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The Leyden Jar


HegelBot153

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As the nature of electricity was investigated into the eighteenth century through static electricity and to a certain extent the triboelectric effect, it was only natural that the discovery of electric charge and capacitance would follow. Independently, three scientists named Ewald Georg von Kleist, Pieter van Musschenbroek and Andreas Cunaeus. A machine of sorts, one that would supply charge through triboelectric electric effect by friction, would transfer the charge to two conducting, metallic foils that act as electrodes, generated a disparity in charge and electric potential. The plates are on the inside and the outside of a glass jar, the glass acting as a semiconductor and because of the electric field, electric potential is created across the glass. This glass would "hold" the charge in a sense. You see, the mystery at the time was the exact nature of electricity. Many believe electricity was some invisible fluid-like thing. Electricity could only be observed from sparks, repulsion and other natural phenomenon so at the time humans were working with an incomplete theory of electricity. However the later two scientists Pieter van Musschenbroek and Andreas Cunaeus identified the mechanism of action that we now know today. The idea is that the inside and outside surfaces of the glass became charged by the foils, equally and oppositely, causing a potential difference across the glass itself as a dielectric. The discovery of capacitance has lead to the advent of a variety of useful modern technologies like computers and circuitry which I hope to investigate at a later time.

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