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Quadrant Electrometer

Quadrant Electrometer

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Description
The “No. 14 Thomson's Patent” inscription on this electrometer refers to William Thomson (1824-1907), the renowned mathematical physicist who invented the quadrant electrometer in 1853 and introduced several improvements over the course of the next seventeen years. This example is of the form unveiled in 1870. Since it was found in the Smithsonian “Castle,” we assume it was acquired by Joseph Henry, the physicist who served as the founding Secretary of the Institution.
Ref: William Thomson, “Report of Electrometers and Electrostatic Measurements,” in Papers on Electrostatics and Magnetism (London, 1872), pp. 260-309.
Matthew Trainer, “The Patents of William Thomson (Lord Kelvin),” World Patent Information 26 (2004): 311-317.
George Green and John T. Lloyd, Kelvin’s Instruments and the Kelvin Museum (Glasgow, 1970).
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
Electrometer
patented by
Thomson
patented in
United Kingdom: Scotland, Glasgow City
Measurements
overall: 5 in x 3 in; 12.7 cm x 7.62 cm
overall: 4 7/8 in x 3 5/8 in; 12.3825 cm x 9.2075 cm
ID Number
CH.314620
catalog number
314620
accession number
208046
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Chemistry
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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