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from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • In electricity, noting the property of metals of not being able to maintain an alternating arc under certain conditions, but of blowing it out explosively. This property is shown more by some metals (as zinc, mercury, etc.) than by others (as copper and aluminium) and is utilized in making the terminals of lightning-arresters to keep the machine-current from following the lightning-discharge as are.


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