This is a gold leaf electroscope for qualitative demonstrations the electrostatic phenomena. It was manufactured by E. Ducretet of Paris, the famous French manufacturer of scientific instruments. This architecture is basically the same as the first gold sheet electroscope built by Abraham Bennet in the 1700s, and for this factor it is sometimes referred to together a Bennet-type electroscope.

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The body is glass. The circular base, the vertical assistance rod, and the steel sphere associated to the height of the rod room brass. 2 gold leaves room suspended indigenous the bottom finish of the rod. One leaf is about half the length of the other. The result is that the much shorter of the 2 leaves is deflected to a lot greater degree than the much longer one as soon as the electroscope is charged. It can well have actually been this form of monitoring that brought about the design of the solitary leaf electroscopes the substitute a fixed vertical stick for among the leaves.

The gold-colored coating top top the top section of the glass is either lacquer or shellac. Its objective was to avoid atmospheric moisture from depositing on the glass in the vicinity that the rod from which the pipeline were suspended. Moisture, if it to be present, could an outcome in a leakage current over the glass that would certainly rob the gold pipeline of their charge.

This is described nicely through Ganot and also Reinhold: "The thing of this coating is to boost the insulating attributes of the glass. Glass is, indeed, a negative conductor, however it is an extremely hygroscopic—that is, it easily attracts aqueous vapor from the air, and thus becomes coated through a class of moisture, which renders its surface a conductor. When covered with varnish this evil is removed, because that varnish,... Is no hygroscopic."

It is common for glass-body electroscopes to incorporate 2 conductors, one on every side that the leaves, that prolong vertically indigenous the basic plate. These conductors could be two metal foil "earthing" strips prefer those viewed in the Volta-type condensing electroscope, or 2 brass rods finishing in spherical knobs prefer those in this electroscope (see photo below left). Girlfriend never discover both varieties together in the very same electroscope, which indicates that they had actually a shared purpose.


Several functions have to be attributed to this things.

First (my thought), castle may have actually served a similar function as the two earthing (screening) strips the are regularly employed in gold sheet electroscopes, i.e., to defend the leaves from static charges that deserve to accumulate ~ above the glass and other external electric fields.

Another explanation was available by Adolphe Ganot, author of what was probably the most widely used physics textbook the the nineteenth century: "the delicacy that this electroscope might be boosted by adapting to the foot that the apparatus two steel rods, end in knobs; for these knobs, gift excited by induction native the yellow leaves, react upon them."


Finally, the explanation of Augustin Privat-Deschanel: "Great caution must be offered in bringing electrified bodies close to the gold-leaf electroscope, together the leaves are very apt to be ruptured by fast movements. If castle diverge so widely regarding touch the political parties of the bell-glass, that is often daunting to detach them indigenous the glass without tearing. To stop this contact, two metallic columns are interposed, communicating with the ground. If the pipeline diverge as well widely, they touch these columns and lose your electricity."

The drawing to the right is from Privat-Deschanel (1878).

They also detailed a crude method to estimate the total charge ~ above the body offered to charge the gold leaves. The adhering to quote indigenous Daniell explains how this works: "In the discharging electroscope the yellow leaves as soon as they diverge, come in contact with two metallic uprights which connect with the earth: they are for this reason discharged and collapse, again to it is in charged: the variety of oscillations that the gold leaves affords a rough measure that the amount of power borne by a conductor i beg your pardon is discharged to planet through such an electroscope.

See more: Discharge Looks Like Pieces Of Toilet Paper, White Discharge That Looks Like Toilet Paper


As viewed in the accompanying chart (Barker, 1892), just one "metallic upright" was needed.

Quoting Barker: "For the deliver of smaller quantities, Gaugain has used a discharging gold-leaf electroscope in much the very same way, calling it an electroscopic gauge. A metal ball is put within the instrument, supported on a rod climbing from the the base and therefor connected with the ground. The is flexible horizontally and is so inserted that one of the gold pipeline on aberration comes into contact with that (Fig. 264). To identify the fee of a conductor, it is connected with the electroscopic gauge... The gold pipeline diverge until among them touches the ball, when the electroscope is at once discharged and the leaves fall. A second transference of electrification take away place, and so on, till the conductor is discharged... The total quantity ~ above the conductor is proportional, as above, come the variety of contacts."

Size: ca. 10" high, 4" diameter


Barker, G.F. Physics: advanced Course. 1892.Daniell, A. A Text publication of the values of Physics. 1911.Ganot, A., Reinold, A.W. Organic Philosophy for basic Readers and also Young People. 1905.Privat-Deschanel, A. Elementary writing on herbal Philosophy. 1878.