The galvanometer which is used for ballistic observations should have a somewhat heavy needle with a period of vibration of not less than five seconds, so that the transient current may have ceased before the swing has well begun; an instrument of the d'Arsonval form is recommended, not only because it is unaffected by outside magnetic influence, but also because the moving part can be instantly brought to rest by means of a short-circuit key, thus effecting a great saving of time when a series of observations is being made.
Grassot has devised a galvanometer, or " fluxmeter," which greatly alleviates the tedious operation of taking ballistic readings.2 The instrument is of the d'Arsonval type; its coil turns in a strong uniform field, and is suspended in such a manner that torsion is practically negligible, the swings of the coil being limited by damping influences, chiefly electromagnetic. The index therefore remains almost stationary at the limit of its deflection, and the deflection is approximately the same whether the change of induction occurs suddenly or gradually.
The short-circuit key F is kept closed except when an observation is about to be made; its object is to arrest the swing of the d'Arsonval galvano 1 E.
Stanley D'Arsonval type.
The currents induced in the coil are led to a dead-beat D'Arsonval galvanometer having the same natural period of vibration as the pendulum.