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By Margaret & Susskind, Charles Rowbottom, B/w

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Extra resources for Electricity and Medicine History of their Interaction

Sample text

He then discussed the theory of parallel circuits. , potential or voltage) of electricity. A small Leyden jar might have a high "force" and produce a long spark, but several Leyden jars only partially charged might not have enough "force" to produce a spark at all, although they might contain a large amount of electricity that would cause the human body to feel a strong shock. He then made an artificial torpedo which simulated the action of a live torpedo when excited by a battery of Leyden jars.

He indicated the most appropriate treatment for various conditions and observed that inflammation of the eyes, inflammation in general, ulcers, and open sores all required only the most gentle stream of electricity. It is of interest that Cavallo noticed that any part of the body exposed to "a stream of the electric fluid" acquired a sulfurous or phosphoric smell, which it retained for a considerable time. " In the fourth edition (1792) he included a letter from John Birch, surgeon to St. Thomas's Hospital, concerning Birch's successful employment of electricity both privately and at the hospital.

Experiments show ing that contractions are occasioned in a frog muscle-nerve preparat ion by atmospher ic electricity. The well on the right was used to ground the muscle conductor (not shown) in some experiments. ) 39 The supposition that a circuit was formed between the nerve, hook, iron plate, and muscle was further explored. Galvani substituted a metal arc for the iron plate, so that contractions were obtained when the frog was lying on a glass or other nonconducting surface; and he placed the arc in contact with the hook and muscle .

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