Expériences et observations sur l'électricité faites à Philadelphie en Amérique

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 125

une petite lumière au
bout de cette pointe. Mais cette lumière n'est pas la même, quand le
corps est électrisé positivement, & quand il l'est négativement. Dans le
premier cas ce n'est qu'un petit floccon de lumière que M. le Roi nomme
point lumineux plus ou moins apparent, fort semblable à un ver luisant.
Dans le second cas cette lumière est en forme d'aigrette plus ou moins
longue, plus ou moins divergente, suivant la force de l'électricité.
C'est ce qu'on peut aisément...

[Manque la page 176]

...me je viens de le dire, étoit attachée tantôt au crochet & tantôt au
ventre de la bouteille. En un mot l'endroit où paroît l'aigrette est
celui d'où sort le feu, & conséquemment celui où est l'électricité
positive; & l'endroit où paroît le point lumineux est celui où elle est

«Les termes d'électricité positive & électricité négative ne doivent
jamais s'entendre dans un sens absolu. Le point lumineux que j'apperçois
quand je présente une pointe au conducteur électrisé par le globe de
verre ne prouve pas que je sois électrisé négativement, puisque j'ai
toujours ma quantité naturelle d'électricité, mais seulement que j'en
suis moins chargé que le conducteur, que j'en reçois de lui, que je suis
dans un état négatif par rapport au sien, et par conséquent que le sien
est positif relativement au mien.

À l'égard de votre cinquiéme paradoxe, il peut pareillement être vrai,
si les globes travaillent alternativement, mais s'il le font en même
tems, le feu ne montera ni ne descendra par la chaîne, parce qu'un globe
pompera le feu aussi vîte que l'autre le produira. Je ne serois pas
fâché de sçavoir si les effets seroient contraires dans le cas où le
globe de verre seroit solide & celui de soufre creux, mais je n'ai
présentement aucun moyen de l'essayer.

Dans vos voyages vos globes de verre sont sujets à des accidens, ceux de
soufre sont lourds & incommodes.»

_Quest._ Une plaque mince de soufre mise sur une table ne serviroit-elle
pas de coussin dans l'occasion, pendant qu'un globe de cuir rembourré
exactement, proprement monté, recevroit le feu du soufre & chargeroit le
conducteur positivement, un pareil globe ne courroit aucun danger d'être
cassé. Je crois concevoir comment cela pourroit s'exécuter. Mais je n'ai
pas le tems d'ajouter autre chose si ce n'est que je suis, Monsieur, &c.


_De B. FRANKLIN Écuyer de Philadelphie._

_19. Octobre 1752._

Comme l'on parle souvent dans les nouvelles d'Europe du succès de
l'expérience de Philadelphie, pour tirer le feu électrique des nuées par
le moyen des verges de fer pointuës élevées sur le haut des bâtimens,
&c. Les curieux ne seront peut-être pas

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Text Comparison with Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

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