Page:EB1911 - Volume 14.djvu/533

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the jet is immersed in an insulating fluid. In a recent form the chamber in which the jet works is filled with coal gas. The current supplied to the primary circuit of the coil tranvels from the mercury in the vessel through the jet to the copper plate, and hence is periodically interrupted when the jet does not impinge against the plate. Mercury turbine breaks are much employed in connexion with large induction coils used for wireless telegraphy on account of their regular action and the fact that the number of interruptions per second can be controlled easily by regulating the speed of the motor which rotates the jet. But all mercury breaks employing paraffin or alcohol as an insulating medium are somewhat troublesome to use because of the necessity of periodically cleaning the mercury. Electrolytic interrupters were first brought to notice by Dr A. R. B. Wehnelt in 1898 (Elektrotechnische Zeitschrzft, January 2oth, 1899). He showed that if a large lead plate was placed in dilute sulphuric acid as a cathode, and a thick platinum wire protruding for a distance of about one millimetre beyond a glass or porcelain tube into which it tightly htted was used as an anode, such an arrangement when inserted in the circuit of a primary coil gave rise to a rapid intermittency in the primary current. It is essential that the platinum wire should be the anode or positive pole. The frequency of the Wehnelt break can be adjusted by regulating the extent to which the platinum wire protrudes through the porcelain tube, and in modern electrolytic breaks several platinum anodes are employed. This break can be employed with any voltage between 30 and 250. The Caldwell interrupter, a modihcation of the Wehnelt break, consists of two electrodes immersed in dilute sulphuric acid, one of them being enclosed by a glass vessel which has a small hole in it capable of being more or less closed by a tapered glass plug. It differs from the Wehnelt break in that there is no platinum to wear away and it requires less current; hence liner regulation of the coil to the current can be obtained. It will also work with either direct or alternating currents. The hammer and mercury turbine breaks can be arranged to give interruptions from about ro per second up to about 50 or 6o. The electrolytic breaks are capable of working at a higher speed, and under some conditions will give interruptions up to a thousand per second. If the secondary terminals of the induction coils are connected to spark balls placed a short distance apart, then with an electrolytic break the discharge has a flame-like character resembling an alternating current arc. This type of break is therefore preferred for Riintgen ray work since it makes less flickering upon the screen, but its advantages in the case of wireless telegraphy are not so marked. In the Grisson interrupter the primary circuit of the induction coil is divided into two parts by a middle terminal, so that a current flowing in at this point and dividing equally between the two halves does not magnetize the iron. This terminal is connected to one pole of the battery, the other two terminals being connected alternately to the opposite pole by means of a revolving commutator which (1) passes a current through one half of the primary, thus magnetizing the core; (2) passes a current through both halves in opposite directions, thus annulling the magnetization; (3) passes a current through the second half of the primary, thus reversing the magnetization of the core; and (4) passes a current in both halves through opposite directions, thus again annulling the magnetization. As this series of operations can be performed without interrupting a large current through the inductive circuit there is not much spark at the commutator, and the speed of commutation can be regulated so as to obtain the best results due to a resonance between the primary and secondary circuits. Another device due to Grisson is the electrolytic condenser interrupter. If a plate of aluminium and one of carbon or iron is placed in an electrolyte yielding oxygen, this aluminium-carbon or aluminium-iron cell can pass current in one direction but not in the other. Muchegreater resistance is experienced by a current flowing from the aluminium to the iron than in the opposite direction, owing to the formation of a Elm of aluminic hydroxide on the aluminium. If then a cell consisting of a number of aluminium plates alternating with iron plates or carbon in alkaline solution is inserted in the primary circuit of an induction coil, the application of an electromotive force in the right direction will cause a transitory current to How through the coil until the electrolytic condenser is charged. By the use of a proper commutator the position of the electrolytic cell in the circuit can be reversed and another transitory primary current created. This interrupted How of electricity through the primary circuit provides the intermittent magnetization of the core necessary to produce the secondary electromotive force. This operation of commutation can be conducted without much spark at the commutator because the circuit is interrupted at the time when there is no current in it. In the case of the electrolytic condenser no supplementary paraflined paper condenser is necessary as in the case of the hammer or mercury interrupters. An induction coil for the transformation of alternating current is called a transformer (q.zv.). One type of high frequency current transformer is called an oscillation transformer High

or sometimes a Tesla cozl. The construction of such Frequency a coil is based on different principles from that of, Coils, the coil just described. If the secondary terminals of an ordinary induction coil or transformer are connected to a pair of spark balls (ng. 2), and if these are also connected to C

-~— Q . ~— ... .

E 5 'i 53 E


W E 5 1. § -K

- -~— 1 Q

FIG. 2.-Arrangements for producing High Frequency Currents. T, Transformer or induction coil. L, Inductance; Q, Q, Choking coils. P, Primary circuit of high D, Spark balls. frequency coil.

C, Condenser. S, Secondary circuit.

a glass plate condenser or Leyden jar of ordinary type joined in series with a coil of wire of low resistance and few turns, then at each break of the primary circuit of the ordinary induction coil a secondary electromotive force is set up which charges the Leyden jar, and if the spark balls are set at the proper distance, this charge is succeeded by a discharge consisting of a movement of electricity backwards and forwards across the spark gap, constituting an oscillatory electric discharge (see ELECTROKINETICS). Each charge of the jar may produce from a dozen to a hundred electric oscillations which are in fact brief electric currents of gradually decreasing strength. If the circuit of few turns and low resistance through which this discharge takes place is overlaid. with another circuit well insulated from it consisting of a large number of turns of finer wire, the inductive action between the two circuits creates in the secondary a smaller series of electric oscillations of higher potential. Between the terminals of this last-named coil we can then produce a series of discharges each of which consists in an extremely rapid motion of electricity to and fro, the groups of oscillations being separated by intervals of time corresponding to the frequency of the break in the primary circuit of the ordinary induction coil charging the Leyden jar or condenser. These high frequency discharges differ altogether in character from the secondary discharges of the ordinary induction coil: Theory shows that to produce the best results the primarv circuit of the oscillation transformer should consist of only one thick turn of wire or, at most, but of a few turns. It is also necessary that the two circuits, primary and secondary, should be well insulated from one another, and for this purpose the oscillation transformer is immersed in a box or vessel full of highly insulating oil. For full details N. Tesla's original Papers must be consulted (see J ourn. Inst. Elect. Eng. 21, 62). In some cases the two circuits of the Tesla coil, the primary

and secondary, are sections of one single coil. In this form the