Alternating current resistance and capacity measurements have been made from 1.08 103 to 2.32 106 cycles per second on suspensions of unfertilized, fertilized, and swollen unfertilized eggs of the echinoderm Hipponoë esculenta. A simple method has been developed for measuring the volume concentration of eggs in a suspension.
The membrane of the unfertilized egg is practically non-conducting at low frequencies and shows a static capacity of 0.87 µf/cm.2 except perhaps at the highest frequencies. The equivalent specific resistance of the egg interior is 11 times that of sea water.
The membrane of the fertilized egg is practically non-conducting at low frequencies and shows a static capacity 2.5 times that of the unfertilized egg except at the higher frequencies where another reactive element produces a marked effect. The internal resistance is apparently higher than that of the unfertilized egg.
The static capacity per unit area of the membrane decreases as a linear function of the surface area when the eggs are swollen in dilute sea water. In 40 per cent sea water, the capacity falls to about 75 per cent of normal.