I THOUGHT it might be welcome to some of your readers to be made acquainted with the following simple and cheap instruments which I have now used for some years with advantage in lectures, and also for many scientific purposes. They are electrometers, which are divided directly into volts. The needle, which is made of aluminium, moves about a horizontal axis of hard steel, and is repelled from the vertical brass piece connected with the knob above. The instruments have the advantage that they are much easier of manipulation than the gold-leaf electroscope, while the sensibility is nearly the same, and fully suffices for all lecture purposes. Potentials are read off directly in volts, so that the measurements in the experiments on electrostatics and electrodynamics can all be referred to the same unit, whereby the conception of the student gains in distinctness, and the lecture in simplicity. In consequence of the specially careful workmanship, the needle adjusts itself quickly and with certainty, so that readings may be made to about 10 volts. The back and front consist of glass disks 1 mm. thick, each of which covers a plate of zinc of the same size, out of which are cut two equal and opposite slits, through which the position of the needle on the brass scale is read off. The readings of the instrument are only correct when these plates are in position.
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BRAUN, F. Absolute Electrometer for Lecture Purposes. Nature 46, 150 (1892). https://doi.org/10.1038/046150b0