Brisson's (d.1795) Traité Elémentaire de Physique, a popular book of physics in French colleges. This translation is important because Yahya Naci endeavoured to create Ottoman terms from Arabic regarding electricity and because it points to the initiatives in introducing experimentation in the teaching in the Imperial Engineering School.
Key words: Electricity, Yahya Naci Efendi, Risale-i Seyyale-i Berkiyye, Mathurin-Jacques Brisson, Ottoman Empire; Anahtar kelimeler: Elektrik, Yahya Naci Efendi, Risale-i Seyyale-i Berkiyye, Mathurin-Jacques Brisson, Osmanlı Devleti.