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Applications of the Microphone Principle


AN interesting booklet upon applications of the microphone principle has been written by Messrs. Jensen and Sieveking, of the physical laboratories in Hamburg and Karlsruhe.1 By the term “microphone principle” the authors mean all those phenomena which are due to the change of ohmic resistance between loose contacts. The memoir contains a very exhaustive collection of what is to be found scattered in scientific literature from the time of Munck of Rosenschoeld, to the present day. The explanation that in loose contacts the nearer approach of the particles resulting from the application of pressure is the cause of the diminished resistance observed, is ascribed to du Moncel and Beetz, who gave it almost simultaneously, though independently. Among the early practical applications of this property of loose contacts was Hughes's induction balance, which is so well known that no lengthy reference need be given here. A less known though also interesting application may, however, be mentioned, namely, the demonstration of nodes and antinodes in acoustic waves in cylindrical vessels. By lowering a small microphone into the cylinder. Fossati succeeded in locating the position of the nodes and antinodes by means of a telephone receiver connected with the microphone. The sound waves impinging against the loose contacts produce a rasping sound in the telephone, which vanishes when the microphone reaches the position of a node. In a darkened room minute sparks may be seen between the microphone plates when the microphone is in the position of an antiriode.


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KAPP, G. Applications of the Microphone Principle . Nature 75, 153 (1906).

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