Experimental Researches in Electricity, Volume 1 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 775 pages of information about Experimental Researches in Electricity, Volume 1.

  [A] Quarterly Journal of Science, 1819, vol. vii. p. 106.

  [B] Quarterly Journal of Science, vol. xxviii. p. 74, and Edinburgh
  Transactions, 1831.

  [C] Journal of the Royal Institution for 1831, p. 101.

660.  I intended to have followed this section by one on the secondary piles of Ritter, and the peculiar properties of the poles of the pile, or of metals through which electricity has passed, which have been observed by Ritter, Van Marum, Yelin, De la Rive, Marianini, Berzelius, and others.  It appears to me that all these phenomena bear a satisfactory explanation on known principles, connected with the investigation just terminated, and do not require the assumption of any new state or new property.  But as the experiments advanced, especially those of Marianini, require very careful repetition and examination, the necessity of pursuing the subject of electro-chemical decomposition obliges me for a time to defer the researches to which I have just referred.

Royal Institution, November 30, 1833.


S 11. On Electro-chemical Decomposition, continued.[A] P iv. On some general conditions of Electro-decomposition. P v. On a new Measurer of Volta-electricity. P vi. On the primary or secondary character of bodies evolved in Electro-decomposition. P vii. On the definite nature and extent of Electro-chemical Decompositions. S 13. On the absolute quantity of Electricity associated with the particles or atoms of Matter.

  [A] Refer to the note after 1047, Series VIII.—­Dec. 1838.

Received January 9,—­Read January 23, February 6 and 13, 1834.


661.  The theory which I believe to be a true expression of the facts of electro-chemical decomposition, and which I have therefore detailed in a former series of these Researches, is so much at variance with those previously advanced, that I find the greatest difficulty in stating results, as I think, correctly, whilst limited to the use of terms which are current with a certain accepted meaning.  Of this kind is the term pole, with its prefixes of positive and negative, and the attached ideas of attraction and repulsion.  The general phraseology is that the positive pole attracts oxygen, acids, &c., or more cautiously, that it determines their evolution upon its surface; and that the negative pole acts in an equal manner upon hydrogen, combustibles, metals, and bases.  According to my view, the determining force is not at the poles, but within the body under decomposition; and the oxygen and acids are rendered at the negative extremity of that body, whilst hydrogen, metals, &c., are evolved at the positive extremity (518. 524.).

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