charge and carry capacitor

From: Paul Doherty (
Date: Fri Apr 24 1998 - 18:50:40 PDT

Hi Steve

So you've filled a film can with water
poked a metal nail through the cover into the water.
wrapped the outside of the can in aluminum foil making sure the foil
doesn't touch the nail.

you've rubbed the styrofoam plate with hair or wool so that it is charged
(When charged it will wiggle arm hair on an arm moved close to and across
the rubbed surface.)
and lowered the metal pie plate with the styrofoam cup handle onto the
charged styrofoam plate.
touched the plate with your finger.
removed the plate from the styrofoam using the styrofoam cup handle and
being careful to let nothing else come near the plate.

and ta da!
touched the nail in the capacitor to the aluminum plate while holding the
aluminum foil outside the film can in your hand.

you now have a charged capacitor.
touch the aluminum with your finger and the nail with your thumb and you
will get a small shock.

The great thing is you can repeat the charging process 10 times and get a
large (but still safe shock!)

If you've done these things and still have problems ask again and I'll tell
you where the main short circuits are likely to appear.

Paul D

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.3 : Mon Apr 24 2006 - 11:34:46 PDT