A History of Electricity and Magnetism by Herbert W. Meyer

By Herbert W. Meyer

Written to be able to be understood through the non-technical reader who's eager about the starting place of all of the electric and electromagnetic units that encompass him, this historical past additionally offers a handy compendium of data for these conversant in and magnetic fields. The ebook strikes alongside at a speedy speed, because it needs to whether it is to hide the large proliferation of advancements that experience happened over the last hundred years or so. the writer has struck a potential stability among the human aspect of his tale, introducing these biographical info that support strengthen it, and its technical part, explaining theories and "how issues paintings" the place this turns out applicable. He additionally achieves a stability in recounting the invention of uncomplicated clinical ideas and their technological applications—the myriad of units and innovations that make the most of strength and data in electromagnetic shape. certainly, one of many vital subject matters of the publication is the shut and reciprocal dating among technological know-how and expertise, among conception and perform. earlier than nearly 1840, the only clinical investigations of electric and magnetic phenomena have been principally advert hoc and observational, and primarily no expertise in response to them existed. Afterwards, the medical explorations grew to become extra programmatic and mathematical, and technical functions and innovations started to be produced in nice abundance. In go back, this know-how paid its debt to natural technological know-how by way of offering it with a chain of measuring tools and different examine units that allowed it to develop in parallel. even if this e-book reports the early discoveries, from the magnetic lodestone and electrostatic amber of antiquity to Galvani's frog's legs and Franklin's kite-and-key of the 1700s, its significant emphasis is at the post-1840 advancements, because the following bankruptcy titles will verify: Early Discoveries—Electrical Machines and Experiments with Static Electricity—Voltaic electrical energy, Electrochemistry, Electromagnetism, Galvanometers, Ampere, Biot and Savart, Ohm—Faraday and Henry—Direct present Dynamos and Motors—Improvements in Batteries, Electrostatic Machines, and different Older Devices—Electrical tools, legislation, and Definitions of Units—The electrical Telegraph—The Atlantic Cable—The Telephone—Electric Lighting—Alternating Currents—Electric Traction—Electromagnetic Waves, Radio, Facsimile, and Television—Microwaves, Radar, Radio Relay, Coaxial Cable, Computers—Plasmas, Masers, Lasers, gasoline Cells, Piezoelectric Crystals, Transistors—X-Rays, Radioactivity, Photoelectric influence, constitution of the Atom, Spectra.

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Berzelius of Gotland, Sweden, between the years 1802 and 1806, published a number of important papers on his electrochemical researches. These papers undoubtedly laid the foundation for the brilliant series of electrochemical discoveries by Davy. On November 20, 1806, Davy delivered his first Bakerian lecture before the Royal Society, on the subject, “On Some Chemical Agencies of Electricity,” and thereby provided the basis for the ionization theory. Then followed that notable series of discoveries in which Davy isolated sodium and potassium in 1807 and barium, boron, calcium, and strontium in 1808.

Von Guericke noted the attraction and repulsion of feathers, the crackling noises and sparks, and the odor that pernreated the air when the machine was excited. He found also that the electrification of the bal1 produced a tingling sensation when any part of the body approached it. There is reason to believe that van Guericke noted that electricity from his machine could be transmitted several feet over a piece of string. These experiments were witnessed by many persons with lively interest, and news of the device soon spread to all parts of Europe.

No better example of the value of rescarch and observation may be found than in Gray’s experiments with simple apparatus and an inquiring mind. Gray made the important discovery in 1729 that some substances were conductors and others were nonconductors. He may bave been the first to use wires as conductors. The art of wiredrawing was not discovered until the fourteenth Century and did not reach England until thc seventeentb century, SO that in the time of Gray, wire was still a comparatively new item.

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