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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The conductance of electrolytes in high electric fields Birnboim, Meyer Harold


An apparatus was developed to measure the conductance change of electrolytes in the presence of high electric fields to a high degree of accuracy, end is described herein. The apparatus employs square wave pulse excitation to a special conductivity bridge, and permits direct observation of pulse shape on a high speed oscilloscope, as well as separate compensation of resistive and capacitive unbalance. With this apparatus, the high-field electric conductances of several solutions of biologically interesting substances were investigated and classified. The substances investigated, together with the observed increment in electric conductance at a field strength of 10⁵ volts per cm., are listed: 1. glutamine (1.25 x 10⁻⁴M), 0.56% 2. 1 (﹢) arginine monhydrochloride (2.0x10⁻⁴M), 0.48% 3. acetic acid (3.75 x 10⁻⁴M), 4.6% 4. p-amino benzoic acid (5 x 10⁻³M), 5.5% 5. sulfanilic acid (6.55 X 10⁻⁵M), 1.4% 6. 1 (﹢) glutamic acid (1.22 x 10⁻³M), 2.6% 7. glycine (0.61 M), 1.9% 8. protamine sulfate (7.9 x 10⁻⁵g/cc.) 40% 9. agar (3 x 10⁻⁴ g/cc), 37% Some of the observed results have been compared with those obtained by other methods, while the remaining substances have not been previously reported. The results were discussed in the light of available theoretical information on the high-field conductance effect in various types of electrolytes.

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