Experimental Researches in Electricity

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General Books, 2013 - 114 pages
This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1844 edition. Excerpt: ... EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCHES IN ELECTRICITY. FIFTEENTH SERIES. 23. Notice of the character and direction of the electric force of the Gymnotus. Received November 15, --Read December 6, 1838. 1749. Wonderful as are the laws and phenomena of electricity when made evident to us in inorganic or dead matter, their interest can bear scarcely any comparison with that which attaches to the same force when connected with the nervous system and with life; and though the obscurity which for the present surrounds the subject may for the time also veil its importance, every advance in our knowledge of this mighty power in relation to inert things, helps to dissipate that obscurity, and to set forth more prominently the surpassing interest of this very high branch of Physical Philosophy. We are indeed but upon the threshold of what we may, without presumption, believe man is permitted to know of this matter; and the many eminent philosophers who have assisted in making this subject known have, as is very evident in their writings, felt up to the latest moment that such is the case. 1750. The existence of animals able to give the same concussion to the living system as the electrical machine, the voltaic battery, and the thunder storm, being with their habits made known to us by Richer, S'Gravesende, Firmin, Walsh, Humboldt, &c. &c., it became of growing importance to identify the VOL. II. B living power which they possess, with that which man can call into action from inert matter, and by him named electricity (265. 351.). With the Torpedo this has been done to perfection, and the direction of the current of force determined by the united and successive labours of Walsh1, Cavendish9, Galvani3, Gardini4, Humboldt and Gay-Lussac5, Todd6, Sir...

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