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The Electric Circuit

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Polarization Of The Circuit

Source: A Newly Discovered System Of Electrical Medication

I have said, in effect, a little above, that, while the current is
running, the entire circuit is one complete magnet, which extends
from the inner or positive sides of the zinc plates, where the current
commences, all the way around to the outer or negative aides of the zinc
plates, to which it returns. Viewed in this light its negative pole or
end is the battery fluid, next to the positive surfaces of the zinc
plates, and its positive pole or end is the brass clamp which, holding
the metals together, is in contact with the outer and negative surfaces
of the zincs.

But, for practical purposes, it is sufficiently exact to consider the
magnetic circuit as extending only from the positive post around
through the conducting cords, the electrodes and the person of the
patient to the negative post. The negative end or pole of this magnet
is the wire end of the cord placed in the positive post, and the
positive end or pole is the wire end of the cord placed in the negative

But any magnet may be viewed either as one whole, or be conceived as
composed of a succession of shorter magnets placed end to end. If we
view it as one entire magnet, we call the end in which the magnetic
essence is in greatest quantity the positive end, and the end where it
is in least quantity the negative end. But if we imagine the one
whole magnet as being divided up into several sections, then we conceive
of each section as a distinct magnet, having its own positive and
negative poles. And, all the way through, these sectional magnets will
be arranged with the positive pole of the one joined to the negative
pole of the next in advance of it.

It is just so in respect to the magnetic circuit of a moving current.
The whole circuit, as before remarked, is in reality one long magnet.
But in applying the terms positive and negative in our practice we
often view the whole circuit--the one long magnet--as composed of a
series of shorter ones, arranged with positive and negative ends in
contact; and all the way the current in each section is supposed to be
running from the positive pole of the magnet behind to the negative pole
of the magnet before.

We consider the circuit, from the positive post around to the negative
post, as composed of three magnets, as follows: Magnet No. 1, which
extends from the positive post, along the cord and electrode, to the
body of the patient, where the positive electrode is placed. The
negative pole of this magnet is the wire end of the cord placed in
the positive post, and its positive pole in the positive electrode
placed upon the person of the patient. No. 2, which is composed of the
parts of the patient traversed by the current between the two
electrodes. Its negative end or pole is the part in contact with the
positive pole of magnet No. 1, and its positive pole is the part in
contact with the negative pole of magnet No. 3. No. 3 extends from the
positive pole of No. 2, through the electrode and along the cord, to the
negative post. Its negative pole is the negative electrode in contact
with the positive end or pole of magnet No. 2, and its positive pole is
the wire end of the cord in the negative post.

Since in every magnet the magnetic fluid is supposed to be regularly
graduated from minimum quantity in the negative end to maximum quantity
in the positive end, this is true in respect to the one magnet,
consisting of the whole magnetic circuit, as well as in respect to each
one of the sectional series. Consequently there must be the same
quantity of magnetism in each negative pole of the sections as there is
in the positive pole of the section immediately behind it. And the
magnetism of the whole circuit between the positive and the negative
posts is in its least volume next to the positive post, and in
fullest volume next to the negative post. If we consider the circuit
as divided into two equal halves, the negative half is plainly that
which joins the positive post, and the positive half that which
joins the negative post.

From this it will be seen that what in practice are designated as the
positive and negative posts, and also positive and negative poles or
electrodes are not such in relation to each other, but the
reverse of it; that is to say, the positive post is not positive
in relation to the negative post, but is negative to it; and the
positive electrode or pole is not positive in relation to the
negative electrode, but negative to it. The positive post, like
the positive electrode, is called positive, because it is the
positive end of the sectional magnet next behind it. And the
negative post, as also the negative electrode, is called negative
because it is the negative end of the sectional magnet next in advance
of it.

Next: The Central Point Of The Circuit

Previous: The Electric Circuit

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