Jean Jallabert (1712-1768)

Jean Jallabert (1712-1768)

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Credit: SHEILA TERRY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Jean Jallabert, professor of physics and mathematics at Geneva, investigating the effects of points and knobs on electrical discharges. He is standing on a wax insulating platform, one hand touching an electrostatic generator and the other holding a pointed piece of wood. When its point nears one end of a conducting rod mounted on a pivot, the deflection of the rod caused by the discharge shows whether there is a positive or negative charge. Benjamin Franklin knew of these experiments and went on to study the theory of the Ôpower of pointsÕ, which formed the basis of his development of the lightning conductor. Jallabert analysed electricity's ability to stimulate muscles.In 1747 he started applying electrical stimulation to the paralyzed arm of a locksmith. After 3 months there was considerable improvement. This is considered to be the first application of electrotherapy

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Keywords: 1712-1768, 1749, 18th century, bioelectrics, conductors, electrical discharge, electrotherapy, first electrotherapy, franklin, geneva, history of bioelectrics, history of science, jallabert, jean jallabert, lightning, nollet, power of points, science

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