Hydrogen conductivity, 19th century

Hydrogen conductivity, 19th century

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Caption: Hydrogen conductivity experiment. Electrical current (wires at bottom) is being passed through a platinum wire connecting two electrodes. In air the platinum wire glows due to resistance. When covered in hydrogen in an upturned jar, as here, the wire ceases to glow. This was interpreted at the time as the resistance of the platinum wire decreasing because the hydrogen gas was conducting electricity. However, hydrogen gas is a poor electrical conductor. Artwork from the seventh volume (first period of 1891) of the French popular science weekly 'La Science Illustree'.

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