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broken, but neither chemical action nor any other electric effects were obtained. A deviation of the needle of the galvanometer took place when common magnets were employed instead of the Voltaic current; so that the magnetic and electric forces are identical in their effects in this experiment. Again, when a helix formed of 220 feet of copper wire, into which a cylinder of soft iron was introduced, was placed between the north and south poles of two bar magnets, and connected with the galvarfometer by means of wires from each extremity, as often as the magnets were brought into contact with the iron cylinder it became magnetic by induction, and produced a deflection in the needle of the galvanometer. On continuing the contact the needle resumed its natural position, and, when the contact was broken, deflection took place in the opposite direction ; when the magnetic contacts were reversed, the deflection was reversed also. With strong magnets, so powerful was the action, that the needle of the galvanometer whirled round several times successively ; and similar effects were produced by the mere approximation or removal of the helix to the poles of the magnets. Thus it was proved that magnets produce the very same effects on the galvanometer that electricity does. Though at that time no chemical decomposition was effected by these momentary currents which emanate from the magnets, they agitated the limbs of a frog; and Dr. Faraday justly observes, that “an agent which is conducted along metallic wires in the manner described, which, whilst so passing, possesses the peculiar magnetic actions and force of a current of electricity, which can agitate and convulse the limbs of a frog, and which finally can produce a spark by its discharge through charcoal, can only be electricity.” Soon after he completely established the identity of the two powers by producing the spark, heating metallic wires, and accomplishing chemical decomposition. Hence it appears that electrical currents are evolved by magnets, which produce the same phenomena with the electrical currents from the Voltaic battery: they, however, differ materially in this respect—that time is required for the exercise of the magnetico-electric induction, whereas Volta-elec tric induction is instantaneous.
Thus the effect of induction or the influence of the spiral wire in increasing the electric and magnetic power is very great indeed, and to that we are indebted for the electric telegraph, for
Voltaic electricity alone is too feeble to overcome the resistance of a long wire.
Electric currents, whatever their tension may be, produce the phenomena of induction; these again induce other currents in bodies capable of induction, and so on indefinitely; the first and second flow in the same direction, the others alternately opposite and direct. They all give the shock and can decompose water, but with Volta-electric currents the elevation of temperature as well as their physiological and magnetic effects are produced by instantaneous actions, which only depend upon the quantity and tension of the current, and by no means on its duration, for induced currents only exist for a moment when the circuit of the battery is broken. The most energetic physiological effects are produced by a small quantity of electricity moving with great velocity. The apparatus first employed by Dr. Faraday is in effect a battery, where the agent is the magnetic instead of the Voltaic force, or, in other words, electricity, and is thus constructed :
A very powerful horseshoe magnet, formed of twelve steel plates in close approximation, is placed in a horizontal position. An armature, consisting of a bar of the purest soft iron, has each of its ends bent at right angles, so that the faces of those ends may be brought directly opposite and close to the poles of the magnet when required. Ten copper wires—covered with silk, in order to insulate them-are wound round one half of the bar of soft iron, as a compound helix : ten other wires, also insulated, are wound round the other half of the bar. The extremities of the first set of wires are in metallic connexion with a circular disc, which dips into a cup of mercury, while the ends of the other ten wires in the opposite direction are soldered to a projecting screw-piece, which carries a slip of copper with two opposite points. The steel magnet is stationary ; but when the armature, together with its appendages, is made to rotate verti. cally, the edge of the disc always remains immersed in the mercury, while the points of the copper slip alternately dip in it and rise above it. By the ordinary laws of induction, the armature becomes a temporary magnet while its bent ends are opposite the poles of the steel magnet, and ceases to be magnetic when they are at right angles to them. It imparts its temporary magnetism to the helices which concentrate it; and, while one set conveys a current to the disc, the other set conducts the opposite current to the copper slip. As the edge of the revolving disc is always immersed in the mercury, one set of wires is constantly maintained in contact with it, and the circuit is only completed when a point of the copper slip dips in the mercury also ; but the circuit is broken the moment that point rises above it. Thus, by the rotation of the armature, the circuit is alternately broken and renewed ; and as it is only at these moments that electric action is manifested, a brilliant spark takes place every time the copper point leaves the surface of the mercury. Platinum wire is ignited, shocks smart enough to be disagreeable are given, and water is decomposed with astonishing rapidity, by the same means; which proves, beyond a doubt, the identity of the magnetic and electric agencies, and places Dr. Faraday, whose experiments established the principle, in the first rank of experimental philosophers.
A magneto-electric machine has been recently constructed by Mr. Henley, of enormous power. It consists of two permanent magnets, from which the induction is obtained ; each of these is formed of thirty horseshoe steel magnets, two feet and a half long, and from four to five inches broad, and each is surrounded by a coil of wire six miles long, coated with silk to insulate the coils. A shock from these wires would be instantaneous death. This apparatus will ultimately be employed to send a stream of electricity through long submarine and subterraneous wires ; but a Volta-electric machine has hitherto been used, in which the electricity is generated by a galvanic battery instead of magnets.
Induction, or the effect of the spiral wires in augmenting the power of Voltaic electricity, is admirably illustrated; in the Atlantic telegraph.
Wires that are to convey electricity under ground, or through water, must be defended from injury and insulated to prevent the lateral escape of the electricity. For that purpose the cable that is laid at the bottom of the Atlantic, from near Valentia in Ireland to Trinity Bay in Newfoundland, is formed of seven fine copper wires which convey the electricity, bound together by a coating of gutta percha, over which there are layers of cloth dipped in pitch, and then the whole is covered by steel wires twisted together in strands and twined round in long close spirals, forming a cord or cable not more than an inch and a quarter in
diameter, and 2100 miles long. The use of the gutta percha is to insulate the wires; the other coatings are merely for protection,
The Voltaic battery which generates the electricity consists of 40 cells, the plates of which are alternately of zinc and platinized silver, each about nine inches square, the exciting fluid being dilute sulphuric acid. Although the force developed by this battery is so great that a piece of iron three inches long and three eighths of an inch in diameter placed in contact with the poles may be consumed in a few minutes, it is absolutely incapable of sending a current of electricity through wires 2500 miles long, on account of their resistance, without the aid of Dr. Faraday's inductive action. It is only the primary agent for inducing a current of sufficient strength.
To accomplish that, many thousand yards of fine copper wire coated with silk are wound round a hollow soft iron cylinder; the whole is then coated by gutta percha, and the end of the wire is joined to the wires in the cable so as to form a continuous line from Valentia to Newfoundland. A second copper wire, shorter but thicker than the preceding, and also insulated by a coating of silk, is wound round the cylinder above the gutta percha : when the ends of this thick wire are brought into contact with the poles of the battery, currents of electricity flow through it, between pole and pole, and in their passage temporarily convert the hollow iron cylinder into a powerful electro-magnet, which by its reaction induces a current of electricity in the fine wire of sufficient power to cross the Atlantic. The efficiency of the electric telegraph depends upon the power we possess of breaking and renewing the current at pleasure, since by that means distinct and successive signals are made from station to station. In the Atlantic cable positive and negative electricity are transmitted alternately; the electricity is sent to America from alternate poles, and the current returns again through the water, which completes the circuit.
The passage of electricity through a cable or telegraphic wire in air is sensibly instantaneous; that through a cable, whether extended in water or under ground, requires time on account of lateral induction through the gutta percha; for the electricity, in passing through the wires, induces the opposite electricity on the surface of the water or moist earth in contact with the cable, and in that respect it is precisely like a Leyden jar, the gutta percha representing the glass. As the power of induction is proportional to the tension of the electricity, and as the tension is continually diminished by the resistance of the wires, the induction is continually diminished and requires a longer time. Electricity took two seconds to pass through a cable 768 miles long, laid under ground from London to Manchester, and back again twice ; while in air it was all but instantaneous, because the inductive capacity of air is very much less than that of water or moist earth. In the experiment with the cable under ground it took twothirds of a second to overcome the resistance of the wires, and then the velocity of the electricity was 1000 miles in a second, and it was the same whatever the intensity of the electricity.
It has already been mentioned that the efficiency of the electric telegraph depends upon the breaking and renewing the current of electricity by means of which a succession of waves of electricity are sent through the conducting wires. Now it has been ascertained that three electric waves may travel simultaneously through the wires of the Atlantic telegraph with sufficient intervals between them to record the indications they are intended to convey ; that is, three signals can be intelligibly and practically transmitted in two seconds.
The original design, structure, and difficulty of depositing the cable are only equalled by the talent and perseverance with which it has been done. The 5th of August, 1858, will be memorable for the accomplishment of the boldest enterprise that ever was undertaken by man, and which is only the beginning of a vast submarine communication that will ultimately encircle the globe. It has been granted to British genius thus to annihilate time and space, in order to connect all mankind into one great family for their moral and religious advancement; and, whatever may be the fate of the British Islands in the course of ages, to their energetic race the glory will remain of having been the chief instruments in the hands of Providence for the civilization of the world-a civilization which will extend with the development of their numerous colonies into great independent Christian states, like those of the Union in North America. The thunderbolt snatched from heaven by Franklin now passes through the depths of the Atlantic as a messenger of peace between the kindred nations.*
* “Eripuit fulmen Cælo, sceptrurnque tyrannis,” is the inscription on a medal struck in honour of Franklin,