Divisibility of Electric Light


IN all communications on this subject in NATURE and elsewhere, the division of light is considered only with reference to parallel circuits, and this naturally causes great loss of light by the law that heating is proportional to the square of the current. But in electric circuits their resistance has always to be considered; and if two lamps are taken parallel, only half the resistance of the one lamp is obtained, and such resistance can be obtained by taking two parallel circuits of two lamps in series in each; the light obtained then is one quarter in each lamp, as half the current is flowing through each circuit, and as four quarters make a whole, no loss of light is caused by division in such a method of one current to any number of lamps. There are certainly practical difficulties in the way of burning lamps in series, though these are greatly diminished if incandescent wire is used as the light-emitting source. However, there is no inherent reason why the electric light should be wasteful in division, as is described by Mr. Trant.

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JACOB, F. Divisibility of Electric Light. Nature 19, 73 (1878). https://doi.org/10.1038/019073c0

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