She extracted the few filament-like strands and held them in her fingertips.
Fleming invented in 1904 a detector called an oscillation valve or glow lamp detector made as follows: 1 A small carbon filament incandescent lamp has a platinum plate or cylinder placed in it surrounding or close to the filament.
Fleming discovered that if the filament is made incandescent by the current from an insulated battery there is a unilateral conductivity of the rarefied gas between the hot filament and the metal plate, such that if the negative terminal of the filament is connected outside the lamp through a coil in which electric oscillations are created with the platinum plate, only one half of the oscillations are permitted to pass, viz., those which carry negative electricity from the hot filament to the cooled plate through the vacuous space.
Such an oscillation valve was first used by Fleming as a receiver for wireless telegraph purposes in 1904 as follows: - In between the receiving antenna and the earth is placed the primary coil of an oscillation transformer; the secondary circuit of this transformer contains a galvanometer in series with it, and the two together are joined between the external negative terminal of the carbon filament of the above-described lamp and the insulated platinum plate.
Wehnelt discovered that the same effect could be produced by using instead of a carbon filament a platinum wire covered with the oxides of calcium or barium, which when incandescent have the property of copiously emitting negative ions.