My Electricity Chapter

I don’t really mind which model for current anyone prefers – rope, hosepipe, cups with marbles etc. They all help at first, but leave you lost when you really start thinking.

Instead, I am writing a history of electricity in ten experiments. The first is whether rubbed amber will attract dried basil (I’ve checked it does), through static generators to dangling boys and twitching frogs’s legs.

amberbasil

The amber and basil controversy

My plan is to reproduce these experiments in my kitchen. I’ve made a very nice static generator from a jam-jar and Lego. I am now making a Leyden jar, which is where it starts to get dangerous. I won’t be flying a kite in a thunder storm and I think I may fail to make a high voltage evacuated Crooke’s tube. Will I have the stomach to try Galvani’s frog’s leg?

My mission is to describe the slow, difficult unravelling of our theories of electricity. The models don’t work, because electricity is so abstract. A narrative may help.

@benrogersedu

 

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