This section is from "Scientific American Supplement Volumes 275, 286, 288, 299, 303, 312, 315, 324, 344 and 358". Also available from Amazon: Scientific American Reference Book.
At a recent meeting of the London Physical Society, Mr. C. Vernon Boys read a paper on "Integrating Apparatus." After referring to his original "cart" machine for integrating, described at a former meeting of the society, he showed how he had been led to construct the new machine exhibited, in which a cylinder is caused to reciprocate longitudinally in contact with a disk, and give the integral by its rotation. Integrators were of three kinds: (1) radius machines; (2) cosine machines; (3) tangent machines. Sliding friction and inertia render the first two kinds unsuitable where there are delicate forces or rapid variation in the function to be integrated. Tangent machines depend on pure rolling, and the inertia and friction are inappreciable. They are, therefore, more practical than the other sort. It is to this class that Mr. Boys' machines belong. The author then described a theoretical tangent integrator depending on the mutual rolling of two smoke rings, and showed how the steering of a bicycle or wheelbarrow could be applied to integrate directly with a cylinder either the quotient or product of two functions. If the tangent wheel is turned through a right angle at starting, the machine will integrate reciprocals, or it can be made to integrate functions by an inverse process. If instead of a cylinder some other surface of evolution is employed as an integrating surface, then special integrations can be effected. He showed a polar planimeter in which the integrating surface is a sphere. A special use of these integrators is for finding the total work done by a fluid pressure reciprocating engine. The difference of pressure on the two sides of the piston determines the tangent of the inclination of the tangent wheel which runs on the integrating cylinder; while the motion of the latter is made to keep time with that of the piston. In this case the number of evolutions of the cylinder measures the total amount of work done by the engine. The disk cylinder integrator may also be applied to find the total amount of work transmitted by shafting or belting from one part of a factory to another. An electric current meter may be made by giving inclination to the disk, which is for this purpose made exceedingly small and delicate, by means of a heavy magnetic needle deflected by the current. This, like Edison's, is a direction meter; but a meter in which no regard is paid to the direction of the current can be made by help of an iron armature of such a shape that the force with which it is attracted to fill the space between the poles of an electro-magnet is inversely as its displacement. Then by resisting this motion by a spring or pendulum the movement is proportional to the current, and a tangent wheel actuated by this movement causes the reciprocating cylinder on which it runs to integrate the current strength. Mr. Boys exhibited two such electric energy meters, that is, machines which integrate the product of the current strength by the difference of potential between two points with respect to time. In these the main current is made to pass through a pair of concentric solenoids, and in the annular space between these is hung a solenoid, the upper half of which is wound in the opposite direction to the lower half. By the use of what Mr. Boys calls "induction traps" of iron, the magnetic force is confined to a small portion of the suspended solenoid, and by this means the force is independent of the position. The solenoid is hung to one end of a beam, and its motion is resisted by a pendulum weight, by which the energy meters may be regulated like clocks to give standard measure. The beam carries the tangent wheels, and the rotation of the cylinder gives the energy expanded in foot-pounds or other measures. The use of an equal number of turns in opposite directions on the movable solenoid causes the instrument to be uninfluenced by external magnetic forces. Mr. Boys showed on the screen an image of an electric arc, and by its side was a spot of light, whose position indicated the energy, and showed every flicker of the light and fluctuation of current in the arc. He showed on the screen that if the poles are brought too near the energy expended is less, though the current is stronger, and that if the poles are too far apart, though the electromotive force is greater the energy is less; so that the apparatus may be made to find the distance at which the greatest energy, and so the greatest heat and light, may be produced.
At the conclusion of the paper, Prof. W.G. Adams and Prof. G.C. Foster could not refrain from expressing their high admiration of the ingenious and able manner in which Mr. Boys had developed the subject.