Royal Society Electrical Experiment

Royal Society Electrical Experiment

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Credit: SHEILA TERRY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Royal Society Experiment carried out in 1747 to ascertain whether electric current could be carried from one side of the River Thames to the other. An Electrostatic generator was used to charge a Leyden Jar connected to a wire which was suspended above the Thames at Westminster Bridge. On each side of the river a participant held the wire in one hand whilst an iron rod was dipped into the river with the other. When the circuit was completed the Leyden Jar discharged its current.The shock was felt by the participants on both sides of the river. Martin Folkes, President of the Royal Society, Lord Charles Cavendish, Richard Graham, Dr. Bovis and Dr. Watson all participated in the experiment which was one of a series carried out at this location. The results of the experiments were published in the Royal Society's Philisophical Transaction.

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Keywords: 1747, dr. bovis, dr. watson, electrical experiment, electrostatic generator, history of science, leyden jar, lord charles cavendish, martin folkes, philisophical transaction, richard graham, river thames, royal society

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