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One of the causes of radio static has been discovered as the result of the development of a new instrument which enables scientists to detect imperfections in insulations used for very high voltages. The device, a perfected high-voltage bridge, has been developed at the Graduate School of Engineering by Chester L. Dawes, associate professor of Electrical Engineering, and Reuben Reiter.
Experimentation has revealed that atmospheric humidity is an until now unsuspected cause of inefficiency in porcelain and glass electrical insulators such as are used on high-tension lines. It appears that one of the causes of radio interference is due to the high-voltage "static" discharges over the surface of such insulators.
Delicate measurements, impossible before, show that humidity causes increased loss of power over a period of time compared with the action when the insulator was kept "clean."
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