Re: Addendum-DC Tesla

Hello All,
Malcolm said:
>anything else), I've found some rectification going on (at least 
>that's how it seems). If you hold a metal rod (insulated shoes) 
>near enough to the terminal to attract a fat stream of whiskers that
>end in a point at the screwdriver, you can get very definite and 
>heavy jolts (definitely not AC). Holding the rod close enough to 
>attract a single bright discharge channel kills this effect 
>completely (not all the time but mostly). This sounds a bit like your 
>experiment with the Maxwell cap. I'd be very surprised if this didn't 
>charge an isolated capacitance to very high voltages.
        I read this post today after coincidently reading last night a 
portion of an old text on Wimshurst Machines (circa 1908) (a vigh voltage 
D.C. electrostatic generator, for the uninformed).  The book suggests a 
simple test to determine whether the charge is positive or negative:  "Hold 
a lighted candle first to one discharging ball and then to the other and 
excite the machine, the balls being separated considerably beyond sparking 
distance.  Continue working the machine, and notice that the flame is 
attracted to one ball but repelled from the other.  The one which attracts 
the flame is positively charged with electricity..."
        Perhaps you could set up a single shot experiment with a large 
toroid to control breakout, and see if there is some consistancy in 
polarity.  If there is some evidence of polarity, perhaps rectification is 
        In a thunderstorm generated lightning bolt, the current normally 
undergoes a number of reversals (A.C.?), once a hot plasma channel is 
created, even though the initial pulse is essentially D.C., brought on by 
building electrostatic charges.  It seems that this is the likely mechanism.
        Just food for thought,
Mark S. Rzeszotarski, Ph.D.