Museo Galileo
Virtual Museum
Nobili's portable galvanometer for "hydroelectricity"
    • Setting:
      Room XVI
    • Inventor:
      Leopoldo Nobili
    • Maker:
    • Date:
      ca. 1830
    • Materials:
      wood, brass, iron, lead, paper
    • Dimensions:
      total height 190 mm, base (with ring) 165 mm
    • Inventory:
    • Nobili's portable galvanometer for "hydroelectricity" (Inv. 1276)

The black wooden base carries a lead stabilizing ring painted red. A cylindrical glass cover carries the suspension for the astatic needles. The coil, wound on a boxwood bobbin, has many windings of fine wire, probably silver, covered with silk. The number of windings and the diameter of the coil wire depended on the use of the galvanometer: measurement of thermoelectric currents (produced by thermoelectric couples or piles), magneto-electric currents produced in magnetic experiments, or "hydroelectric" currents generated by chemical action. In this laboratory version of Nobili's galvanometer, many features of the large galvanometer (inv. 1324) were stripped down. Provenance: Lorraine collections.