Theory and Laws of the Microphone

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Two hypotheses have been projected to explain the action of the microphone. One is molecular exclusively, and supposes that the molecules of certain conducting bodies contract and dilate under sonorous vibrations. Changes of density correspond with an increase or diminution of the resistance of the circuit. This hypothesis renders the phenomena analogous to those which selenium presents under the influence of light and radiant heat. The other explanation, partly mechanical and partly molecular, is the result of a discovery made some time since by M. du Moncel, according to whom the increase or diminution in resistance is due to changes of pressure at the points of electric contact. These changes of pressure are effected by the vibration of the air; hence the cause and the effect are similar.

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OCHOROWICZ, J. Theory and Laws of the Microphone. Nature 20, 361–362 (1879) doi:10.1038/020361a0

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