Key Concepts Related to the Leyden Jar

Battery —  a term originally coined by Franklin to refer to a group of Leyden Jars connected to each other. After Volta’s discovery of the voltaic pile (see below), the term is used to refer to a chemical battery.

Capacitance — the ability of a dielectric material to store an electric charge; measured in Farads.

Capacitor — a modern version of the Leyden Jar. A common component in electronic circuits.

Circuit — an electrically conductive circle that includes a source of electricity

Compass, Magnetic Compass — a mariner’s tool; a round disk with a magnetized needle that turns to point north as the compass is moved about. Ørsted discovered that the needle also moved in the presence of an electric current

Conductor — a material (metals in particular) that allows for an easy transmission of electricity

Dielectric — an insulating material, such as glass, amber, sulfur, shellac, that, when one side receives an electric charge, produces a polar opposite charge on the other side. 

Frequency — the number of electromagnetic cycles per second, measured in Hertz.

Galvanic Electricity — originally the idea that animal bodies could generate electricity. After Volta’s discovery of a chemical battery, Galvanic electricity also referred to electricity produced by a chemical battery

Galvanometer — a modified magnetic compass that indicates the presence of an electric current

Insulator — a material, such as glass, that hinders the transmission of electricity

Induction — the phenomenon, discovered by Faraday, that an electric current in one circuit can create a current in another nearby circuit.

Leyden Jar — a glass jar with a metal foil coating on both the inside and the outside, which is capable of holding an electric charge

Mutual Inductance — the transferring of current from one conductor to another. This transference is more readily accomplished between wire coils.

Static Electricity — electricity generated by friction as, for example, when walking sock-footed across a carpet in winter

Torsion Balance — an instrument invented by Charles-Augustin de Coulomb for measuring the degree of electric tension. 

Transformer  — two coils of wire wrapped around either side of an iron ring core, which couples the magnetic fields of the two coils. Often used with modern electronic circuits to step-down (decrease) the incoming voltage.

Voltaic Pile — a chemical battery consisting of alternating metal disks, such as zinc and copper, in a saline solution or acid that produces electric energy