The Flying to Pieces of a Whirling Ring


I IMAGINE that many experimentalists who have had to employ whirling apparatus running at a dangerously high speed must have come to the same conclusion as Dr. Lodge in finding the limit of safety. When designing the magnetic ring, which the late Dr. Guthrie and I used in investigating the conductivity of liquids, I arrived at the same result—namely, that each material when in the form of a ring has a limiting linear speed depending only on its tenacity and density. The same is true of a portion of a ring held by the ends moving about its centre of curvature, provided that it is so long that its stiffness is not a material factor. It did not, however, occur to me that an Atlantic cable of the same density as sea-water would fly to pieces; and I don't now clearly understand why this should be so, or, if so, why the ocean would in such a case hold together, having the same density as the cable.

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BOYS, C. The Flying to Pieces of a Whirling Ring. Nature 43, 463 (1891).

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