American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- adj. Unsteady; unstable.
- adj. Physics Having no particular directional characteristics.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Unstable; unsteady.
- Hence In physical, having no tendency to take a definite (fixed) position; without directive power: used especially of a magnetic needle whose directive property has been neutralized. A needle may be rendered astatic in various ways, but most simply by the proximity of another needle of the same intensity fixed parallel to it, and with the poles reversed, the north pole of the one being adjacent to the south pole of the other. In this position the needles neutralize each other, and are therefore unaffected by the magnetism of the earth, though they are still subject to the influence of an electric current properly situated. Such needles were formerly employed in the electric telegraph, and they form an essential part of the astatic galvanometer.
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. (Magnetism) Having little or no tendency to take a fixed or definite position or direction: thus, a suspended magnetic needle, when rendered
astatic, loses its polarity, or tendency to point in a given direction.
- adj. not static or stable
- a- + static (Wiktionary)
“Quartz fibres have two great advantages over other forms of suspension when employed for any kind of torsion balance, from an ordinary more or less "astatic" galvanometer to the Cavendish apparatus.”
“There is much worry and misery in the world because so many are astatic, like a compass that has lost its loadstone.”
“The loafing or astatic mind will fall into morbid tendencies.”
“This magnet is capable of rendering the needle less sensitive or of making it astatic.”
“Horizontal and vertical astatic system are also used -- Figs. 18, 18a.”
“The most convenient way will be to use two coils, one on each side of the astatic needle.”
“Hang the astatic needle so that the wire between the two parts will not quite touch the coil.”
“For a description of the wood-work, coil, etc., see App. 112; for the astatic needle see App. 69; for the method of supporting the needle see App. 113, Fig. 86.”
“By this the astatic needle is suspended and protected from air currents.”
“This coil, etc., may be used in connection with an astatic needle.”
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