Saturday, March 16, 2013

Lord Kelvin's Thunderstorm

One of my very favorite mechanisms is the wonderful device of Lord Kelvin for separating electric charge. It is the second simplest electric generator (the simplest electric generator is the hydroelectrostatic generator described by Gurdjieff in "All and Everything" constructed in a cave in the middle of nowhere and otherwise unknown to science) and a cybernetic system to boot.

Lord Kelvin's Thunderstorm consist of a means for splitting a flow of water into two stream of droplets and arranging each stream so as to fall each into a separate bucket.

Conductors are lead from each bucket to the vicinity of the emitting nozzle of the opposite stream of droplets.

That is all.

Operation is simple:
  1. As the droplets flow they carry electric charge from the upper water to the separate buckets.
  2. There will be a tiny imbalance in the electrical charge of the two buckets.
  3. The conductor from one bucket will conduct the charge from that bucket to the nozzle feeding the opposite bucket, and vice-versa.
  4. This charge near the nozzle will attract the opposite charge in the nozzle, and thus in the droplets carrying charge to the bucket below it, and vice-versa.
  5. When these charged drops fall into the buckets they increase the charge in the buckets and the strength of the charge near the nozzles and thus the charge on the droplets that they then carry to the buckets.
A feedback loop is established that rapidly divides the charge on the water into positive and negative, uh, charge.

There are lots of videos on the Internet if you want to see this in action. It's pretty dramatic.

I wonder what would happen if you hooked up three dropper-and-bucket arrangements?  Wouldn't that be neat if there was some undiscovered "triune force"?

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