The Story of Electricity

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Author: John Munro
Published: 1915
Language: English
Wordcount: 50,655 / 152 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 54
LoC Category: Q
Audiobook: librivox.org
Downloads: 1,400
mnybks.net#: 5241
Origin: gutenberg.org
Genres: Science, Audiobook

The purpose of this little book is to present the essential facts of electrical science in a popular and interesting way, as befits the scheme of the series to which it belongs. Electrical phenomena have been observed since the first man viewed one of the most spectacular and magnificent of them all in the thunderstorm, but the services of electricity which we enjoy are the product solely of scientific achievement in the nineteenth century. It is to these services that the main part of the following discussion is devoted.

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o a distance of several hundred yards, and thus took an important step in the direction of the electric telegraph.

It has since been found that FRICTIONAL ELECTRICITY APPEARS ONLY ON THE EXTERNAL SURFACE OF CONDUCTORS.

This is well shown by a device of Faraday resembling a small butterfly net insulated by a glass handle (fig. 5). If the net be charged it is found that the electrification is only outside, and if it be suddenly drawn outside in, as shown by the dotted line, the electrification is still found outside, proving that the charge has shifted from the inner to the outer surface. In the same way if a hollow conductor is charged with electricity, none is discoverable in the interior. Moreover, its distribution on the exterior is influenced by the shape of the outer surface. On a sphere or ball it is evenly distributed all round, but it accumulates on sharp edges or corners, and most of all on points, from which it is easily discharged.

A neutral body can, as we have seen (fig. 4), be charged by

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