Our old friend, the capacitor

Here, we are again taking a super close-up look inside the power supply from an A500. You’ll notice a couple of capacitors there, which is what prompted our trivia question. The answer might go further back than you think.

It turns out the capacitor was invented in 1746 by Pieter van Musschenbroek at the University of Leyden. This first capacitor was called the Leyden jar, and there wasn’t actually a use for it at the time. But it did allow other scientists to do a greater variety of experiments with electricity.

Notable among those was Benjamin Franklin. He used a Leyden jar to store electricity from lightning in the kite experiments of legend, proving that lightning was electricity.

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