Experimental researches in electricity/Explication of Arago's magnetic phenomena
|Experimental researches in electricity
Explication of Arago's magnetic phenomena
§ 4. _Explication of Arago's Magnetic Phenomena._
81. If a plate of copper be revolved close to a magnetic needle, or magnet, suspended in such a way that the latter may rotate in a plane parallel to that of the former, the magnet tends to follow the motion of the plate; or if the magnet be revolved, the plate tends to follow its motion; and the effect is so powerful, that magnets or plates of many pounds weight may be thus carried round. If the magnet and plate be at rest relative to each other, not the slightest effect, attractive or repulsive, or of any kind, can be observed between them (62.). This is the phenomenon discovered by M. Arago; and he states that the effect takes place not only with all metals, but with solids, liquids, and even gases, i.e. with all substances (130.).
82. Mr. Babbage and Sir John Herschel, on conjointly repeating the experiments in this country[A], could obtain the effects only with the metals, and with carbon in a peculiar state (from gas retorts), i.e. only with excellent conductors of electricity. They refer the effect to magnetism induced in the plate by the magnet; the pole of the latter causing an opposite pole in the nearest part of the plate, and round this a more diffuse polarity of its own kind (120.). The essential circumstance in producing the rotation of the suspended magnet is, that the substance revolving below it shall acquire and lose its magnetism in sensible time, and not instantly (124.). This theory refers the effect to an attractive force, and is not agreed to by the discoverer, M. Arago, nor by M. Ampère, who quote against it the absence of all attraction when the magnet and metal are at rest (62. 126.), although the induced magnetism should still remain; and who, from experiments made with a long dipping needle, conceive the action to be always repulsive (125.).
[A] Philosophical Transactions, 1825, p. 467.
83. Upon obtaining electricity from magnets by the means already described (36 46.), I hoped to make the experiment of M. Arago a new source of electricity; and did not despair, by reference to terrestrial magneto-electric induction, of being able to construct a new electrical machine. Thus stimulated, numerous experiments were made with the magnet of the Royal Society at Mr. Christie's house, in all of which I had the advantage of his assistance. As many of these were in the course of the superseded by more perfect arrangements, I shall consider myself at liberty investigation to rearrange them in a manner calculated to convey most readily what appears to me to be a correct view of the nature of the phenomena.
84. The magnet has been already described (44.). To concentrate the poles, and bring them nearer to each other, two iron or steel bars, each about six or seven inches long, one inch wide, and half an inch thick, were put across the poles as in fig. 7, and being supported by twine from slipping, could be placed as near to or far from each other as was required. Occasionally two bars of soft iron were employed, so bent that when applied, one to each pole, the two smaller resulting poles were vertically over each other, either being uppermost at pleasure.
85. A disc of copper, twelve inches in diameter, and about one fifth of an inch in thickness, fixed upon a brass axis, was mounted in frames so as to allow of revolution either vertically or horizontally, its edge being at the same time introduced more or less between the magnetic poles (fig. 7.). The edge of the plate was well amalgamated for the purpose of obtaining a good but moveable contact, and a part round the axis was also prepared in a similar manner.
86. Conductors or electric collectors of copper and lead were constructed so as to come in contact with the edge of the copper disc (85.), or with other forms of plates hereafter to be described (101.). These conductors were about four inches long, one third of an inch wide, and one fifth of an inch thick; one end of each was slightly grooved, to allow of more exact adaptation to the somewhat convex edge of the plates, and then amalgamated. Copper wires, one sixteenth of an inch in thickness, attached, in the ordinary manner, by convolutions to the other ends of these conductors, passed away to the galvanometer.
87. The galvanometer was roughly made, yet sufficiently delicate in its indications. The wire was of copper covered with silk, and made sixteen or eighteen convolutions. Two sewing-needles were magnetized and fixed on to a stem of dried grass parallel to each other, but in opposite directions, and about half an inch apart; this system was suspended by a fibre of unspun silk, so that the lower needle should be between the convolutions of the multiplier, and the upper above them. The latter was by much the most powerful magnet, and gave terrestrial direction to the whole; fig. 8. represents the direction of the wire and of the needles when the instrument was placed in the magnetic meridian: the ends of the wires are marked A and B for convenient reference hereafter. The letters S and N designate the south and north ends of the needle when affected merely by terrestrial magnetism; the end N is therefore the marked pole (44.). The whole instrument was protected by a glass jar, and stood, as to position and distance relative to the large magnet, under the same circumstances as before (45.).
88. All these arrangements being made, the copper disc was adjusted as in fig. 7, the small magnetic poles being about half an inch apart, and the edge of the plate inserted about half their width between them. One of the galvanometer wires was passed twice or thrice loosely round the brass axis of the plate, and the other attached to a conductor (86.), which itself was retained by the hand in contact with the amalgamated edge of the disc at the part immediately between the magnetic poles. Under these circumstances all was quiescent, and the galvanometer exhibited no effect. But the instant the plate moved, the galvanometer was influenced, and by revolving the plate quickly the needle could be deflected 90° or more.
89. It was difficult under the circumstances to make the contact between the conductor and the edge of the revolving disc uniformly good and extensive; it was also difficult in the first experiments to obtain a regular velocity of rotation: both these causes tended to retain the needle in a continual state of vibration; but no difficulty existed in ascertaining to which side it was deflected, or generally, about what line it vibrated. Afterwards, when the experiments were made more carefully, a permanent deflection of the needle of nearly 45° could be sustained.
90. Here therefore was demonstrated the production of a permanent current of electricity by ordinary magnets (57.).
91. When the motion of the disc was reversed, every other circumstance remaining the same, the galvanometer needle was deflected with equal power as before; but the deflection was on the opposite side, and the current of electricity evolved, therefore, the reverse of the former.
92. When the conductor was placed on the edge of the disc a little to the right or left, as in the dotted positions fig. 9, the current of electricity was still evolved, and in the same direction as at first (88. 91.). This occurred to a considerable distance, i.e. 50° or 60° on each side of the place of the magnetic poles. The current gathered by the conductor and conveyed to the galvanometer was of the same kind on both sides of the place of greatest intensity, but gradually diminished in force from that place. It appeared to be equally powerful at equal distances from the place of the magnetic poles, not being affected in that respect by the direction of the rotation. When the rotation of the disc was reversed, the direction of the current of electricity was reversed also; but the other circumstances were not affected.
93. On raising the plate, so that the magnetic poles were entirely hidden from each other by its intervention, (a. fig. 10,) the same effects were produced in the same order, and with equal intensity as before. On raising it still higher, so as to bring the place of the poles to c, still the effects were produced, and apparently with as much power as at first.
94. When the conductor was held against the edge as if fixed to it, and with it moved between the poles, even though but for a few degrees, the galvanometer needle moved and indicated a current of electricity, the same as that which would have been produced if the wheel had revolved in the same direction, the conductor remaining stationary.
95. When the galvanometer connexion with the axis was broken, and its wires made fast to two conductors, both applied to the edge of the copper disc, then currents of electricity were produced, presenting more complicated appearances, but in perfect harmony with the above results. Thus, if applied as in fig. 11, a current of electricity through the galvanometer was produced; but if their place was a little shifted, as in fig. 12, a current in the contrary direction resulted; the fact being, that in the first instance the galvanometer indicated the difference between a strong current through A and a weak one through B, and in the second, of a weak current through A and a strong one through B (92.), and therefore produced opposite deflections.
96. So also when the two conductors were equidistant from the magnetic poles, as in fig. 13, no current at the galvanometer was perceived, whichever way the disc was rotated, beyond what was momentarily produced by irregularity of contact; because equal currents in the same direction tended to pass into both. But when the two conductors were connected with one wire, and the axis with the other wire, (fig. 14,) then the galvanometer showed a current according with the direction of rotation (91.); both conductors now acting consentaneously, and as a single conductor did before (88.).
97. All these effects could be obtained when only one of the poles of the magnet was brought near to the plate; they were of the same kind as to direction, &c., but by no means so powerful.
98. All care was taken to render these results independent of the earth's magnetism, or of the mutual magnetism of the magnet and galvanometer needles. The contacts were made in the magnetic equator of the plate, and at other parts; the plate was placed horizontally, and the poles vertically; and other precautions were taken. But the absence of any interference of the kind referred to, was readily shown by the want of all effect when the disc was removed from the poles, or the poles from the disc; every other circumstance remaining the same.
99. The _relation of the current_ of electricity produced, to the magnetic pole, to the direction of rotation of the plate, &c. &c., may be expressed by saying, that when the unmarked pole (44. 84.) is beneath the edge of the plate, and the latter revolves horizontally, screw-fashion, the electricity which can be collected at the edge of the plate nearest to the pole is positive. As the pole of the earth may mentally be considered the unmarked pole, this relation of the rotation, the pole, and the electricity evolved, is not difficult to remember. Or if, in fig. 15, the circle represent the copper disc revolving in the direction of the arrows, and _a_ the outline of the unmarked pole placed beneath the plate, then the electricity collected at _b_ and the neighbouring parts is positive, whilst that collected at the centre _c_ and other parts is negative (88.). The currents in the plate are therefore from the centre by the magnetic poles towards the circumference.
100. If the marked pole be placed above, all other things remaining the same, the electricity at _b_, fig. 15, is still positive. If the marked pole be placed below, or the unmarked pole above, the electricity is reversed. If the direction of revolution in any case is reversed, the electricity is also reversed.
101. It is now evident that the rotating plate is merely another form of the simpler experiment of passing a piece of metal between the magnetic poles in a rectilinear direction, and that in such cases currents of electricity are produced at right angles to the direction of the motion, and crossing it at the place of the magnetic pole or poles. This was sufficiently shown by the following simple experiment: A piece of copper plate one fifth of an inch thick, one inch and a half wide, and twelve inches long, being amalgamated at the edges, was placed between the magnetic poles, whilst the two conductors from the galvanometer were held in contact with its edges; it was then drawn through between the poles of the conductors in the direction of the arrow, fig. 16; immediately the galvanometer needle was deflected, its north or marked end passed eastward, indicating that the wire A received negative and the wire B positive electricity; and as the marked pole was above, the result is in perfect accordance with the effect obtained by the rotatory plate (99.).
102. On reversing the motion of the plate, the needle at the galvanometer was deflected in the opposite direction, showing an opposite current.
103. To render evident the character of the electrical current existing in various parts of the moving copper plate, differing in their relation to the inducing poles, one collector (86.) only was applied at the part to be examined near to the pole, the other being connected with the end of the plate as the most neutral place: the results are given at fig. 17-20, the marked pole being above the plate. In fig. 17, B received positive electricity; but the plate moving in the same direction, it received on the opposite side, fig. 18, negative electricity: reversing the motion of the latter, as in fig. 20, B received positive electricity; or reversing the motion of the first arrangement, that of fig. 17 to fig. 19, B received negative electricity.
104. When the plates were previously removed sideways from between the magnets, as in fig. 21, so as to be quite out of the polar axis, still the same effects were produced, though not so strongly.
105. When the magnetic poles were in contact, and the copper plate was drawn between the conductors near to the place, there was but very little effect produced. When the poles were opened by the width of a card, the effect was somewhat more, but still very small.
106. When an amalgamated copper wire, one eighth of an inch thick, was drawn through between the conductors and poles (101.), it produced a very considerable effect, though not so much as the plates.
107. If the conductors were held permanently against any particular parts of the copper plates, and carried between the magnetic poles with them, effects the same as those described were produced, in accordance with the results obtained with the revolving disc (94.).
108. On the conductors being held against the ends of the plates, and the latter then passed between the magnetic poles, in a direction transverse to their length, the same effects were produced (fig. 22.). The parts of the plates towards the end may be considered either as mere conductors, or as portions of metal in which the electrical current is excited, according to their distance and the strength of the magnet; but the results were in perfect harmony with those before obtained. The effect was as strong as when the conductors were held against the sides of the plate (101.).
109. When a mere wire, connected with the galvanometer so as to form a complete circuit, was passed through between the poles, the galvanometer was affected; and upon moving the wire to and fro, so as to make the alternate impulses produced correspond with the vibrations of the needle, the latter could be increased to 20° or 30° on each side the magnetic meridian.
110. Upon connecting the ends of a plate of metal with the galvanometer wires, and then carrying it between the poles from end to end (as in fig. 23.), in either direction, no effect whatever was produced upon the galvanometer. But the moment the motion became transverse, the needle was deflected.
111. These effects were also obtained from _electro-magnetic poles_, resulting from the use of copper helices or spirals, either alone or with iron cores (34. 54.). The directions of the motions were precisely the same; but the action was much greater when the iron cores were used, than without.
112. When a flat spiral was passed through edgewise between the poles, a curious action at the galvanometer resulted; the needle first went strongly one way, but then suddenly stopped, as if it struck against some solid obstacle, and immediately returned. If the spiral were passed through from above downwards, or from below upwards, still the motion of the needle was in the same direction, then suddenly stopped, and then was reversed. But on turning the spiral half-way round, i.e. edge for edge, then the directions of the motions were reversed, but still were suddenly interrupted and inverted as before. This double action depends upon the halves of the spiral (divided by a line passing through its centre perpendicular to the direction of its motion) acting in opposite directions; and the reason why the needle went to the same side, whether the spiral passed by the poles in the one or the other direction, was the circumstance, that upon changing the motion, the direction of the wires in the approaching half of the spiral was changed also. The effects, curious as they appear when witnessed, are immediately referable to the action of single wires (40. 109.).
113. Although the experiments with the revolving plate, wires, and plates of metal, were first successfully made with the large magnet belonging to the Royal Society, yet they were all ultimately repeated with a couple of bar magnets two feet long, one inch and a half wide, and half an inch thick; and, by rendering the galvanometer (87.) a little more delicate, with the most striking results. Ferro-electro-magnets, as those of Moll, Henry, &c. (57.), are very powerful. It is very essential, when making experiments on different substances, that thermo-electric effects (produced by contact of the fingers, &c.) be avoided, or at least appreciated and accounted for; they are easily distinguished by their permanency, and their independence of the magnets, or of the direction of the motion.
114. The relation which holds between the magnetic pole, the moving wire or metal, and the direction of the current evolved, i.e. _the law_ which governs the evolution of electricity by magneto-electric induction, is very simple, although rather difficult to express. If in fig. 24, PN represent a horizontal wire passing by a marked magnetic pole, so that the direction of its motion shall coincide with the curved line proceeding from below upwards; or if its motion parallel to itself be in a line tangential to the curved line, but in the general direction of the arrows; or if it pass the pole in other directions, but so as to cut the magnetic curves[A] in the same general direction, or on the same side as they would be cut by the wire if moving along the dotted curved line;--then the current of electricity in the wire is from P to N. If it be carried in the reverse directions, the electric current will be from N to P. Or if the wire be in the vertical position, figured P' N', and it be carried in similar directions, coinciding with the dotted horizontal curve so far, as to cut the magnetic curves on the same side with it, the current will be from P' to N'. If the wire be considered a tangent to the curved surface of the cylindrical magnet, and it be carried round that surface into any other position, or if the magnet itself be revolved on its axis, so as to bring any part opposite to the tangential wire,--still, if afterwards the wire be moved in the directions indicated, the current of electricity will be from P to N; or if it be moved in the opposite direction, from N to P; so that as regards the motions of the wire past the pole, they may be reduced to two, directly opposite to each other, one of which produces a current from P to N, and the other from N to P.
[A] By magnetic curves, I mean the lines of magnetic forces, however modified by the juxtaposition of poles, which would be depicted by iron filings; or those to which a very small magnetic needle would form a tangent.
115. The same holds true of the unmarked pole of the magnet, except that if it be substituted for the one in the figure, then, as the wires are moved in the direction of the arrows, the current of electricity would be from N to P, and when they move in the reverse direction, from P to N.
116. Hence the current of electricity which is excited in metal when moving in the neighbourhood of a magnet, depends for its direction altogether upon the relation of the metal to the resultant of magnetic action, or to the magnetic curves, and may be expressed in a popular way thus; Let AB (fig. 25.) represent a cylinder magnet, A being the marked pole, and B the unmarked pole; let PN be a silver knife-blade, resting across the magnet with its edge upward, and with its marked or notched side towards the pole A; then in whatever direction or position this knife be moved edge foremost, either about the marked or the unmarked pole, the current of electricity produced will be from P to N, provided the intersected curves proceeding from A abut upon the notched surface of the knife, and those from B upon the unnotched side. Or if the knife be moved with its back foremost, the current will be from N to P in every possible position and direction, provided the intersected curves abut on the same surfaces as before. A little model is easily constructed, by using a cylinder of wood for a magnet, a flat piece for the blade, and a piece of thread connecting one end of the cylinder with the other, and passing through a hole in the blade, for the magnetic curves: this readily gives the result of any possible direction.
117. When the wire under induction is passing by an electromagnetic pole, as for instance one end of a copper helix traversed by the electric current (34.), the direction of the current in the approaching wire is the same with that of the current in the parts or sides of the spirals nearest to it, and in the receding wire the reverse of that in the parts nearest to it.
118. All these results show that the power of inducing electric currents is circumferentially exerted by a magnetic resultant or axis of power, just as circumferential magnetism is dependent upon and is exhibited by an electric current.
119. The experiments described combine to prove that when a piece of metal (and the same may be true of all conducting matter (213.) ) is passed either before a single pole, or between the opposite poles of a magnet, or near electro-magnetic poles, whether ferruginous or not, electrical currents are produced across the metal transverse to the direction of motion; and which therefore, in Arago's experiments, will approximate towards the direction of radii. If a single wire be moved like the spoke of a wheel near a magnetic pole, a current of electricity is determined through it from one end towards the other. If a wheel be imagined, constructed of a great number of these radii, and this revolved near the pole, in the manner of the copper disc (85.), each radius will have a current produced in it as it passes by the pole. If the radii be supposed to be in contact laterally, a copper disc results, in which the directions of the currents will be generally the same, being modified only by the coaction which can take place between the particles, now that they are in metallic contact.
120. Now that the existence of these currents is known, Arago's phenomena may be accounted for without considering them as due to the formation in the copper, of a pole of the opposite kind to that approximated, surrounded by a diffuse polarity of the same kind (82.); neither is it essential that the plate should acquire and lose its state in a finite time; nor on the other hand does it seem necessary that any repulsive force should be admitted as the cause of the rotation (82.).
121. The effect is precisely of the same kind as the electromagnetic rotations which I had the good fortune to discover some years ago[A]. According to the experiments then made which have since been abundantly confirmed, if a wire (PN fig. 26.) be connected with the positive and negative ends of a voltaic buttery, so that the positive electricity shall pass from P to N, and a marked magnetic pole N be placed near the wire between it and the spectator, the pole will move in a direction tangential to the wire, i.e. towards the right, and the wire will move tangentially towards the left, according to the directions of the arrows. This is exactly what takes place in the rotation of a plate beneath a magnetic pole; for let N (fig. 27.) be a marked pole above the circular plate, the latter being rotated in the direction of the arrow: immediately currents of positive electricity set from the central parts in the general direction of the radii by the pole to the parts of the circumference _a_ on the other side of that pole (99. 119.), and are therefore exactly in the same relation to it as the current in the wire (PN, fig. 26.), and therefore the pole in the same manner moves to the right hand.
[A] Quarterly Journal of Science, vol. xii. pp. 74. 186. 416. 283.
122. If the rotation of the disc be reversed, the electric currents are reversed (91.), and the pole therefore moves to the left hand. If the contrary pole be employed, the effects are the same, i.e. in the same direction, because currents of electricity, the reverse of those described, are produced, and by reversing both poles and currents, the visible effects remain unchanged. In whatever position the axis of the magnet be placed, provided the same pole be applied to the same side of the plate, the electric current produced is in the same direction, in consistency with the law already stated (114, &c.); and thus every circumstance regarding the direction of the motion may be explained.
123. These currents are _discharged or return_ in the parts of the plate on each side of and more distant from the place of the pole, where, of course, the magnetic induction is weaker; and when the collectors are applied, and a current of electricity is carried away to the galvanometer (88.), the deflection there is merely a repetition, by the same current or part of it, of the effect of rotation in the magnet over the plate itself.
124. It is under the point of view just put forth that I have ventured to say it is not necessary that the plate should acquire and lose its state in a finite time (120.); for if it were possible for the current to be fully developed the instant _before_ it arrived at its state of nearest approximation to the vertical pole of the magnet, instead of opposite to or a little beyond it, still the relative motion of the pole and plate would be the same, the resulting force being in fact tangential instead of direct.
125. But it is possible (though not necessary for the rotation) that _time_ may be required for the development of the maximum current in the plate, in which case the resultant of all the forces would be in advance of the magnet when the plate is rotated, or in the rear of the magnet when the latter is rotated, and many of the effects with pure electro-magnetic poles tend to prove this is the case. Then, the tangential force may be resolved into two others, one parallel to the plane of rotation, and the other perpendicular to it; the former would be the force exerted in making the plate revolve with the magnet, or the magnet with the plate; the latter would be a repulsive force, and is probably that, the effects of which M. Arago has also discovered (82.).
126. The extraordinary circumstance accompanying this action, which has seemed so inexplicable, namely, the cessation of all phenomena when the magnet and metal are brought to rest, now receives a full explanation (82.); for then the electrical currents which cause the motion cease altogether.
127. All the effects of solution of metallic continuity, and the consequent diminution of power described by Messrs. Babbage and Herschel[A], now receive their natural explanation, as well also as the resumption of power when the cuts were filled up by metallic substances, which, though conductors of electricity, were themselves very deficient in the power of influencing magnets. And new modes of cutting the plate may be devised, which shall almost entirely destroy its power. Thus, if a copper plate (81.) be cut through at about a fifth or sixth of its diameter from the edge, so as to separate a ring from it, and this ring be again fastened on, but with a thickness of paper intervening (fig. 29.), and if Arago's experiment be made with this compound plate so adjusted that the section shall continually travel opposite the pole, it is evident that the magnetic currents will be greatly interfered with, and the plate probably lose much of its effect[B].
[A] Philosophical Transactions, 1825, p. 481.
[B] This experiment has actually been made by Mr. Christie, with the results here described, and is recorded in the Philosophical Transactions for 1827, p. 82.
An elementary result of this kind was obtained by using two pieces of thick copper, shaped as in fig. 28. When the two neighbouring edges were amalgamated and put together, and the arrangement passed between the poles of the magnet, in the direction parallel to these edges, a current was urged through the wires attached to the outer angles, and the galvanometer became strongly affected; but when a single film of paper was interposed, and the experiment repeated, no sensible effect could be produced.
128. A section of this kind could not interfere much with the induction of magnetism, supposed to be of the nature ordinarily received by iron.
129. The effect of rotation or deflection of the needle, which M. Arago obtained by ordinary magnets, M. Ampère succeeded in procuring by electro-magnets. This is perfectly in harmony with the results relative to volta-electric and magneto-electric induction described in this paper. And by using flat spirals of copper wire, through which electric currents were sent, in place of ordinary magnetic poles (Ill.), sometimes applying a single one to one side of the rotating plate, and sometimes two to opposite sides, I obtained the induced currents of electricity from the plate itself, and could lead them away to, and ascertain their existence by, the galvanometer.
130. The cause which has now been assigned for the rotation in Arago's experiment, namely, the production of electrical currents, seems abundantly sufficient in all cases where the metals, or perhaps even other conductors, are concerned; but with regard to such bodies as glass, resins, and, above all, gases, it seems impossible that currents of electricity, capable of producing these effects, should be generated in them. Yet Arago found that the effects in question were produced by these and by all bodies tried (81.). Messrs. Babbage and Herschel, it is true, did not observe them with any substance not metallic, except carbon, in a highly conducting state (82.). Mr. Harris has ascertained their occurrence with wood, marble, freestone and annealed glass, but obtained no effect with sulphuric acid and saturated solution of sulphate of iron, although these are better conductors of electricity than the former substances.
131. Future investigations will no doubt explain these difficulties, and decide the point whether the retarding or dragging action spoken of is always simultaneous with electric currents.[A] The existence of the action in metals, only whilst the currents exist, i.e. whilst motion is given (82. 88.), and the explication of the repulsive action observed by M. Arago (82. 125.), are powerful reasons for referring it to this cause; but it may be combined with others which occasionally act alone.
[A] Experiments which I have since made convince me that this particular action is always due to the electrical currents formed; and they supply a test by which it may be distinguished from the action of ordinary magnetism, or any other cause, including those which are mechanical or irregular, producing similar effects (254.)
132. Copper, iron, tin, zinc, lead, mercury, and all the metals tried, produced electrical currents when passed between the magnetic poles: the mercury was put into a glass tube for the purpose. The dense carbon deposited in coal gas retorts, also produced the current, but ordinary charcoal did not. Neither could I obtain any sensible effects with brine, sulphuric acid, saline solutions, &c., whether rotated in basins, or inclosed in tubes and passed between the poles.
133. I have never been able to produce any sensation upon the tongue by the wires connected with the conductors applied to the edges of the revolving plate (88.) or slips of metal (101.). Nor have I been able to heat a fine platina wire, or produce a spark, or convulse the limbs of a frog. I have failed also to produce any chemical effects by electricity thus evolved (22. 56).
134. As the electric current in the revolving copper plate occupies but a small space, proceeding by the poles and being discharged right and left at very small distances comparatively (123.); and as it exists in a thick mass of metal possessing almost the highest conducting power of any, and consequently offering extraordinary facility for its production and discharge; and as, notwithstanding this, considerable currents may be drawn off which can pass through narrow wires, forty, fifty, sixty, or even one hundred feet long; it is evident that the current existing in the plate itself must be a very powerful one, when the rotation is rapid and the magnet strong. This is also abundantly proved by the obedience and readiness with which a magnet ten or twelve pounds in weight follows the motion of the plate and will strongly twist up the cord by which it is suspended.
135. Two rough trials were made with the intention of constructing _magneto-electric machines_. In one, a ring one inch and a half broad and twelve inches external diameter, cut from a thick copper plate, was mounted so as to revolve between the poles of the magnet and represent a plate similar to those formerly used (101.), but of interminable length; the inner and outer edges were amalgamated, and the conductors applied one to each edge, at the place of the magnetic poles. The current of electricity evolved did not appear by the galvanometer to be stronger, if so strong, as that from the circular plate (88.).
136. In the other, small thick discs of copper or other metal, half an inch in diameter, were revolved rapidly near to the poles, but with the axis of rotation out of the polar axis; the electricity evolved was collected by conductors applied as before to the edges (86.). Currents were procured, but of strength much inferior to that produced by the circular plate.
137. The latter experiment is analogous to those made by Mr. Barlow with a rotating iron shell, subject to the influence of the earth[A]. The effects obtained by him have been referred by Messrs. Babbage and Herschel to the same cause as that considered as influential in Arago's experiment[B]; but it would be interesting to know how far the electric current which might be produced in the experiment would account for the deflexion of the needle. The mere inversion of a copper wire six or seven times near the poles of the magnet, and isochronously with the vibrations of the galvanometer needle connected with it, was sufficient to make the needle vibrate through an arc of 60° or 70°. The rotation of a copper shell would perhaps decide the point, and might even throw light upon the more permanent, though somewhat analogous effects obtained by Mr. Christie.
[A] Philosophical Transactions, 1825. p. 317.
[B] Ibid. 1825. p. 485.
138. The remark which has already been made respecting iron (66.), and the independence of the ordinary magnetical phenomena of that substance and the phenomena now described of magneto-electric induction in that and other metals, was fully confirmed by many results of the kind detailed in this section. When an iron plate similar to the copper one formerly described (101.) was passed between the magnetic poles, it gave a current of electricity like the copper plate, but decidedly of less power; and in the experiments upon the induction of electric currents (9.), no difference in the kind of action between iron and other metals could be perceived. The power therefore of an iron plate to drag a magnet after it, or to intercept magnetic action, should be carefully distinguished from the similar power of such metals as silver, copper, &c. &c., inasmuch as in the iron by far the greater part of the effect is due to what may be called ordinary magnetic action. There can be no doubt that the cause assigned by Messrs. Babbage and Herschel in explication of Arago's phenomena is the true one, when iron is the metal used.
139. The very feeble powers which were found by those philosophers to belong to bismuth and antimony, when moving, of affecting the suspended magnet, and which has been confirmed by Mr. Harris, seem at first disproportionate to their conducting powers; whether it be so or not must be decided by future experiment (73.)[A]. These metals are highly crystalline, and probably conduct electricity with different degrees of facility in different directions; and it is not unlikely that where a mass is made up of a number of crystals heterogeneously associated, an effect approaching to that of actual division may occur (127.); or the currents of electricity may become more suddenly deflected at the confines of similar crystalline arrangements, and so be more readily and completely discharged within the mass.
[A] I have since been able to explain these differences, and prove, with several metals, that the effect is in the order of the conducting power; for I have been able to obtain, by magneto-electric induction, currents of electricity which are proportionate in strength to the conducting power of the bodies experimented with (211.).
§. _Royal Institution, November 1831._
_Note._--In consequence of the long period which has intervened between the reading and printing of the foregoing paper, accounts of the experiments have been dispersed, and, through a letter of my own to M. Hachette, have reached France and Italy. That letter was translated (with some errors), and read to the Academy of Sciences at Paris, 26th December, 1831. A copy of it in _Le Temps_ of the 28th December quickly reached Signor Nobili, who, with Signor Antinori, immediately experimented upon the subject, and obtained many of the results mentioned in my letter; others they could not obtain or understand, because of the brevity of my account. These results by Signori Nobili and Antinori have been embodied in a paper dated 31st January 1832, and printed and published in the number of the _Antologia_ dated November 1831 (according at least to the copy of the paper kindly sent me by Signor Nobili). It is evident the work could not have been then printed; and though Signor Nobili, in his paper, has inserted my letter as the text of his experiments, yet the circumstance of back date has caused many here, who have heard of Nobili's experiments by report only, to imagine his results were anterior to, instead of being dependent upon, mine.
I may be allowed under these circumstances to remark, that I experimented on this subject several years ago, and have published results. (See Quarterly Journal of Science for July 1825, p. 338.) The following also is an extract from my note-book, dated November 28, 1825: "Experiments on induction by connecting wire of voltaic battery:--a battery of four troughs, ten pairs of plates, each arranged side by side--the poles connected by a wire about four feet long, parallel to which was another similar wire separated from it only by two thicknesses of paper, the ends of the latter were attached to a galvanometer:--exhibited no action, &c. &c. &c.--Could not in any way render any induction evident from the connecting wire." The cause of failure at that time is now evident (79.).--M.F. April, 1832.