The insulators are planted on creosoted oak arms, 21 in.
In diameter, charged to a negative potential of at least 2000 volts, is supported between insulators in the open, usually at a height of about 2 metres.
The advantage of the high conducting power which copper possesses Over- is of especial value in moist climates (like that of the United Kingdom), since the effect of leakage over the surface of the damp insulators is much less noticeable when the conducting power of the wire is high than when it is low, especially when the line is a long one.
The climatic conditions in the British Islands are such that it is not possible to maintain, in unfavourable weather, a higher standard than that named, which is the insulation obtained when all the insulators are in perfect condition and only the normal leakage, due to moisture, is present.
Under the action of the same or identical electric forces the intensity of this state in various insulators is determined by a quality of them called their dielectric constant, specific inductive capacity or inductivity.
The 11th series (1837) deals with electrostatic induction and the statement of the important fact of the specific inductive capacity of insulators or dielectrics.
This shows that some bodies are conductors and others non-conductors or insulators of electricity, and that bodies can be electrified by friction and impart their electric charge to other bodies.
A number of metallic points, supported on insulators, were connected by wires enclosing several hundred square metres on the top of a hill.
In examining the dissipation which takes place along imperfectly insulating substances, he found that a thread of gum-lac was the most perfect of all insulators; that it insulated ten times as well as a dry silk thread; and that a silk thread covered with fine sealing-wax insulated as powerfully as gum-lac when it had four times its length.
He found also that the dissipation of electricity along insulators was chiefly owing to adhering moisture, but in some measure also to a slight conducting power.
At the time when Maxwell developed his theory the dielectric constants of only a few transparent insulators were known and these were for the most part measured with steady or unidirectional electromotive force.
It has long been known that air and other gases at the pressure of the atmosphere were very perfect insulators, but that when they were rarefied and contained in glass tubes with platinum electrodes sealed through the glass, electricity could be passed through them under sufficient electromotive force and produced a luminous appearance known as the electric glow discharge.