Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 63.djvu/121

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impulses, the time period of which depends upon the capacity of the jar and the inductance of the discharge circuit. We can, moreover, vary this frequency over wide limits. Parallel to the long spiral wire is suspended another copper wire E (see Fig. 10), and between this wire and the silk-covered copper wire discharges PSM V63 D121 Seibt apparatus of stationary waves.pngFig. 10. Seibt's Apparatus for showing Stationary Waves in Long Solenoid A. I, induction coil; S, spark gap L, inductance coil; C1C2, Leyden jars; E, earth wire. take place due to the potential difference between each part of the wire and this long aerial wire. If we arrange matters so that the impulses communicated to the bottom end of the long spiral wire correspond to its fundamental note or periodic time, then in a darkened room we shall see a luminous glow or discharge between the vertical wire and the spiral wire, which increases in intensity all the way up to the top of the spiral wire. The luminosity of this brush discharge at any point is evidence of the potential of the spiral wire at that point, and its distribution clearly demonstrates that the difference of potential between the spiral wire and the aerial increases all the way up from the bottom to the top of the spiral wire. In the next place, by making a little adjustment and by varying the inductance of the jar circuit, we can increase the frequency of the impulses which are falling upon the spiral wire; and then it will be noticed that the distribution of the brush discharge or luminosity is altered, and that there is a maximum now at about PSM V63 D121 Seibt harmonic oscillator.pngFig. 11. Harmonic Oscillations in Long Solenoid shown with Seibt's Apparatus. one third of the height of the spiral wire, and a dark place at about two thirds of the height, and another bright place at the top, thus showing that we have a node of potential at about two thirds the way up the wire (see Fig. 11), and we have therefore set up in the spiral wire electrical oscillations corresponding to the first overtone. It is possible to show in the same way the existence of the second harmonic in the coil, but the luminosity then becomes too faint to be seen at a distance.

An interesting form of aerial devised by Professor Slaby, of Berlin, depends for its action entirely on the fact that the electrical oscillations set up in it which radiate are harmonics of the fundamental tone.