Volta, Alessandro, Conte (älĕs-sänˈdrō kônˈtā vôlˈtä) [key], 1745–1827, Italian physicist. He was professor of physics at the Univ. of Pavia from 1779 and became famous for his work in electricity. Napoleon I made him a count and a senator of the kingdom of Lombardy. Volta invented the so-called Volta's pile (or voltaic pile); the electrophorus; an electric condenser; and the voltaic cell. The volt, a unit of electrical measurement, is named for Volta.