HPS211H1 Lecture Notes - Leyden Jar, Voltaic Pile, German Idealism


Department
History and Philosophy of Science and Technology
Course Code
HPS211H1
Professor
Curtis Forbes

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January 31, 2013 Lecture Notes
Conservation of Energy
- Basic idea that there is a finite amount of energy and it changes form
- Energy Physics
o Newton
Work, force
o Energy physicists wanted to understand heat, force, work relationship
- Electricity
o Wasn’t always clear that all electrical phenomena was the same thing
o Static electricity
First known type of electricity
o Reninous vs. vitreous electricity
o Friction machines
Able to generate large amount of static electricity
More of a novelty than a scientific instrument
o Leyden Jar
Basically a simple capacitor
o Was thought of a ‘fluid’ of some kind
o ‘animal’ electricity
Frog legs twitched, people thought that it came from the animal and hence
thought there was a type of animal electricity
o Voltaic Pile
Similar to the battery
Volta invented it
Gave experimenters a new source of steady, direct current
o Benjamin Franklin
Wanted to demonstrate that all electric phenomena was the same
Argued for two fluid theory
Used an experimental method
Aimed for the unity of electrical phenomena
o Ohm
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Law of electrical force
Called it a force because of potential for motive work from charge in circuit
- Magnetism
o Loadstones
English called in middle ages
Attracted bits of iron
o People knew that magnetism could be used for navigation in the middle ages
o Some people tried to give mechanical explanation
o People able to experiment ^ knowledge of subject
o Faraday
Electromagnetism and electromotors
Characterized interaction between magents
Had a low math ability
^ level of innovative experimental work
Illuminated relationship between electricity and magnetism
Discovered electrical current could occur due to magnets
o Oersted
Magnetic field strength
o Ampere
Showed that current carrying wires repelled each other
Relationship between magnets and electricity
o Electromagnets and electromotors
o Theory that electricity developed/could produce heat and light
- Naturphilosophie
o German idealism
Saw nature as fundamentally unified and organic
Must look at role/phenomena in relation to everything around it
Hence looked at electricity in terms of magnetism, force, etc.
Horstead was into this
o Vitalism
Connected to theory of all inanimate objects obeying Newton’s laws but
animate objects follow different rules (driven by some sort of vital part/soul)
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