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Boys, Sir Charles Vernon

value obtained instruments quartz

(1855–1944) British experimental physicist: ingenious inventor of sensitive instruments.

Educated at Cambridge and a Fellow of the Royal Society, Boys distinguished himself as a clever and original experimenter. In 1895 he designed a torsion balance, which was an improvement on previous models, and with this he determined the value of constant of gravitation, thus arriving at a value of 5.5270 for the mean density of the Earth. He invented the micro-radiometer, a combination of a thermocouple and a delicate suspended-coil galvanometer, and with it he was able to measure the heat radiation from the Moon and planets. He proved that the surface temperature of Jupiter is low. He used quartz fibres instead of silk for delicate suspension instruments and obtained them by shooting from a bow an arrow with the molten quartz attached. He also designed a calorimeter to measure the thermal power of coal gas, and a camera with a moving lens with which he obtained some remarkable photographs of lightning flashes.

Boyz N the Hood. 1991 [next] [back] Boyle, T. C. - Author, Career, Sidelights, Selected writings, Novels, Short stories

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