The gold leaf electroscope has a very very thin piece of gold foil (called gold leaf) fixed at the top to a piece of copper. The copper has a large round top, called. A gold-leaf electroscope is an instrument used (mainly historically) for the measurement of electric charge or potential. The gold leaf mounts to the central rod, and deflects due to the charge on the Before beginning your experiments with your electroscope, the gold leaf foil must .

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Similar charges repel each other and so leeaf leaf rises away from the plate – the bigger the charge the more the leaf rises. The two methods give the gold leaf opposite charges. Abraham Benneta clergyman and man of science, first described the instrument in Philosophical Transactions in An earth terminal prevents the case from becoming live. Kolbe electrometer, precision form of gold-leaf instrument.

Electricity, Magnetism and Ligh. The pith is a nonconductorso the electrons in the ball are bound to atoms of the pith and are not free to leave the atoms and move about in the ball, but they can move a little within the atoms.

The gold leaf electroscope, like the one illustrated here, first appeared in the latter part of the 18th century.


When the charged object is moved away, the charge at the terminal spreads into the leaves, causing them to spread apart again. If the object is charged, the ball will be attracted to it and move toward it. The greater the angle, they ascertained, the electriscope the repulsion and the greater the charge present.

Last modified on 10 December An electroscope is a device used to detect an electric charge. A type of electroscope is also used in the quartz fiber radiation dosimeter. Abraham Bennet first described this version in The leaf G diverges further from R.

A disk or ball terminal is attached to the top of the rod, where the charge to be tested is applied. This can be achieved by touching P briefly with your finger.

1.4: Experiments with a Gold-leaf Electroscope

The electroscope can be charged in two ways: You can verify this by approaching P alternately elwctroscope a plastic negative or glass positive rod, and watch what happens to the gold leaf. When charged the vane is repelled by the plate and hangs at an angle. The electroscope can also be charged without touching it to a charged object, by electrostatic induction.

The repulsion-based electroscope generally supplanted the versorium in the s. It was the first electrical measuring instrument.

In addition, they found that the electroscope was useful in determining the relative amount of charge elecgroscope. Electroscopes generally give only a rough, qualitative indication of the magnitude of the charge. This allows one to tell at a glance whether the pith balls are charged.


D The electroscope is positively charged when the finger, and then the rod, is removed — thus some positive charges at the plate spread the leaves and they repel each other and diverge. A glass front prevents air draughts but allows you to watch the behaviour of the leaf.

Gold Leaf Electroscope – 1787

Views Read Edit View history. To keep breezes, moisture and other outside influences from disturbing results, some researchers began housing the components of their electroscopes in glass jars or other vessels. Electroscopes detect electric charge by the motion of a test object due to the Coulomb electrostatic force. When a charge is put on the disc at the top it spreads down to the glod and leaf.

Experiments with a Gold-leaf Electroscope – Physics LibreTexts

Archived April 19,at the Wayback Machine. The leaves close because the charge is all concentrated at the terminal end. For the 19th century conceptual model of television, see Telectroscope.