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Leyden jar Line breaks: Ley¦den jar
Pronunciation: /ˈlʌɪd(ə)n/

Definition of Leyden jar in English:


An early form of capacitor consisting of a glass jar with layers of metal foil on the outside and inside.
Example sentences
  • The Leyden jar is a primitive capacitor, first used for containing electrical spirits and demons by Rabbi Levi of Prague in the sixteenth century.
  • One experimenter described to the Royal Society an encounter with a Leyden jar - a primitive capacitor - that left him with a bleeding nose and ‘a heaviness in my head, as if I had a stone lying upon it’.
  • It is easy to imagine Ben Franklin practicing abduction when he first witnessed a spark discharge from the Leyden jars in which he had stored large electric charges.


Mid 18th century: named after Leyden (see Leiden), where it was invented (1745).

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