By H. A. Lorentz (auth.)
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Extra info for Collected Papers: Volume VIII
As regards the motion of electricity in metals, the view generally accepted formally was that in a conducting wire the two electricities moved with equal velocities in opposite directions. lf this were indeed the case, so that both played exactly the same part, one could derive from a state existing in some certain case 1 ) Lecture held on Oct. 26 1920 at the meeting of the section for electrical engineering of the K. Inst. v. Ing. In the lecture, actually delivered, the mathematical developments and a fewotherpartsof the following were omitted.
33 charged hard rubber disc, rapidly rotating in its plane, deflected a magnetic needle suspended at some distance in exactly the same way as could be done by a current flowing in a circular coil. The experiment has been repeated in many different forms and there can be no doubt that, when a charged sphere, for instance, is moved to and fro along a straight line it will produce waves of the samekindas can be obtained by an alternating current along that line. Samething like this sphere, on a much smaller scale, a minute particle carrying an electric charge and vibrating in the interior of an atom, might weil be the origin of the light which the atom radiates.
The potential energy of the vibrator - we may think here of an ordinary pendulum because the same is true for all kinds of vibrators - has its smallest value in the position of equilibrium. lf this value is taken to be zero, the potential energy will be positive in all other positions and it may be shown that its mean value will be equal to that of the kinetic energy. Hence, if we take half the total energy weshall have the mean value of each of the two parts. In the hydrogen atom the potential energy increases when the electron gets farther away from the nucleus.