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This chronometer has been adapted to record the response time of a nerve to a stimulus. The patient is touched with the ball-topped metal rod, which has been charged by an electromagnet. Once they have felt the current, they press down on the tweezers-like rod in their hand. This cuts the current and holds the needle on the dial in place so a reading in hundredths of a second can be taken. This chronometer was invented by Jacques-Arsène d'Arsonval (1851-1940), a biophysicist. His chronometer could determine the extent and location of damage to the nervous system, as injured nerves took longer to transmit stimuli.

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Related Themes and Topics



Glossary: electromagnet

Magnet constructed from a soft iron core around which is wound a coil of wire. A magnetic field is generated when an electric current is passed through the wire.

Glossary: chronometer

An accurate timepiece.

Glossary: chronograph - timer

Timepieces used to register the time of an event or graphically register specific time intervals, such as for the duration of events.