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Over-tension in a Condenser Battery during a sudden discharge

  • P. Kapitza (a1)

In the recent experiments on the Zeeman effect in strong magnetic fields made by Mr H. W. B. Skinner and myself for obtaining an intense source of light for a small fraction of a second, we have been discharging a condenser battery consisting of 32 Leyden jars connected in parallel with a capacity of one-tenth of a microfarad. The discharge was made through a small spark gap by means of an oil immersed switch (the details of this arrangement are to be found in the above-mentioned paper). When the discharge was produced a curious phenomenon was sometimes observed. After the battery had been charged to its maximum tension, and the switch had been put into operation, only a small spark occurred in the spark gap, and the main part of the discharge went over the top of the insulators of one of the Leyden jars.

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* Proc. Roy. Soc. A, vol. 109, p. 225 (1925)

* Journal de la Polytechnique, cahier 18: Poisson, “Mémoire sur la manière d'exprimer les fonctions en série de quantités périodiques”. In this work Poisson treats a problem very similar to ours. He calculates the vibrations of a load attached to a bar with an equally distributed mass. The problem dealt with in my case is very like that treated by Poisson, as the self-induction of the outside circuit is equivalent to the inertia of the load, and the distributed capacity and selfinduction of the condensers correspond to the distributed mass and to the elasticity of the load.

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Mathematical Proceedings of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
  • ISSN: 0305-0041
  • EISSN: 1469-8064
  • URL: /core/journals/mathematical-proceedings-of-the-cambridge-philosophical-society
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