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.



S 5. Terrestrial Magneto-electric Induction. S 6. Force and Direction of Magneto-electric Induction generally.

Read January 12, 1832.

S 5. Terrestrial Magneto-electric Induction.

140.  When the general facts described in the former paper were discovered, and the law of magneto-electric induction relative to direction was ascertained (114.), it was not difficult to perceive that the earth would produce the same effect as a magnet, and to an extent that would, perhaps, render it available in the construction of new electrical machines.  The following are some of the results obtained in pursuance of this view.

141.  The hollow helix already described (6.) was connected with a galvanometer by wires eight feet long; and the soft iron cylinder (34.) after being heated red-hot and slowly cooled, to remove all traces of magnetism, was put into the helix so as to project equally at both ends, and fixed there.  The combined helix and bar were held in the magnetic direction or line of dip, and (the galvanometer needle being motionless) were then inverted, so that the lower end should become the upper, but the whole still correspond to the magnetic direction; the needle was immediately deflected.  As the latter returned to its first position, the helix and bar were again inverted; and by doing this two or three times, making the inversions and vibrations to coincide, the needle swung through an arc of 150 deg. or 160 deg..

142.  When one end of the helix, which may be called A, was uppermost at first (B end consequently being below), then it mattered not in which direction it proceeded during the inversion, whether to the right hand or left hand, or through any other course; still the galvanometer needle passed in the same direction.  Again, when B end was uppermost, the inversion of the helix and bar in any direction always caused the needle to be deflected one way; that way being the opposite to the course of the deflection in the former case.

143.  When the helix with its iron core in any given position was inverted, the effect was as if a magnet with its marked pole downwards had been introduced from above into the inverted helix.  Thus, if the end B were upwards, such a magnet introduced from above would make the marked end of the galvanometer needle pass west.  Or the end B being downwards, and the soft iron in its place, inversion of the whole produced the same effect.

144.  When the soft iron bar was taken out of the helix and inverted in various directions within four feet of the galvanometer, not the slightest effect upon it was produced.

145.  These phenomena are the necessary consequence of the inductive magnetic power of the earth, rendering the soft iron cylinder a magnet with its marked pole downwards.  The experiment is analogous to that in which two bar magnets were used to magnetize the same cylinder in the same helix (36.), and the inversion of position in the present experiment is equivalent to a change of the poles in that arrangement.  But the result is not less an instance of the evolution of electricity by means of the magnetism of the globe.

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