THE DYNAMIC TRIO
Working together using science and engineering to build a bigger and stronger economy.
They had one thing in common, not often consider, They had a strong hand in starting yet findng Global Warming.
The astatic galvanometer, from its birth in the early 1820s ( via Nobili et al.) until its replacement in the early 1900's, was used in every major laboratory around the world by all of the major experimental scientists, engineers, and inventors. It was responsible for most of the major discoveries and inventions of physics that were to impact all the other sciences. It did most of its work during the 19th century. Everywhere around us we see products of its use and use these constantly. Does familiarity breed complacency ?
be that we know so little about the astatic galvanometer?
Was it because it was just a tool? , Maybe, but so were telescopes and microscopes,
and everyone knows about them?
We start off on our tour of Edison laboratory where the light
bulb and many other inventions were born. The photo below which is a mug shot of two little astatic
at attention like
their own small box on the ground floor of Edison's laboratory.
physically they were in the center
of the business of science and engineering part of the laboratory, atop brick pillars. quietly doing their
job of counting electrons (current) for the master of electricians
Below is a small sampling of the distribution of the astatic galvanometers through Edison's labs
The plaque displayed in front of one more sensitive astatic galvanometer in the replication of Edison's Menlo Park development laboratory where the light bulb and many other electrical products were created.
Note the brick pillars that hold the box of this set of astatic galvanometers
Looking through the window in the side of a box, which sits on brick pillar, into its interior showing a light beam astatic galvanometer and its light scale.
Another view of the box showing the back of the light scale and a set of batteries.
|The astatic and tangent galvanometers such as in the photo at the right made the telegraph, the Atlantic cable and the telephone possible just as it did for the light bulb.||
Astatic in the front and a tangent galvanometer in the back ground .
Scales, batteries, transducers, resistance boxes, and other associated accessories surrounding the galvanometers.
Here is one housed in a brass cylinder next to a battery and large Helmholtz set of coils.
Here is a light spot scale for one mounted on a ring stand which is next to shelves of chemicals
Jim is sitting at Edison's telegraph desk which was located in the Menlo Park laboratory from which Edison announced many of his inventions
.Jim (one authors) felt very much at home in Edison's Menlo Park lab and telegraph station having built, repaired, and used many of the types of instruments found there--- but also like Edison Jim also worked as a telegrapher
Again even more Uniquely! almost like a Ripley believe it or not story.
Jim like Edison also worked as a light bulb engineer and inventor.
In between these two jobs Jim worked as a basic
research physicist studying the light emitting processes of
plasma and solids.
It looks like Mr Edison is asking the question
"Who is that on my right sitting at my desk of my telegraph station? I hope he doesn't take any of my astatic galvanometers home with him"
Here are two more Astatic Galvanometers and pieces of a prism spectrometer with bits and pieces of equipment needed to enter the new world of electric power. They seemed to be on every bench in every cabinet of the facility. Click here to see what the original spectroscope look like in its prime.
Our dependence on electricity is why the astatic galvanometer was so important to our future.
|We may not know or don't think about it but it is electrons
that are among
the principal ingredients that everything in the universe is
made of. Electrons their electro chemical, mechanical, and
magnetic forces soaks into everything, even into every atom and
molecule making up our body. Because of this the astatic
galvanometer (a sensitive electron flow meter counting the
number of electron going through it) made it possible to
search into how the electric part of nature works at its
most fundamental level. It is electrons that give us the light
that telescope, microscope, and the spectroscope see
and amplify and analyze.
on an on.
This paragraph show one
a typical example of how and what astatic galvanometers did that so changed our world.
The bottom line. It did its work and thus deserves some lime light for its contribution to mans progress to a better life. Its a symbol just like Galileo's telescope but no where as much appreciated. There should be one in every school and museum reminding us of how very clever humans can be given a little piece of copper wire, some string. a few iron needles, and some wood to hold the lot together.
The astatic galvanometer helped start
Global warming! But also helped flag a warning of it
A beautiful working presentation piece
It gave us our first meaningful connection to the micro universe of the electron. completely revolutionizing our finger tip control of great power: tapping the energy of the atom, communicate around the world and to the planets, looking into our genes putting our telescopes on other planets.
The authors thank the
staff of the replication of the
Menlo Park laboratory for
their generous time and
patients with us while we
took the pictures you see on
this site. Thank you much.
copyright 7/30/2007Jim & Rhoda Morris
All photos and written material are by Jim & Rhoda Morris unless noted otherwise. Free personal and educational use and reproduction is encouraged; all commercial rights are reserved