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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 55

qu'il n'entre dans la bouteille que
le feu électrique qui vient de sa surface extérieure, on lui demande:
_Et quelle certitude en avez-vous? La matière électrique n'est-elle pas
répandue dans l'air de l'atmosphère? Et pourquoi ne voulez-vous pas que
la chaîne & le globe y trouvent ce feu électrique qui passe par le
conducteur dans l'intérieur de la fiole? Il faut montrer que cela est
impossible, ou que cela n'est pas, si vous voulez que votre conséquence
soit reçuë._ Soit, Monsieur, on s'en tient à votre parole. Voici la
certitude que nous en avons, indépendamment de ce que nous voulons ou ne
voulons pas. Écoutez bien. Si la chaîne & le globe trouvoient dans l'air
de l'atmosphère ce feu électrique qui passe par le conducteur dans
l'intérieur de la fiole, ils l'y trouveroient aussi bien avant qu'on eût
établi une communication de l'extérieur de la bouteille au coussin,
qu'après, & dans ce cas on l'apercevroit en touchant au conducteur. Il
est cependant très-certain que dès-que le coussin est épuisé on ne tire
pas la moindre étincelle des conducteurs: tirez, s'il vous plaît, la
conséquence vous-même, & ne refusez plus de la recevoir.»

34. Suspendez deux balles de liége par des fils de lin attachés au
premier conducteur; touchez alors le côté de la bouteille, & elles
seront électrisées, & elles s'éloigneront l'une de l'autre.

Car autant que vous donnez de feu aux côtés, autant précisément il s'en
décharge à travers le fil-d'archal sur le premier conducteur, d'où les
balles de liége reçoivent une atmosphére électrique.

Mais prenez un fil-d'archal courbé en forme de C, avec un bâton de cire
d'Espagne fixé à la partie extérieure de la courbure, afin de le tenir
par-là, & appliquez une extremité de ce fil-d'archal aux côtés, &
l'autre en même temps au premier conducteur, la fiole sera déchargée; &
si les balles ne sont pas électrisées avant la décharge, elles ne
paroîtront pas l'être après; car elles ne se repousseront pas l'une
l'autre.

Maintenant si le feu déchargé de la surface intérieure de la bouteille à
travers son fil-d'archal restoit sur le premier conducteur, les balles
seroient électrisées & s'éloigneroient l'une de l'autre.

Si la fiole faisoit une explosion réelle aux deux extrémités &
déchargeoit le feu tant des côtés que du fil-d'archal, les balles
seroient électrisées en _plus_ & s'éloigneroient _plus loin_, car aucune
portion de feu ne peut s'échaper en étant empêchée par le manche de
cire.

Mais si le feu, dont la surface intérieure est surchargée, est
précisément la quantité qui manque à la surface extérieure, il passera
circulairement à travers le fil-d'archal attaché au manche de cire,
rétablira l'équilibre dans le

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