Rotating zinc cathodes were used, with scrapers to prevent the accumulation of a layer of insoluble magnesium compounds, which would otherwise increase the electrical resistance beyond reasonable limits.
He also investigated electrical endosmosis and the electrical resistance of electrolytes.
He discovered a fact subsequently rediscovered by others, that a tube of metallic filings, loosely packed, was sensitive to electric sparks made in its vicinity, its electrical resistance being reduced, and he was able to detect effects on such a tube connected to a battery and telephone at a distance of 500 yds.'
The fact, which will be referred to later, that the electrical resistance of bismuth is very greatly affected by a magnetic field has been applied in the construction of apparatus for measuring field intensity.
Manganese not only forms with iron several alloys of great interest, but alloyed with copper it is used for electrical purposes, as an alloy can thus be obtained with an electrical resistance that does not alter with change of temperature; this alloy, called manganin, is used in the construction of resistance-boxes.