See also:treatise in 1873, we enter fully upon the
See also:fourth and
See also:period of electrical
See also:research . On the technical side the invention of a new
See also:form of armature for dynamo electric
See also:machines by Z . T . Gramme (1826-19o1) inaugurated a departure from which we may date modern electrical
See also:engineering . It will be convenient to
See also:deal with technical development first . Technical Development.—As far back as 1841 large magneto-electric machines driven by steam power had been constructed, and in 1856 F . H .
See also:Holmes had made a magneto machine with multiple permanent magnets which was installed in 1862 in
See also:Dungeness lighthouse . Further progress was made in 1867 when H .
See also:Wilde introduced the use of electromagnets for the
See also:field magnets . In 186o Dr Antonio Pacinotti invented what is now called the toothed
See also:ring winding for armatures and described it in an
See also:Italian journal, but it attracted little
See also:notice until reinvented in 187o by Gramme . In this new form of bobbin, the armature consisted of a ring of iron
See also:wound over with an endless coil of wire and connected to a commutator consisting of copper bars insulated from one another .
Gramme dynamos were then soon made on the self-exciting principle . In 1873 atVienna the fact was discovered that a dynamo machine of the Gramme type could also
See also:act as an electric motor and' was set in rotation when a current was passed into it from another similar machine . Henceforth the electric transmission of power came within the possibilities of engineering . Electric
See also:Lighting.—In 1876, Paul
See also:Jablochkov (1847-1894), a
See also:Russian officer, passing through
See also:Paris, invented his famous electric candle, consisting of two rods of
See also:carbon placed side by side and separated from one another by an insulating material . This invention in conjunction with an alternating current dynamo provided a new and
See also:simple form of electric arc lighting . Two years afterwards C . F .
See also:Brush, in the
See also:United States, produced another efficient form of dynamo and electric arc lamp suitable for working in series (see LIGHTING: Electric), and these inventions of Brush and Jablochkov inaugurated commercial arc lighting . The so-called subdivision of electric
See also:light by incandescent lighting lamps then engaged
See also:attention . E . A .
See also:King in 1845 and W .
E . Staite in 1848 had made incandescent electric lamps of an elementary form, and T . A .
See also:Edison in 1878 again attacked the problem of producing light by the incandescence of platinum . It had by that
See also:time become clear that the most suitable material for an incandescent lamp was carbon contained in a
See also:good vacuum, and St G . Lane
See also:Fox and
See also:Sir J . W .
See also:Swan in England, and T . A . Edison in the United States, were engaged in struggling with the difficulties of producing a suitable carbon incandescence electric lamp . Edison constructed in 1879 a successful lamp of this type consisting of a vessel wholly of
See also:glass containing a carbon filament made by carbonizing paper or some other carbonizable material, the vessel being exhausted and the current led into the filament through platinum wires . In 1879 and 188o, Edison in the United States, and Swan in conjunction with C .
H . Stearn in England, succeeded in completely solving the
See also:practical problems . From and after that date incandescent electric lighting became commercially possible, and was brought to public notice chiefly by an electrical
See also:exhibition held at the Crystal Palace, near
See also:London, in 1882 . Edison, moreover, as well as Lane-Fox, had realized the idea of a public electric supply station, and the former proceeded to establish in Pearl Street, New
See also:York, in 1881, the first public electric supply station . A similar station in England was opened in the
See also:basement of a
See also:house in
See also:Holborn Viaduct, London, in
See also:March 1882 . Edison, with copious ingenuity, devised electric meters, electric mains, lamp fittings and generators
See also:complete for the purpose . In 1881 C . A .
See also:Faure made an important improvement in the lead secondary battery which G . Plante (1834–1889) had invented in 1859, and storage batteries then began to be
See also:developed as commercial appliances by Faure, Swan, J . S . Sellon and many others (see
See also:ACCUMULATOR) .
In 1882, numerous electric lighting companies were formed for the conduct of public and private lighting, but an electric lighting act passed in that
See also:year greatly hindered commercial progress in
See also:Great Britain . Nevertheless the delay was utilized in the completion of inventions necessary for the safe and economical distribution of electric current for the purpose of electric lighting . Telephone.—Going back a few years we find the technical applications of electrical invention had developed themselves in other directions .
See also:Bell in 1876 invented the speaking telephone (q.v.), and Edison and Elisha
See also:Gray in the United States followed almost immediately with other telephonic inventions for electrically transmitting speech . About the same time D . E .
See also:Hughes in England invented the microphone . In 1879 telephone exchanges began to be developed in the United States, Great Britain and other countries . Electric Power.—Following on the
See also:discovery in 1873 of the reversible
See also:action of the dynamo and its use as a motor, efforts began to be made to apply this knowledge to transmission of power, and S . D . Field, T . A .
See also:Leo Daft, E . M . Bentley and W . H . Knight, F . J . Sprague, C . J .
See also:Van Depoele and others between 188o and 1884 were the pioneers of electric
See also:traction . One of the earliest electric tram cars was exhibited by E . W. and W . Siemens in Paris in 1881 .
In 1883 Lucien Gaulard, following a
See also:line of thought opened by Jablochkov, proposed to employ high pressure alternating currents for electric distributions over wide areas by means of
See also:transformers . His ideas were improved by Carl Zipernowsky and O . T . Blathy in Hungary and by S . Z. de Ferranti in England, and the alternating current transformer (see TRANSFORMERS) came into existence . Polyphase alternators were first exhibited at the
See also:Frankfort electrical exhibition in 1891, developed as a consequence of scientific researches by Galileo Ferraris (1847—1897) ,Nikola Tesla,M . O.von Dolivo-Dobrowolsky and C . E . L .
See also:Brown, and long distance transmission of electrical power by polyphase electrical currents (see POWER TRANSMrssroN: Electric) was exhibited in operation at Frankfort in 1891 . Meanwhile the early continuous current dynamos devised by Gramme, Siemens and others had been vastly improved in scientific principle and practical construction by the labours of Siemens, J . Hopkinson, R .
E . B .Crompton, Elihu
See also:Thomson, Rudolf Eickemeyer,
See also:Parker and others, and the theory of the action of the dynamo had been closely studied by J. and E . Hopkinson, G . Kapp, S . P .
See also:Thompson, C . P . Steinmetz and J . Swinburne, and great improvements made in the alternating current dynamo by W . M . Mordey, S .
Z. de Ferranti and Messrs Ganz of
See also:Budapest . Thus in twenty years from the invention of the Gramme dynamo, electrical engineering had developed from small beginnings into a vast
See also:industry . The amendment, in 1888, of the Electric Lighting Act of 1882, before long caused a huge development of public electric lighting in Great Britain . By the end of the 19th century every large city in
See also:Europe and in
See also:North and South
See also:America was provided with a public electric supply fcr the purposes of electric lighting . The various improvements in electric illuminants, such as the Nernst
See also:oxide lamp, the tantalum and osmium incandescent lamps, and improved forms189 of arc lamp, enclosed, inverted and flame arcs, are described under LIGHTING: Electric . Between 1890 and 1900, electric traction advanced rapidly in the United States of America but more slowly in England . In r902 the success of deep
See also:tube electric
See also:railways in Great Britain was assured, and in 1904
See also:main line railways began to abandon, at least experimentally, the steam
See also:locomotive and substitute for it the electric transmission of power . Long distance electrical transmission had been before that time exemplified in the great
See also:scheme of utilizing the falls of Niagara . The first projects were discussed in 1891 and 1892 and completed practically some ten years later . In this scheme large turbines were placed at the bottom of
See also:hydraulic fall tubes 150 ft. deep, the turbines being coupled by long shafts with 5000 H.P. alternating current dynamos on the
See also:surface . By these electric current was generated and transmitted to towns and factories around, being sent overhead as far as
See also:Buffalo, a distance of 18 m . At the end of the 19th century electrochemical
See also:industries began to be developed which depended on the possession of cheap electric energy .
Theproduction of aluminium in
See also:Switzerland and Scotland,
See also:carborundum and calcium
See also:carbide in the United States, and soda by the Castner-Kellner
See also:process, began to be conducted on an immense scale . The early
See also:work of Sir W . Siemens on the electric
See also:furnace was continued and greatly extended by
See also:Moissan and others on its scientific side, and electro-chemistry took, its place as one of the most promising departments of technical research and invention . It was stimulated and assisted by improvements in the construction of large dynamos and increased knowledge concerning the
See also:control of powerful electric currents . In the early
See also:part of the 20th century the distribution in bulk of electric energy for power purposes in Great Britain began to assume important proportions . It was seen to be uneconomical for each city and
See also:town to manufacture its own supply since, owing to the intermittent nature of the demand for current for lighting, the price had to be kept up to 4d. and 6d. per unit . It was found that by the manufacture in bulk, even by steam engines, at
See also:primary centres the cost could be considerably reduced, and in numerous districts in England large power stations began to be erected between 1903 and 1905 for the supply of current for power purposes . This involved almost a revolution in the nature of the tools used, and in the methods of working, and may ultimately even greatly affect the factory
See also:system and the concentration of population in large towns which was brought about in the early part of the loth century by the invention of the steam engine . Development of Electric Theory . Turning now to the theory of
See also:electricity, we may note the equally remarkable progress made in 300 years in scientific insight into the nature of the agency which has so recast the
See also:face of human society . There is no need to dwell upon the early crude theories of the action of
See also:amber and lodestone . In a true scientific sense no hypothesis was possible, because few facts had been accumulated .
The discoveries of
See also:Stephen Gray and C . F. de C. du
See also:Fay on the conductivity of some bodies for the electric agency and the dual character of electrification gave rise to the first notions of electricity as an imponderable fluid, or non-gravitative subtile'
See also:matter, of a more refined and penetrating kind than ordinary liquids and gases . Its duplex character, and the fact that the electricity produced by rubbing glass and vitreous substances was different from that produced by rubbing sealing-
See also:wax and resinous substances, seemed to necessitate the
See also:assumption of two kinds of electric fluid; hence there arose the conception of
See also:positive and negative electricity, and the two-fluid theory came into existence . Single fluid Theory.—The study of the phenomena of the
See also:jar and of the fact that the inside and outside coatings possessed opposite electricities, so that in charging the jar as much positive electricity is added to one side as negative to the other, led
See also:Franklin about 1750 to suggest a modification called the single fluid theory, in which the two states of electrification were regarded as not the results of two entirely different fluids but of the addition or subtraction of one electric fluid from matter, so that positive electrification was to be looked upon; as the result of increase or addition of something to ordinary matter and negative as a subtraction . The positive and negative electrifications of the two coatings of the Leyden jar were therefore to be regarded as the result of a transformation of something called electricity from one coating to the other, by which process a certain measurable quantity became so much less on one side by the same amount by which it became more on the other . A modification of this single fluid theory was put forward by F . U . T . Aepinus which was explained and illustrated in his Tentamen theoriae electricitatis et magnetismi, 'published in St
See also:Petersburg in 1759 . This theory was founded on the following principles:—(I) the particles of the electric fluid repel each other with a force decreasing as the distance increases; (2) the particles of the electric fluid attract the atoms of all bodies and are attracted by them with a force obeying the same
See also:law; (3) the electric fluid exists in the pores of all bodies, and while it moves without any obstruction in conductors such as metals,
See also:water, &c., it moves with extreme difficulty in so-called non-conductors such as glass,
See also:resin, &c.; (4) electrical phenomena are produced either by the transference of the electric fluid of a
See also:body containing more to one containing less, or from its attraction and repulsion when no transference takes place . Electric attractions and repulsions were, however, regarded as
See also:differential actions in which the mutual repulsion of the particles of electricity operated, so to speak, in antagonism to the mutual attraction of particles of matter for one another and of particles of electricity for matter . Independently of Aepinus,
See also:Cavendish put forward a single=fluid theory of electricity (Phil .
Trans., 1771, 61, p . 584), in which he considered it in more precise detail . Two fluid Theory.—In the elucidation of electrical phenomena, however, towards the end of the 18th century, a modification of the two-fluid theory seems to have been generally preferred . The notion then formed of the nature of electrification was something as follows:—All bodies were assumed to contain a certain quantity of a so-called neutral fluid made up of equal quantities of positive and negative electricity, which when in thisstate of combination neutralized one another's properties . The neutral fluid could, however, be divided up or separated into its two constituents, and these could be accumulated on
See also:separate conductors or non-conductors . This view followed from the discovery of the facts of electric induction of J .
See also:Canton (1753, 1754) . When, for instance, a positively electrified body was found to induce upon another insulated conductor a
See also:charge of negative electricity on the side nearest to it, and a charge of positive electricity on the side farthest from it, this was explained by saying that the particles of each of the two electric fluids repelled one another but attracted those of the positive fluid . Hence the operation of the positive charge upon the neutral fluid was to draw towards the positive the negative constituent of the neutral charge and repel to the distant parts of the conductor the positive constituent . C . A . Coulomb experimentally proved that the law of attraction and repulsion of simple electrified bodies was that the force between them varied inversely as the square of the distance and thus gave mathematical definiteness to the two-fluid hypo-thesis .
It was then assumed that each of the two constituents of the neutral fluid had an atomic structure and that the so-called particles of one of the electric fluids, say positive, repelled similar particles with a force varying inversely as a square of the distance and attracted those of the opposite fluid according to the same law . This fact and hypothesis brought electrical phenomena within the domain of mathematicalanalysis and, as already mentioned, Laplace,
See also:Poisson, G . A . A . Plana (1781-1846), and later Robert Murphy (1806-1843), made them the subject of their investigations on the mode in which electricity distributes itself on conductors when in equilibrium .
See also:Faraday's Views.—The two-fluid theory may be said to have held the field until the time when Faraday began his researcheson electricity . After he had educated himself by the study of the phenomena of lines of magnetic force in his discoveries on electromagnetic induction, he applied the same conception to electrostatic phenomena, and thus created the notion of lines of electrostatic force and of the important
See also:function of the di-electric or non-conductor in sustaining them . Faraday's notion as to the nature of electrification, therefore, about the
See also:middle of the 19th century came to be something as follows:—He considered that the so-called charge of electricity on a conductor was in reality nothing on the conductor or in the conductor itself, but consisted in a state of
See also:strain or polarization, or a
See also:change of some kind in the particles of the
See also:dielectric surrounding the conductor, and that it was this physical state in the dielectric which constituted electrification . Since Faraday was well aware that even a good vacuum can act as a dielectric, he recognized that the state he called dielectric polarization could not be wholly dependent upon the presence of gravitative matter, but that there must be an electromagnetic
See also:medium of a supermaterial nature . In the 13th series of his Experimental Researches on Electricity he discussed the relation of a vacuum to electricity . Furthermore his electrochemical investigations, and particularly his discovery of the important law of electrolysis, that the
See also:movement of a certain quantity of electricity through an electrolyte is always accompanied by the transfer of a certain definite quantity of matter from one electrode to another and the liberation at these electrodes of an
See also:weight of the ions, gave foundation for the idea of a definite atomic charge of electricity . In fact, long previously to Faraday's electrochemical researches, Sir H .
See also:Davy and J . J .
See also:Berzelius early in the 19th century had advanced the hypothesis that chemical combination was due to electric attractions between the electric charges carried by chemical atoms . The notion, however, that electricity is atomic in structure was definitely put forward by Hermann von Helmholtz in a well-known Faraday lecture . Helmholtz says: " If we accept the hypothesis that elementary substances are composed of atoms, we cannot well avoid concluding that electricity also is divided into elementary portions which behave like atoms of electricity."' Clerk Maxwell had already used in 1873 the phrase, " a molecule of electricity."2 Towards the end of the third quarter of the 19th century it therefore became clear that electricity, whatever be its nature, was associated with atoms of matter in the form of exact multiples of an in-divisible minimum electric charge which may be considered to be " Nature's unit of electricity." This ultimate unit of electric quantity
See also:Johnstone Stoney called an
See also:electron .3 The formulation of electrical theory as far as regards operations in space
See also:free from matter was immensely assisted by Maxwell's mathematical theory . Oliver Heaviside after 188o rendered much assistance by reducing Maxwell's mathematical analysis to more compact form and by introducing greater precision into terminology (see his Electrical Papers, 1892) . This is perhaps the place to refer also to the great services of
See also:Rayleigh to electrical science . Succeeding Maxwell as Cavendish professor of physics at Cambridge in 188o, he soon devoted himself especially to the exact redetermination of the practical electrical units in absolute measure . He followed up the early work of the
See also:British Association
See also:Committee on electrical units by a fresh determination of the
See also:ohm in absolute measure, and in conjunction with other work on the electrochemical equivalent of
See also:silver and the absolute electromotive force of the
See also:cell may be said to have placed exact electrical measurement on a new basis . He also made great additions to the theory of alternating electric currents, and provided fresh appliances for other electrical measurements (see his Collected Scientific Papers, Cambridge, 190o) .
See also:optics.—For a long time Faraday's observation on the rotation of the
See also:plane of polarized light by heavy glass in a 1 H. von Helmholtz, " On the Modern Development of Faraday's Conception of Electricity," Journ . Chem .
See also:Soc., 1881, 39, p . 277 . 2 See Maxwell's Electricity and Magnetism, vol. i. p . 350 (2nd ed., 1881) . " On the Physical Units of Nature," Phil . Mag., 1881, fs1, II, p . 381 . Also Trans, Rey . Soc . (
See also:Dublin, 1891), 4, P . 583 . magnetic field remained an isolated fact in electro-optics .
Then M . E . Verdet (1824-186o) made a study of the subject and discovered that asolution of ferric perchloride in methyl
See also:alcohol rotated the plane of polarization in an opposite direction to heavy glass (
See also:Ann . Chico . Phys., 1854, 41, p . 370; 1855, 43, p . 37; Corn . Rend., 1854, 39, p . 548) . Later A . A . E .
E .Kundt prepared metallic films of iron, nickel and
See also:cobalt, and obtained powerful negative
See also:optical rotation with them (Wied . Ann., 1884, 23, p . 228; 1886, 27, p . 191) .
See also:John Kerr (1824-1907) discovered that a similar effect was produced when plane polarized light was reflected from the
See also:pole of a powerful magnet (Phil . Meg., 1877, , 3, p . 321, and 1878, 5, p . 161) . Lord Kelvin showed that Faraday's discovery demonstrated that some form of rotation was taking place along lines of magnetic force when passing through a medium.l Many observers have given attention to the exact determination of Verdet's
See also:constant of rotation for standard substances, e.g . Lord Rayleigh for carbon bisulphide,' and Sir W . H .
Perkin for an immense range of inorganic and organic bodies.3 Kerr also discovered that when certain homogeneous dielectrics were submitted to electric strain, they became birefringent (Phil . Meg., 1875, 50, pp . 337 and 446) . The theory of electro-optics received great attention from Kelvin, Maxwell, Rayleigh, G . F .
See also:Fitzgerald, A . Righi and P . K . L . Drude, and experimental contributions from innumerable workers, such as F . T . Trouton, O .
See also:Lodge and J . L .
See also:Howard, and many others . Electric Waves.—In the
See also:decade 188o-189o, the most important advance in electrical physics was, however, that which originated with the astonishing researches of Heinrich Rudolf Hertz (1857-1894) . This illustrious investigator was stimulated, by a certain problem brought to his notice by H. von Helmholtz, to undertake investigations which had for their
See also:object a demonstration of the truth of Maxwell's principle that a variation in electric displacement was in fact an electric current and had magnetic effects . It is impossible to describe here the details of these elaborate experiments; the reader must be referred to Hertz's own papers, or the
See also:translation of them by Prof . D . E .
See also:Jones . Hertz's great discovery was an experimental realization of a
See also:suggestion made by G . F .
Fitzgerald (1851-1901) in 1883 as to a method of producing electric waves in space . He invented for this purpose a radiator consisting of two
See also:metal rods placed in one line, their inner ends being provided with poles nearly touching and their
See also:outer ends with metal plates . Such an arrangement constitutes in effect a
See also:condenser, and when the two plates respectively are connected to the secondary terminals of an induction coil in operation, the plates are rapidly and alternately charged, and discharged across the spark
See also:gap with electrical oscillations (see
See also:ELECTROKINETICS) . Hertz then devised a
See also:wave detecting apparatus called a resonator . This in its simplest form consisted of a ring of wire nearly closed terminating in spark balls very close together, adjustable as to distance by a micrometer
See also:screw . He found that when the resonator was placed in certain positions with regard to the oscillator, small
See also:sparks were seen between the micrometer balls, and when the oscillator was placed at one end of a
See also:room having a
See also:sheet of
See also:zinc fixed against the
See also:wall at the other end, symmetrical positions could be found in the room at which, when the resonator was there placed, either no sparks or else very bright sparks occurred at the poles . These effects, as Hertz showed, indicated the
See also:establishment of stationary electric waves in space and the
See also:propagation of electric and magnetic force through space with a finite velocity . The other additional phenomena he observed finally contributed an all but conclusive
See also:proof of the truth of Maxwell's views . By profoundly ingenious methods Hertz showed that these invisible electric waves could be reflected and refracted like waves of light by mirrors and 1 See Sir W . Thomson, Proc .
See also:Roy . Soc .
Lond., 1856, 8, p . 152; or Maxwell, Elect. and Meg., vol. ii. p . 831 . 2 See Lord Rayleigh, Proc . Roy . Soc . Lond., 1884, 37, p . 146;
See also:Gordon, Phil . Trans., 1877, 167, p . 1; .H .
See also:Becquerel, Ann . Chim .
Phys., 1882, , 27, p . 312 . 3 Perkin's Papers are to be found in the Journ . Chem . Soc . Lond., 1884, p . 421; 1886, p . 177; 1888, p . 561; 1889, p . 68o; 1891, p . 981; 1892, p . 800; 1893, p .
75.prisms, and that
See also:familiar experiments in optics could be repeated with electric waves which could not affect the
See also:eye . Hence there arose a new science of electro-optics, and in all parts of Europe and the United States innumerable investigators took possession of the novel field of research with the greatest delight . O . J . Lodge,4 A . Righi,5 J . H .
See also:Poincare,6 V . F . K . Bjerknes, P . K .
L . Drude, J . J . Thomson,' John
See also:Trowbridge, Max Abraham, and many others, contributed to its elucidation . In 1892, E . Branly of Paris devised an appliance for detecting these waves which subsequently proved to be of immense importance . He discovered that they had the power of affecting the electric conductivity of materials when in a state of powder, the majority of metallic filings increasing in conductivity . Lodge devised a similar arrangement called a coherer, and E . Rutherford invented a magnetic detector depending on the power of electric oscillations to demagnetize iron or
See also:steel . The sum
See also:total of .all these contributions to electrical knowledge had the effect of establishing Maxwell's principles on a
See also:firm basis, but they also led to technical inventions of the very greatest utility . In 1896 G . Marconi applied a modified and improved form of Branly's wave detector in conjunction with a novel form of radiator for the telegraphic transmission of intelligence through space without wires, and he and others developed this new form of telegraphy with the greatest rapidity and success into a startling and most useful means of communicating through space electrically without connecting wires .
Electrolysis.—The study of the transfer of electricity through liquids had meanwhile received much attention . Thegeneral facts and
See also:laws of electrolysis (q.v.) were determined experiment-ally by Davy and Faraday and confirmed by the researches of J . F . Daniell, R . W .
See also:Bunsen and Helmholtz . The modern theory of electrolysis
See also:grew up under the hands of R . J . E . Clausius, A . W .
See also:Williamson and F .
W . G . Kohlrausch, and received a great impetus from the work of Svante
See also:Arrhenius, J . H . Van't Hoff, W . Ostwald, H . W . Nernst and many others . The theory of the ionization of salts in solution has raised much discussion amongst chemists, but the general fact is certain that electricity only moves through liquids in association with matter, and simultaneously involves chemical
See also:dissociation of molecular groups .
See also:Discharge through Gases.—Many eminent physicists had an instinctive feeling that the study of the passage of electricity through gases would
See also:shed much light on the
See also:intrinsic nature of electricity . Faraday devoted to a careful examination of the phenomena the XIIIth series of his Experimental Researches, and among the older workers in this field must be particularly mentioned J .
See also:Plucker, J .
W . Hittorf, A . A. de la Rive, J . P . Gassiot, C . F .Varley, and W .
See also:Spottiswoode and J .
See also:Moulton . It has long been known that air and other gases at the pressure of the atmosphere were very perfect insulators, but that when they were rarefied and contained in glass tubes with platinum electrodes sealed through the glass, electricity could be passed through them under sufficient electromotive force and produced a luminous appearance known as the electric glow discharge . The so-called vacuum tubes constructed by H .
See also:Geissler (1815-1879) containing air, carbonic acid, hydrogen, &c., under a pressure of one or two millimetres, exhibit beautiful appearances when traversed by the high tension current produced by the secondary circuit of an induction coil .
Faraday discovered the existence of a dark space
See also:round the negative electrode which is usually known as the " Faraday dark space." De la Rive added much to our knowledge of the subject, and J . Plucker and his
See also:disciple J . W . Hittorf examined the phenomena exhibited in so-called high vacua, that is, in exceedingly rarefied gases . C . F . Varley discovered the interesting fact that no current could be sent through the rarefied
See also:gas unless a certain minimum potential difference of the electrodes was excited . Sir
See also:Crookes took up in 1872 the study of electric discharge through 4 The Work of Hertz (London, 1894) . 5 L'Ottica delle oscillazioni elettriche (Bologna, 1897) . 6
See also:Les Oscillations electriques (Paris, 1894) . '
See also:Recent Researches in Electricity and Magnetism (
See also:Oxford . =892) .
high vacua, having been led to it by his researches on the radio-
See also:meter; The particular details of the phenomena observed will be found described in the article
See also:CONDUCTION, ELECTRIC (§ III.) . The main fact discovered by researches of Plucker, Hittorf and Crookes was that in a vacuum tube containing extremely rarefied air or other gas, a luminous discharge takes place from the negative electrode which proceeds in lines normal to the surface of the negative electrode and renders phosphorescent both the glass envelope and other
See also:objects placed in the vacuum tube when it falls upon them . Hittorf made in 1869 the discovery that solid objects could
See also:cast shadows or intercept this
See also:cathode discharge . The cathode discharge henceforth engaged the attention of many physicists . Varley had advanced tentatively the hypothesis that it consisted in an actual
See also:projection of electrified matter from the cathode, and Crookes was led by his re-searches in 187o, 1871 and 1872 to embrace and confirm this hypothesis in a modified form and announce the existence of a fourth state of matter, which he called radiant matter, demonstrating by many beautiful and convincing experiments that there was an actual projection of material substance of some kind possessing inertia from the surface of the cathode . German physicists such as E . Goldstein were inclined to take another view . Sir J . J . Thomson, the successor of Maxwell and Lord Rayleigh in the Cavendish
See also:chair of physics in the university of Cambridge, began about the year 1899 a remarkable series of investigations on the cathode discharge, which finally enabled him to make a measurement of the ratio of the electric charge to the mass of the particles of matter projected from the cathode, and to show that this electric charge was identical with the atomic electric charge carried by a hydrogen
See also:ion in the act of electrolysis, but that the mass of the cathode particles, or " corpuscles " as he called them, was far less, viz. about nth part of the mass of a hydrogen atom.' The subject was pursued by Thomson and the Cambridge physicists with great mathematical and experimental ability, and finally the conclusion was reached that in a high vacuum tube the electric charge is carried by particles which have a mass only a fraction, as above mentioned, of that of the hydrogen atom, but which carry a charge equal to the unit electric charge of the hydrogen ion as found by electrochemical researches.2 P . E . A .
Lenard made in 1894 (Wied . Ann . Phys., 51, p . 225) the discovery that these cathode particles or corpuscles could pass through a window of thin sheet aluminium placed in the wall of the vacuum tube and give rise to a class of
See also:radiation called the Lenard rays . W . C . Rontgen of
See also:Munich made in 1896 his remarkable discovery of the so-called X or Rontgen rays, a class of radiation produced by the impact of the cathode particles against an impervious metallic
See also:screen or anticathode placed in the vacuum tube . The study of Rontgen rays was ardently pursued by the
See also:principal physicists in Europe during the years 1897 and 1898 and subsequently . The principal
See also:property of these Rontgen rays which attracted public attention was their power of passing through many solid bodies and affecting a photographic
See also:plate . Hence some substances were opaque to them and others transparent . The astonishing feat of photographing the bones of the living animal within the tissues soon rendered the Rontgen rays indispensable in surgery and directed an army of investigators to their study .
See also:Radioactivity.—One outcome of all this was the discovery by H .
Becquerel in 1896 that minerals containinguranium, and particularly the
See also:mineral known as
See also:pitchblende, had the power of affecting sensitive photographic plates enclosed in a black paper envelope when the mineral was placed on the outside, as ' See J . J . Thomson, Proc . Roy . Inst . Lond., 1897, 15, p . 419 also Phil . Mag., 1899, , 48, p . 547 . 2 Later results show that the mass of a hydrogen atom is not far from 1.3 X Io–2a gramme and that the unit atomic charge or natural unit of electricity is 1.3 X10–" of an electromagnetic C.G.S. unit . The mass of the electron or corpuscle is 7.0 X 10–28 gramme and its diameter is 3 X Io–13 centimetre . The diameter of a chemical atom is sf the
See also:order of 10–7 centimetre .
See H . A . Lorentz, " The Electron Theory," Elektrotechnische Zaitschrift, 1903, 26, p . 584; or Science Abstracts, 1905, 8, A, p . 603.well as of discharging a charged
See also:electroscope (Coln . Rend., 1396, 122, p . 420) . This research opened a way of approach to the phenomena of radioactivity, and the
See also:history of the steps by which P .
See also:Curie and Madame Curie were finally led to the discovery of
See also:radium is one of the most fascinating chapters in the history of science . The study of radium and radioactivity (see RADIO-ACTIVITY) led before long to the further remarkable knowledge that these so-called radioactive materials project into surrounding space particles or corpuscles, some of which are identical with those projected from the cathode in a high vacuum tube, together with others of a different nature . The study of radio-activity was pursued with great ability not only by the Curies and A . Debierne, who associated himself with them, in France, but by E .
Rutherford and F . Soddy in
See also:Canada, and by J . J . Thomson, Sir William Crookes, Sir William
See also:Ramsay and others in England . Electronic Theory.—The final outcome of these investigations was the hypothesis that Thomson's corpuscles or particles composing the cathode discharge in a high vacuum tube must be looked upon as the ultimate constituent of what we
See also:call negative electricity; in other words, they are atoms of negative electricity, possessing, however, inertia, and these negative electrons are components at any
See also:rate of the chemical atom . Each electron is a point-charge of negative electricity equal to 3'9X Io-'° of an electrostatic unit or to 1.3 X Io 20 of an electromagnetic unit, and the ratio of its charge to its mass is nearly 2X 1o7 using E.M. units . For the hydrogen atom the ratio of charge to mass as deduced from electrolysis is about 1o4 . Hence the mass of an electron is nth of that of a hydrogen atom . No one has yet been able to isolate positive electrons, or to give a complete demonstration that the whole inertia of matter is only electric inertia due to what may be called the inductance of the electrons . Prof . Sir J . Larmor developed in a series of very able papers (Phil .
Trans., 1894, 185; 1895, 186; 1897, 190), and subsequently in his
See also:Aether and Matter ('goo), a remarkable hypothesis of the structure of the electron or corpuscle, which he regards as simply a strain centre in the aether or electromagnetic medium, a chemical atom being a collection of positive and negative electrons or strain centres in
See also:stable orbital motion round their
See also:common centre of mass (see AETHER) . J . J . Thomson also developed this hypothesis in a profoundly interesting manner, and we may therefore summarize very briefly the views held on the nature of electricity and matter at the beginning of the loth century by saying that the
See also:term electricity had come to be regarded, in part at least, as a collective name for electrons, which in turn must be considered as constituents of the chemical atom, furthermore as centres of certain lines of self-locked and permanent strain existing in the universal aether or electromagnetic medium . Atoms of matter are composed'of congeries of electrons and the inertia of matter is probably therefore only the inertia of the electromagnetic medium.' Electric waves are produced wherever electrons are accelerated or retarded, that is, whenever the velocity of an electron is changed or accelerated positively or negatively . In every solid body there is a continual atomic dissociation, the result of which is that mixed up with the atoms of chemical matter composing them we have a greater or less percentage of free electrons . The operation called an electric current consists in a diffusion or movement of these electrons through matter, and this is controlled by laws of diffusion which are similar to those of the diffusion of liquids or gases . Electromotive force is due to a difference in the
See also:density of the electronic population in different or identical conducting bodies, and whilst the electrons can move freely through so-called conductors their motion is much more hindered or restricted in non. conductors . Electric charge consists, therefore, in an excess or deficit of negative electrons in a body . In the hands of H . A . Lorentz, P .
K . L . Drude, J . J, Thomson, J . Larmor and many others, the electronic hypothesis of matter and of electricity has been developed in great detail and may be said to represent the outcome of modern researches upon electrical phenomena . ' See J . J . Thomson, Electricity and Matter (London, 19cv,,,) . The reader may be referred for an admirable
See also:summary of the theories of electricity
See also:prior to the advent of the electronic hypothesis to J . J . Thomson's "
See also:Report on Electrical Theories " (Brit . Assoc .
Report, 1885), in which he divides electrical theories enunciated during the 19th century into four classes, end summarizes the opinions and theories of A . M .Ampere, H . G . Grossman, C . F .
See also:Gauss, W . E . Weber, G . F . B . Riemann, R .
J . E . Clausius, F . E .Neumann and H. von Helmholtz .
MARIE FRANCOIS OSCAR BARDY DE FOURTOU (1836-1897)
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