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B Electricity through a wire.

  1. Nov 27, 2016 #1
    I have read that in 1729 Stephen Gray, in addition to generating static charges, sends, for the first time, electricity through a wire and coins the words insulator and conductor.

    What does he think he is sending though the wire, there is not yet a concept of atoms or electrons as we know them today?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 27, 2016 #2
    He didn't know what exactly it was. Some mysterious substance known as electricity. It was often seen as some kind of invisible fluid.
    If you want to get a better idea of how scientists back then thought about this subject you could look at some old texts.
    e.g. this chapter in a book from the 18th century describing Mr. Gray's experiments.
    Or this book consisting of letters written by Benjamin Franklin.
  4. Nov 27, 2016 #3


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    People sent water through a pipe before anyone knew about atoms. This is really no different.
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