St Elmo's Fire.-Luminous discharges from masts, lightning conductors, and other pointed objects are not very infrequent, especially during thunderstorms. On the Sonnblick, where the phenomenon is common, Elster and Geitel (87) have found St Elmo's fire to answer to a discharge sometimes of positive sometimes of negative electricity.
In 1727 he gained the prize given by the Academie des Sciences for his paper "On the best manner of forming and distributing the masts of ships"; and two other prizes, one for his dissertation "On the best method of observing the altitude of stars at sea," the other for his paper "On the best method of observing the variation of the compass at sea."
38 6), the insulated wires or plates being upheld by masts, its operation is as follows: - When the key in the primary circuit of the induction coil is pressed the transmitting antenna wire is alternately charged to a high potential and discharged with the production of high frequency oscillations in it.
The wood is strong, light and very elastic, forming an excellent material for small masts and spars, for which purpose the trunks are used in America, and exported largely to England.
From early historic times it has been held in high estimation in the south of Europe, being used by the Romans for masts and all purposes for which timber of great length was required.