Romas's lightning experiment, 1753

Romas's lightning experiment, 1753

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Romas's lightning experiment. French physicist Jacques de Romas (1713-1776 wrote a dissertation in 1750 on the physical similarities between lightning and electricity. Romas first performed his kite experiment in Nerac, France, on 7 June 1753. His kite had a wire interwoven in the string to aid conduction. Using a tin conductor he produced very long sparks, watched by an amazed crowd. A similar experiment by Benjamin Franklin took place in June 1752, though Romas designed his experiment independently. Artwork from 'Electricite' (1911) by Max de Nansouty, part of the 'Les merveilles de la science' series of 1867-1891 by Louis Figuier.

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