Nuove esperienze elettriche secondo la teoria del Sig. Beniamino Franklin e le produzioni del P. Beccaria

Research output: Book/ReportScholarly edition


[Autom. eng. transl.] The "New electrical experiments according to the theory of Mr. Franklin and the productions of P. Beccaria" are the work with which the Piarist Carlo Barletti (1735-1800), professor of experimental physics at the University of Pavia, made himself known scientific community. In this book, published in 1771, Barletti presents a detailed account of numerous experiments carried out in the laboratory, accompanied by theoretical reflections in a field of investigation, that of electrical phenomena, in which he had been engaged for several years now. As the title of the work attests without the possibility of ambiguity, Barletti proposes to adduce new experimental evidence in favor of the theory of Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), also supported by Giambattista Beccaria (1716-1781), one of the great "electricians" eighteenth-century Italians. According to this theory, there is only one fluid or "electric fire," in the sense that electricity consists in withdrawing electric fluid from one body and pouring it into another. All Barletti's experiments are carried out on the basis of Franklin's theory, creating, so to speak, a circular procedure, where the experimental evidence can only prove it further. In New Experiences, their author also provides an accurate description of the main electrical appliances of the time, from the electric car to the Leyden jar and Franklin's painting, as well as the concepts used to explain their effects. The work represents an extraordinary synthesis of what was the state of the art in the field of electrical phenomena in the second half of the 18th century, showing a Baconian-type philosophical orientation, as well as the "Enlightenment" idea that technical apparatuses, such as Franklin's lightning rod, are public utility tools.
Original languageItalian
Number of pages155
ISBN (Print)9788837233792
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Carlo Barletti, Benjamin Franklin, Giambattista Beccaria, electric fluid, electrical machine, Lightning-Rod, public utility
  • Carlo Barletti, Benjamin Franklin, Giambattista Beccaria, fluido elettrico, macchina elettrica, parafulmine, pubblica utilità

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