Re: Addendum-DC Tesla
>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.