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583
INDUCTION COIL


and each layer of wire was separated from the next by means of varnished silk or shellac paper; the secondary circuit was also carefully insulated from the primary circuit by a glass tube. Rtihmkorff, by providing with his coil an automatic break of the hammer type, and equipping it with a condenser as suggested by F izeau, arrived at the modern form of induction coil. J. N. Hearder in England and E. S. Ritchie in the United States began the construction of large coils, the last named constructing a specially large one to the order of J. P. Gassiot in 1858. In the following decade A. Apps devoted great attention to the production of large induction coils, constructing some of the most powerful coils in existence, and introduced the important improvement of making the secondary circuit of numerous flat coils of wire insulated by varnished or paraftined paper. In 1869 he built for the old Polytechnic Institution in London a coil having a secondary circuit 150 m. in length. The diameter of the wire was O'OI4 in., and the secondary bobbin when complete had an external diameter of 2 ft. and a length of 4 ft. ro ins. The primary bobbin weighed 145 lb, and consisted of 6000 turns of copper wire 3770 yds. in length, the wire being -G9 5 of an inch in diameter. Excited by the current from 40 large Bunsen cells, this coil could give secondary sparks 30 in. in length. Subsequently, in 1876, Apps constructed a still larger coil for William Spottiswoode, which is now in the possession of the Royal Institution. The secondary circuit consisted of 280 m. of copper wire about o-or of an inch in diameter, forming a cylinder 37 in. long and zo in. in external diameter; it was wound in flat disks in a large number of separate sections, the total number of turns being $41,850. Various primary circuits were employed with this coil, which when at its best could give a spark of 42 in. in length. A general description of the mode of constructing a modern induction coil, such as is used for wireless telegraphy or Consmw Rontgen ray apparatus, is as follows: The iron core “om - consists of a bundle of soft iron wires inserted in the interior of an ebonite tube. On the outside of this tube is wound the primary circuit, which generally consists of several distinct wires capable of being joined either in series or parallel as required. Over the primary circuit is placed another thick ebonite tube, the thickness of the walls of which is proportional to the spark-producing power of the secondary circuit. The primary coil must be wholly enclosed in ebonite, and the tube containing it, is generally longer than the secondary bobbin. The second circuit consists of a number of flat coils wound up between paraffin ed or shell aced paper, much as a sailor coils a rope. It is essential that no joints in this wire shall occur in inaccessible places in the interior. A machine has been devised by Leslie Miller for winding secondary circuits in fiat sections without any joints in the wire at all (British Patent, No. 5811, 1903). A coil intended to give a ro or 12 in. spark is generally wound in this fashion in several hundred sections, the object of this mode of division being to prevent any two parts of the secondary circuit which are at great differences of potential from being near to one another, unless effectively insulated by a sufficient thickness of shell aced or paraffin ed paper. A ro-in. coil, a size very commonly used for Rontgen ray work or wireless telegraphy, has an iron core made of a bundle of soft iron wires No. 22 S.W.G., 2 in. in diameter and 18 in. in length. The primary coil wound over-this core consists of No. 14 S.W.G. copper wire, insulated with white silk laid on in three layers and having a resistance of about half an ohm. The insulating ebonite tube for such a coil should not be less than i in. in thickness, and should have two ebonite cheeks on it placed 14 in. apart. This tube is supported on two hollow pedestals down which the ends of the primary wire are brought. The secondary coil consists of No. 36 or No. 32 silk-covered copper wire, and each of the sections is prepared by winding, in a suitable winding machine, a flat coiled wire in such a way that the two ends of the coil are on the outside. The coil should not be wound in less than a hundred sections, and a larger number would be still better. The adjacent ends of consecutive sections are soldered together and insulated, and the whole secondary coil should be immersed in parailin wax. The completed coil (fig. 1) is covered with a sheet of ebonite and mounted on a base board which, in some cases, contains the primary condenser within it and carries on its upper surface a hammer break. For many purposes, however, it is better to separate the condenser and the break from the coil. Assuming that a hammer break is employed, it is generally of the Apps form. The interruption of the primary circuit is made between two contact studs which ought to be of massive platinum, and across the break points is joined the primary condenser. This consists .of a number of sheets of paraffmed paper interposed between sheets of tin foil, alternate sheets of the tin foil being joined together (see Leyden Jar). This condenser serves to quench the break spark. If the primary

FIG. 1.

condenser is not inserted, the arc or spark which takes place at the contact points prolongs the fall of magnetism in the core, and since the secondary electromotive force is proportional to the rate at which this magnetism changes, the secondary electromotive force is greatly reduced by the presence of an arc-spark at the contact points. The primary condenser therefore serves to increase the suddenness with which the primary current is interrupted, and so greatly increases the electromotive force in the secondary circuit. Lord Rayleigh showed (Phil. Mag., 1901, 581) that if the primary circuit is interrupted with sufficient suddenness, as for instance if it is severed by a bullet from a gun, then no condenser is needed. No current flows in the secondary-.circuit so long as a steady direct current is passing through the primary, but at the moments that the primary circuit is closed and opened two electromotive forces are set up in the secondary; these are opposite in direction, the one induced by the breaking of the primary circuit being by far the stronger. Hence the necessity 'for some form of circuit breaker, by the continuous action of which there results a series of discharges from one secondary terminal to the other in the .form of sparks.

The hammer break is somewhat irregular in action and gives a. good deal of trouble in prolonged use; hence many other forms of primary circuit interrupters have been devised. These may be classified as (1) hand- or motor-worked I"t"" dipping interrupters employing mercury or platinum g:f;;fZ ° contacts; (2) turbine mercury interrupters; (3) electrolytic interrupters. In the first class a steel or platinum point, operated by hand or by a motor, is periodically immersed in mercury and so serves to close the primary circuit. To prevent

oxidation of the mercury by the spark and break it must be covered with oil or alcohol. In some cases the interruption is caused by the continuous rotation of a motor either working an eccentric which operates the plunger, or, as in the Mackenzie-Davidson break, rotating a slate disk having a metal stud on its surface, which is thus periodically immersed in mercury in a vessel. A better class of interrupter is the mercury turbine interrupter. In this some form of rotating turbine pump pumps mercury from a vessel and squirts it in a jet against a copper plate. Either the copper plate or the jet is made to revolve rapidly by a motor, so that the jet by turns impinges against the plate and escapes it; the rnercury and plate are both covered with a deep layer of alcohol or paraffin oil, so that