The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, February 14, 1902, Page 5, Image 5

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    I tv
tunitles for tho inventor here are,
therefore, enormous.
Tho electro-chemical branches are
also very promising. At the present
time a large portion of the copper
product of tho world Is refined olec
trlcally, and practically all tho alum
inum which is now used very exten
sively In tho arts is produced by
electrical processes. There are grow
ing up around Niagara Falls a great
many workB of this kind which al
ready consumo nearly 60,000 horse
power, and which will bo increased
when more power is provided.
Few peoplo outside of tho profession
reallzo tho amazing progress that has
been made in this field of electro
chemistry. And yet wo are only at
the beginning. The Inventive genius
is producing new processes almost ev
ery day that are revolutionizing re
sults. Some of the experiments under
way are almost fantastic, though they
are being pursued by serious minded
men. There is one concern, for ex
ample, at Niagara that is about to pro
duso nitric acid out of air. The air
is passed through an electric appa
ratus and its component parts, nitro
gen and oxygen, which exist as a mere
mechanical mixture, are caused to
combine chemically. The gases thus
produced are absorbed to form a very
pure grade of nitric acid, at a low
price. So far the process has not been
established commercially, but there Is
said to bo every prospect of success in
tho near future. Then wo shall have
tho spectacle of producing, out of the
atmosphere, ono of tho most valuable
products In the world, for which there
Is an unlimited demand for fertilizing
purposes. Besides such a process a
gold mine would be a cheap and unim
portant affair.
Hardly a day passes but Bonie new
electrical invention is not put out.
These inventions vary In importance,
some being small devices wnich are
used incidentally In various arts, and
others being radically new departures
which revolutionize some industry, in
which case their value may run up to
a million dollars or more.
Tho possibility of generating elec
tricity directly from coal has occupied
tho attention of many of tho greatest
inventors of the world, Including Mr.
Edison, but to tho present time little
or no progress has been made. We are
still depending upon tho boiler, steam
engine and dynamo for nearly all our
electric current, except in those fav
ored places where nature provides
water power, as, for example, at Ni
agara and in Switzerland. But most
parts of the civilized world do not
possess sufficient water power for
thoir need. This is particularly true
in England, where tho water power is
very insignificant. But even with
water power tho advantage is not
great, as it costs nearly as much to
deliver a current in Buffalo from Ni
agara as it does to produce it on the
spot with a steam engine. What the
whole electrical world is looking for
is some direct process or apparatus In
which coal may be introduced, and
from which the electrical current will
be generated directly. in other
words, something like an electrlca.
battery in which coal Is used in the
place of zinc. The person who solves
this problem on a commercial basis
will win greater fame than any in
ventor has ever known, and his re-
7 ward In dollars should make him a
CroesuB lf-hohas imsinesstalent.
The annual Pershing Rifle drill and
Bpell-down will take place this afternoon
in fche armory. Owing to tho muddy
condition of the campus tho usual in
spection of the battalion by the governor
and his stall: will not be held.
W.reless Telegraphy and Hertz
Continued from page ).
a hollow square as was formed by Na
poleon's troops at Waterloo as defense
against cavalry. Now conceive tha.
such a square has been formed in tin
plain and that a wire has been passed
nine or ten times around tho Bquare
so that finally each grenadier holds In
his hands nine turns. In this coil of
wire is inserted a strong battery
along with a rapid make and break
device, called a vibrator. By means 01
an exactly similar squaro surrounded
by wiro in tho same way, but provlu
ed with a telephono receiver, we may
now receive messages across an inter
veiling space equal to four times tin
diameter of either square. Indeed in
18(J8 Prof. S. 1'. Thompson, pros. dent
of tho Englisu Institute of Electrical
Engineers, an exceedingly practical
man, expressed the opinion that the
two systems Just described are botli
feasible as a means of connection be- I
tween England and America. Ho wan
at that time more doubtful aboui l.
Marconi system.
Wo now come to the Marconi sys
tem, and to understand it we must
revert to early experiments, whlii
have a bearing on the Bubject. Oer
sted, in 1820, discovered ie deilectiou
of the compass needle, while Arago
and Davy ousurved in the samo year
the magnetizing properties of a
helix. Both eriects show clearly the
lact that the electric current and
magnetic loice are essentially at right
angles to each other, l'erhaps this
lact is responsible for tho lack of defi
nite mathematical expression of the
Interaction ot the two forces prior to
the work of Clerk Maxwell. The nexL
discoveries involved were those of
Michael Faraday, made between 183U
and 1835. This prince of experiment
ers discovered magneto electric-iuduc
tiou or the power which a magnetic
field has to set up an electric current
in a wire which is moving across it.
Ho also discovered the differences In
the behavior of various Insulators, as
glass, rubber, etc., when they are in
terposed between electrified bodies.
This Is due to what 'ho called dielec
tric inductive capacity and has a
strong bearing on Maxwell's electro
magnetic theory of light, of which i
shall soon speak. Finally Faraday be
lieved that there must bo some phys
ical relation between light, electricity,
and magnetism, ne diligently sought
such a relation and thereby discov
ered the rotation of the piano of polar
ized light when it is projected through
a transparent medium undor stress in
a magnetic field.
Clerk Maxwell bears tho same rela
tion to science that Shakespeare bears
to literature. Both are almost incon
ceivably great. Maxwell, basing hit,
work on the experiments which 1 have
enumerated, succeeded in combining
the magnetic and electric forces in
one mathematical expression, which at
once completely accounts for them,
both In a rational and consistent
manner. His theory is really based
upon the conception that electric en
ergy in tho potential state Is resident
In the dielectric or insulator surround
ing a charge body, while tho energy
of an electric current 1b resident in
tire surrounding magnetic Hold.
The latter acts very much as if It
were endowed with inertia; as though
something In the magnetic field, called
by Maxwell corpuscles, must be set in
rotation like small flywheols before
an electric current may he fully es
tablished. Some authorities refer,
iiccordingly talhe- energy otihe mn&
netlc field as being kinetic. Maxwell b
theory fully accounts for tho mode
and result of tho Interchange of en
ergy from tho dielectric to tho mag
netic field and vlco versa. When ap
plied to light, Maxwell's olectro-mag-netic
theory, as above developed, Im
plied that thlB form of radiant energy
is entirely electrical In Its naturo, bo
ing propagated In tho samo manner
as an electric current or a magnetic
attraction and at the samo flnlto ve
locity, namely 185,000 milcB per sec
ond. This electromagnetic theory of
light was confirmed by tho fact that
tho dielectric Inductive capacity, as
measured by Faraday, for a given sub
stance, was found to be the same as
tho refractive Index of tho substance,
which Is a necessary consequence of
the theory.
As regards wireless telegraphy, the
significant point in Maxwell's work
was that it clearly Implied tho exist
ence of electro-magnetic waves in
wires or In space, differing In no es
BOntlal from light waves except as to
length. While light wiivcb are the
merest fraction of an Inch, Maxwell
showed that waves anywhere from a
centimeter to a thousand miles In
length were to bo expected.
In tho electrical' engineering labor
atory Is a machine, an alternator,
which produces 125 doublo vibrations
in a Bocond. This Is slow compared
with the vibrations used by Marconi.
A circuit carrying .current which
fluctuates no more than 125 times per
second will not project energy into
space. As the rate of vibration in
creabes in the electric circuit, a great
er and greater proportion of its en
ergy is radiated into spaco never to
I return II iniiht have been exnecled
that if rapid enough vibration coult
have been produced in an electric clr
cult enough energy would bto radiutcu
to bo appreciable at considerable dis
tance. Working upon this hypothesis
and in full command of tho Maxwel
lian mathematics, a young German
philosopher, Henry Hertz, in 188G dis
covered tho waves predicted by Max
well, and which had been long sought
for by experimentalists.
Lot us proceed as did Hertz in his
famous experiment. Hero is an induc
tion coil fed with current through a
Wehnelt electrolytic interrupter. By
the sound of the interrupter we know
that the vibration Is not very rapid
since it gives forth only a noise ami
not a musical note. But these major
sparks in unihon with tho Wehnelt aie
each composed of many to and fro
impulses occurring at a rate measured
in the tens of thousands per second.
These are due to what wo would call
the natural vibrations of tho coll, and
were known before Hertz.
Now, a peculiar phenomenon oc
curred which gave tho key whoreby
tho unexplored region of short waves,
i. e., from one half to several meters
In length, was to bo unlocked. Hertz,
using a piece of wire bent like u let
ter "C," the extremities nearly touch
ing, discovered that if one end of this
wire were applied to one of me dis
charge rods of his Induction coil,
small subsidiary Bparks would Jump
across between the ends of h.a "C '
shaped piece, which ho afterwards
named "resonator." To
his great
mind- this discovery imj
it tne
electricity had been so suddenly ap
plied to one end of the resonator that,
although It traveled with the velocity
of light, It did not have time to travel
around the "C" and arrive at the oth
er end, ere a spark hod leaped across
from the charged ond to the ono weh
had not yet arrived at tho potential
ot tha source Hera jniiaL ia & rate
of vibration far exceeding tho tons of
thousands per second nbovo roforrod
to. In fact later dovolopmontq showed
that tho spark must bo conBldorod as
a socond time differentiated, giving
riso to a vibration measured in hun
dreds of millions por second. It is
this third degree of superimposed vi
bration that gives riso to tho bo called
Hertz waves, tho samo which are tho
actlvo agents In tho Marconi system
of signaling. ,
In view of what has boon said about
tho seat of electric and magnoi.e en
ergy, It should now bo possible to ex
pluin i hat this very rapid vlbnw on .
'hgc1 by the exceedingly rapid tran-
Bltion back and forth, of tho energy of
the coll. First tho onergy Is magnetic
surrounding tho rapidly fiowlng elec
tricity of tho spark. When tho vibra
tion in this direction ceases, much of
tho energy has been Btored quiescent
In the dielectric or air surrounding
the dlschargo rods, only to How back
again nn Instant later Into tho mag
netic field with tho revorBo spark.
Now conceive that a part of thoso
rapid magnetic Impulses radlato In
circles concentric with tno spark,
changing position only by dint of
their ever expanding diameters, Just
as circles of water expand wuon a
stone Is cast. Tho raun of tnoso mag
nolic whirls grow at a rato of 185,000
miles per second, and tho Impulses
follow so rapidly ono upon another
that the dlstnnco between whirls, or
tho wave length, Is ordinarily only a
few meters in length.
Now Marconi employs a vertical
wiro attached to his induction coll.
The electric forces vibrating up and
down this wire set up a multitude of
ever expanding horizontal whirls of
magnotlsm, whoso circumferences fin
ally cut squarely across tho vertical
wire at the receiving station and in
duce electric currents therein at rig.,
angles to tho direction of tho magnetic
force. In fact we may conceive that
such electric forces are carried along
with the magnetic whirl, Btresslng-the
ether at right angles to tho plane of
tho whirl as it passes. Thus wo have
an electric wnve coincident with tne
magnetic, their respective planes be
ing at right angles to each other. Now
it la this electric or vortical wavo
which corresponds to what wo mean
by a plane, polarized beam of light,
although the horlzonal or magnetic
wavo Is always present. Hertz waves
behave exactly like light waves with
two exceptions. They do not affect
the retina and they possess tho power
of penetrating non-metallic hollies.
Waves of a few centimeters in length
can penetrate only a limited quantity
of earth or stone, but the long waves
measured in miles seem to be uble to
pass through even hills and moun
tains, undiminished in strength. Using
largo cylindrical parabolic mirrors
made of zinc, Hertz succeeded in dem
onstrating tho laws of reflection, re
fraction, polarization, interference,
etc., and showing their identity to
those of light. Like light waves, the
Hertz' waves are cut off by metallic
bodies even of great thinness. The
refractive index for Hertz waves la
similar In magnitude to that for or
dinary light, and hence largo lenses
might bo easily built of glass, pitch, or
; other similar material to condense or
focus tho effect from a distant spark
upon any particular point. In fact In
a system of wirelesB telegraphy there
Is no real reason why a multitude of
transmitting sparks might not bo
singled out and identified at a given
receiving station by tho use of proper
lenses, even as the stars are differenti
ated by a telescope.
Pbqf. Geqbqe H. Morse,