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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 87

subsister ensemble.

81. L'air est un corps originairement électrique, & lorsqu'il est sec,
il n'est point conducteur du feu électrique, il ne le reçoit point des
autres corps, & ne leur donne point; autrement aucun corps environné
d'air ne pourroit être électrisé positivement & négativement; car si on
essayoit de l'électriser positivement, l'air emporteroit aussitôt le
surplus, ou si c'étoit négativement, l'air suppléeroit à ce qui

82. L'eau étant électrisée, les vapeurs qui s'en exhalent seront
également électrisées, & flottant dans l'air sous la forme de nuages ou
autrement, elles retiendront cette quantité de feu électrique jusqu'à ce
qu'elles rencontrent d'autres nuages ou d'autres corps qui ne soient pas
électrisés au même point, & alors elles le communiqueront, comme il a
été dit ci-devant.

83. Chaque particule de matière électrisée est repoussée par chaque
autre particule également électrisée; ainsi le courant d'une fontaine
également serré & continu, dès qu'il sera électrisé, se séparera &
s'étendra sous la forme d'une vergette, chaque goute faisant effort pour
s'éloigner de chaque autre goute; mais lorsque le feu électrique leur
est enlevé, elles se raprochent & se rejoignent.

84. L'eau qui est fortement électrisée (aussi bien que celle qui est
échauffée par le feu commun,) s'éleve en vapeurs plus abondamment,
l'attraction de cohésion entre ses particules étant considérablement
affoiblie par la puissance opposée de répulsion introduite avec le feu
électrique; & lorsque quelque particule est dégagée par quelque moyen
que ce soit, elle est immédiatement repoussée, & s'envole ainsi dans

85. S'il arrive que les particules soient situées comme A & B, elle sont
plus aisément dégagées que C & D, parce que chacune est en contact avec
trois seulement, au lieu que C & D sont chacune en contact avec neuf.
Lorsque la surface de l'eau éprouve la moindre agitation, les particules
sont continuellement poussées dans l'état représenté par la figure VIII.

86. Le frottement entre un corps non-électrique & un corps
originairement électrique produit le feu électrique, non en le _créant_,
mais en le _rassemblant_: car il est également répandu dans nos murs,
dans nos chambres, dans la terre & dans toute la masse de la matière
commune; ainsi le globe de verre tournant, tandis qu'il frotte contre le
coussin, tire le feu du coussin, lequel en est dédommagé par le cadre de
la machine, & ce cadre par le plancher sur lequel il est posé. Coupez la
communication par le moyen d'un verre épais ou d'un gâteau de cire placé
sous le coussin, le feu ne peut plus être produit, parce qu'il ne peut
plus être rassemblé.

87. L'Océan est un composé d'eau, corps non-électrique, & de sel, corps
originairement électrique.

88. Lorsqu'il

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