Is there, I ask, can there be, a more interesting study than that of alternating currents?
In all these investigations, in all these experiments, which are so very, very interesting, for many years past ever since the greatest experimenter who lectured in this hall discovered its principle we have had a steady companion, an appliance familiar to every one, a plaything once, a thing of momentous importance now the induction coil.
There is no dearer appliance to the electrician. From the ablest among you, I dare say, down to the inexperienced student, to your lecturer, we all have passed many delightful hours in experimenting with the induction coil. We have watched its play, and thought and pondered over the beautiful phenomena which it disclosed to our ravished eyes. So well known is this apparatus, so familiar are these phenomena to every one, that my courage nearly fails me when I think that I have ventured to address so able an audience, that I have ventured to entertain you with that same old subject.
Here in reality is the same apparatus, and here are the same phenomena, only the apparatus is operated somewhat differently, the phenomena are presented in a different aspect. Some of the results we find as expected, others surprise us, but all captivate our attention, for in scientific investigation each novel result achieved may be the centre of a new departure, each novel fact learned may lead to important developments.