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By D. J. Dewhurst (Auth.)

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F I G . 6 . 5 . Electrolytic capacitors. 50 AN INTRODUCTION TO BIOMEDICAL INSTRUMENTATION It should be noted that electrolytic capacitors are polarised] unless specially designed they cannot be used with alternating voltages, and in a direct voltage circuit must be arranged so that the end marked as positive connects to the positive side of the supply. They are almost instantly destroyed if this is overlooked. Variable capacitors in the range 1-1000 pF are also available in a wide variety of forms, with either ceramic or air dielectric.

In larger machines a pair of slip rings is used, as shown in Fig. 4. F I G . 3. Two rotating conductors in series. ALTERNATING CURRENTS 39 F I G . 4. Rotor and slip rings. If a resistive load is connected to the output of such an alternator, a. current will flow through the circuit. f. at that instant (Ohm's law is valid at any instant). The current through the load will also be sinusoidal in form; it will be an alternating current, as in Fig. 5. R = IO O H M S F I G . 5. Alternating current in resistive load.

The circuit of a simple thermistor thermometer is shown in Fig. 6, and the front and rear views of such an instrument in Fig. 7. The meter used has a 50 /xA movement, and is calibrated for the range 20 to 45°C. To calibrate the instrument, the thermistor is placed in water at exactly 20O°C, and potentiometer 1 is adjusted to balance the bridge, giving a meter reading of 20°C. ) Then the thermistor is transferred to water at a temperature in the range 40-45°C, and potentiometer 2 adjusted to give the correct reading.

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