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Questions tagged [electricity]

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93 views

What is discovered first, electricity or electron?

It always bugs my mind to think which comes first, it feels like the egg or the chicken problem. When i was reading about the discovery of the electron i found that the charge to mass ratio of the ...
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1answer
36 views

Hydrogen electrode and its electrode potential

In electrochemistry, all electrode potentials are quoted with reference to the standard hydrogen electrode. Its value is assigned to be 0 volts. I have been searching for the origin of this convention ...
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2answers
107 views

What experiments led to the sign of the electron's charge?

The famous Millikan's oil drop experiment in 1908 determined the magnitude of charge of the electron to be 1.59*10^(-19) C. However, it was well known that electron has a negative charge. Although ...
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1answer
79 views

High voltage / current sources in 19th century cathode ray experiments

In modern chemistry textbooks, a DC source (battery symbol) is usually shown for cathode ray tube experiments by Thomson and others. Certainly, no battery can provide very high voltages needed for gas ...
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1answer
60 views

Charge concept before discovery of electron [duplicate]

How did the concept of positive and negative charge originate before the discovery of an electron? My question is related to the historical aspects.
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2answers
158 views

How was it discovered how many electrons are in one coulomb?

I understand the SI meaning of a Coulomb but how were the individual electrons counted in the measurement to know how many it would take to constitute a Coulomb?
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39 views

How did Reginald Fessenden realize that spark-gaps could generate waves and the modulation of those waves with voice?

I can somewhat understand how the spark-gap was devised to transmit waves and how the waves were first measured in frequency but what lead to the idea of "modulation" where another electrical signal ...
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1answer
186 views

How did people measure electric charge at the time of Coulomb?

Around the time that Coulomb gave Coulomb's law, how did people measure electric charge?
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3answers
99 views

Origin of the coulomb and ampere

What is the historical origin of the size of the coulomb (and in turn, ampere)? Currently (pardon the pun), the coulomb is defined in terms of the ampere. The ampere is in turn effectively defined by ...
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1answer
83 views

Concept of electric flux

Just curious about the history of electric flux -Flux- I am aware of the fact that flux, on its own is a mathematical concept but how did it find its way into physics. Was it just introduced to ...
5
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1answer
81 views

What inspired Nicholson to break water into hydrogen and oxygen with electricity?

It seems a bit of a stretch to go from a battery to electrolysis but this fellow appears to have thought of it only a few weeks after Volta invented the "pile" battery. I am wondering if he knew ...
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0answers
75 views

Question about Gauss's contributions to the theory of electric circuits

This question is a continuation of my previously-posted question: Several questions about Gauss's contributions to electromagnetism. I wrote it after user vonbrand asked me to split my original ...
3
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1answer
156 views

Was the telegraph system of 1859 powered by AC or DC and how extensive was it?

I was actually curious how the Solar Coronal event of 1859 known as the Carrington Event affected the telegraph system. Wiki does not seem to have much detail of this but there is mention of it in a ...
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1answer
340 views

Resistor color code

I wonder if anyone would know the origin of the Resistor Color Code.
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1answer
54 views

What did Westinghouse use for power to drive Tesla's generators during the 1892 World's Fair

I did manage to find technical drawings of the World's fair after considerable searching but probably I am not savvy enough to find the right items. In one of the drawings it does show what appears to ...
5
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1answer
187 views

Who originally derived the general force law equation of force between current elements?

Wikipedia credits this to Maxwell. This derivation can be found in Maxwell's Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism vol. 2, part 4, ch. 2 (§§502-527). I went through the derivation and found two self ...
4
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1answer
72 views

What/When was the first radio nav system capable of triangulating your position?

What was the first radio navigation system capable of triangulating your position, and when was it built? How accurate was it and what was its range? This does not have to be GPS or a satellite ...
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0answers
76 views

What motivated Green to develop his theorem in order to calculate work for a non conservative vector field?

I am somewhat amazed at the depth of the theorem but I believe it involved his work with electricity and magnetism. Additionally I don't think he had a formal education. I have not found much on this ...
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1answer
1k views

Origin of battery symbol?

What is the origin of the symbol for a battery cell, consisting of a long line and a shorter line? Was it derived from voltaic cells composed of unequal sized disks? Example of symbol resembling ...
3
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1answer
89 views

How was proton determined to be a common component of all atoms?

Based on what I know of the discovery of positive charges, Thompson measured the $e/m$ ratio of various nuclei and their $e/m$ ratio (charge-to-mass ratio) was not constant. People did not know ...
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0answers
89 views

What is the history of why electrical circuit diagrams list positive as the direction of electron flow?

In the study of electrical engineering circuit diagrams it is usually the norm to show the + ( positive ) polarity as the direction of motion. However in reality the electron is the elementary ...
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37 views

Why are capacitors and inductors called that way?

I do understand that electrical resistance describes somehow the material resistance to electrons flow but I don't see the meaning behind the names capacitors and inductors (if there is any and it ...
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0answers
93 views

Who was the first to invent the induction motor?

I have heard that Galileo Ferraris and Nikola Tesla invented the induction motor independently. Does anyone know who was the first and were they similar in power output and design? This may be a ...
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1answer
176 views

Abraham's electromagnetism book and its story

Max Abraham is well known for his electromagnetic mass theory, and his book Theorie der Elektrizität is said to be read widely around 1900. I am trying to find this book, but the editions look like a ...
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406 views

Who first discovered and produced an alternating current?

What physicist first discovered or produced an alternating current and recognized it as such?
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1answer
339 views

Why is one of Maxwell's equations named after Ampère? Who first named it after Ampère?

Ampère never wrote down what is confusingly called "Ampère's circuital law," not even the form without the displacement current term, as Ampère never dealt with the field concept.* Maxwell derived $$\...
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2answers
300 views

Why is Maxwell and not Ampère credited for unifying electricity and magnetism?

Ampère, a half century before Maxwell, theorized that magnetism was caused by electrical currents. So, why is Maxwell and not Ampère credited for unifying electricity and magnetism? (cf. the question ...
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1answer
212 views

Where in Gauss's works does he derive “Gauss's Law”?

Where in Gauss's works does he derive "Gauss's Law"? Or is "Gauss's Law" named after Gauss for a different reason?
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0answers
64 views

Was there any name for electrical sparks before 'electric' and its related terms were invented?

Was there any name for electrical sparks before 'electric' and its related terms were invented as a result of De Magnete (1600)? Like, if people were in a dark room, and saw a triboelectric spark, ...
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2answers
113 views

What was taught in 19th century European electricity and/or magnetism courses?

What topics were taught in late-19th century electricity and/or magnetism courses in Europe?
3
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1answer
110 views

What did Einstein learn in his university E&M courses?

What did Einstein learn in his university electricity and magnetism courses? Did he learn about such prominent results as Ampère's force law, Weber's force law derived from it (cf. Maxwell's Treatise §...
4
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1answer
428 views

Where did $P=VI$ come from?

Where did the basic physics law $P=VI$ come from? Here, $P$ is power, $V$ is voltage and $I$ is current. It doesn't have a name like Ohm's law, as far as I could find. So where did it originally come ...
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1answer
331 views

Is Coulomb's law the earliest mathematical formula describing electricity?

Is Coulomb's law the earliest formal equation of electricity? Before Coulomb, many scientists and engineers conducted experiments of electricity.
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1answer
876 views

Is there any good book about the history of electricity?

Electricity history starting from William Gilbert in the 17th century.
6
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1answer
137 views

Since when do humans know about electric charge?

We know that the electron was discovered in 1897 by J.J. Thomson. So was the knowledge about charge, current, electricity and all those terms related to it which we study today discovered after it, or ...
7
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1answer
132 views

Was it technologically possible to create electricity, batteries, and electrical devices at the time of the Roman Empire?

I know this question sounds like it should be in the sci-fi site (and maybe it should), but I'm more interested in the state of metallurgy etc at the time of the Roman Empire (let's say around 0 AD) ...
7
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1answer
279 views

Who created the first vacuum tube?

As far as I know, light bulbs existed early in the late 19th century, and the vacuum tube was created based on their design. But I haven't found any information about who came up with the idea to ...
6
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3answers
694 views

When and where was Electricity used for the first time?

There are references of Greeks discovering static electricity around 600 BC. Mediterranean's were also thought of having the understanding of rubbing amber rods to attract light objects like feather. ...