Page:Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Vol 60.djvu/186

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Wave-length of Electric Radiation by Diffraction Grating.

narrow slits, through which the pin projects. The slits allow the necessary sliding for placing the radiator and the receiver on the focal curve. It would be better to have the sliding arrangement at the free ends of the arms, the pin passing through the central ends, acting as a pivot. The circle is graduated into degrees, but one-fourth of a degree may be estimated.

Description of the Apparatus.

The Radiator.—Electric oscillation is produced between two metallic beads and an interposed sphere 0·78 cm. in diameter. The beads and the interposed sphere were at first thickly coated with gold, and the surface highly polished. This worked satisfactorily for a time, but, after long-continued action, the surface of the ball became roughened, and the discharge ceased to be oscillatory. After some difficulty in obtaining the requisite high temperature, I succeeded in casting a solid ball and two beads of platinum. There is now no difficulty in obtaining an oscillatory discharge, and the ball does not require so much looking after.

As an electric generator, I at first used a small Ruhmkorff’s coil, actuated by a battery. I, however, soon found that the usual vibrating arrangement is a source of trouble; the contact points soon get worn out, and the break becomes irregular. The oscillation produced by a single break is quite sufficient for a single experiment, and it is a mere waste to have a series of useless oscillations. But the most serious objection to the continuous production of secondary sparks is the deteriorating action on the spark balls. Anyone who has tried to obtain an oscillatory discharge knows how easily the discharge becomes irregular, and the most fruitful source of trouble is often traced to the disintegration of the sparking surface. In my later apparatus I have discarded the use of the vibrating interrupter. The coil has also been somewhat modified. A long strip of paraffined paper is taken, and tinfoil pasted on opposite sides; this long roll is wound round the secondary to act as a condenser, and appropriate connexions made with the interrupting key. This arrangement

Fig. 3.


The Radiator.