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Overview

electrophorus

An early form of electrostatic generator. It consists of a flat dielectric plate and a metal plate with an insulated handle. The dielectric plate is charged by friction and the metal plate ...

electrical machine

electrical machine   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to the History of Modern Science

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Subject:
Science and technology, History of Science
Length:
449 words

...Smaller and portable machines became popular for electrotherapy. In 1775 the Italian physicist Alessandro Volta (see Galvani, Luigi , and Alessandro Volta ) invented the electrophorus, a device based on electrostatic induction, which could produce an almost endless series of electrical discharges. In 1788 William Nicholson mechanized the routine of charging the electrophorus in “doublers” that raised to detectable magnitude charges otherwise too small to measure. Other natural philosophers of the period produced similar devices. A similar technique...

Galvani, Luigi

Galvani, Luigi (1737–1797)   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to the History of Modern Science

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Subject:
Science and technology, History of Science
Length:
1,143 words

...whose education they attended personally. By the 1780s Volta had won European fame as an electrician, particularly as an inventor of electrical machines and as a chemist specializing in the chemistry of airs. Before the controversy with Galvani began, Volta had invented the electrophorus, eudiometer, electric pistol, condensatore (a device that made weak electricity detectable), and straw electrometer. Volta's contributions to the science of electricity included the notions of tension, capacity, and actuation (an ancestor of electrostatic induction). Thanks...

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