The illumination so instantly yours

2017-07-13 11:28:10 | 日記
The illumination so instantly yours whenever you flip a simple light switch comes from nearly two centuries of discovery and innovation. It started in 1811 when Sir Humphrey Davy found that passing an electrical arc between two poles would produce light. This led to the installation of arc lamps in European and American cities by the mid-1800s. But they burned out too quickly to be practical.Various inventors grappled with the problem until James Prescott Joule theorized that electrical current passing through a resistant conductor would glow white-hot with heat energy turned to luminous energy. The challenge was to come up with the right conductor, or filament, and to contain it in an oxygen-free housing.The solution came in 1879 when America's Thomas Alva Edison and Britain's Sir Joseph Wilson Swan simultaneously invented the electric light bulb. (That in itself is amazing.)Swan was first to construct a light bulb but had trouble maintaining a vacuum. Edison achieved a few hours of glow time with a platinum filament in a glass vacuum bulb. "We are striking it big. Where this thing is going to stop, Lord only knows," said Edison. And Edison certainly was unstoppable.Determined to develop a longer burning system that would require less electrical power, Edison tested untold thousands of filament materials including the carbonized filaments of every living plant imaginable. "I ransacked the world for the most suitable filament material," he said after testing no fewer than 6,000 vegetable growths! Whatta guy. By late 1880 Edison had developed a 16-watt light bulb that could last for 1500 hours. Lewis Howard Latimer then invented a way to manufacture carbon filaments. He also patented a threaded wooden socket for light bulbs. Can you imagine, a socket made of wood.So began the light bulb. The gas lamp faded into history. And today, just look at the endless variety of light bulbs. From the practical to the novelty, able to so effortlessly light up your life.
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