Diy electronics ideas

  • Assembling the Electrophorus
    1. StyrofoamTM cup
    2. Disposable aluminum pie pan
    3. Tape, Scotch® (1 roll); do not use any other helpful of tape.
  • Assembling the Leyden Jar
    1. Tap water
    2. Small piece of aluminum foil
    3. Tape, Scotch® (1 roll); do not use any other helpful of tape.
    4. Nail (a plain metallic nail that is slightly longer than the jar you are using)
    5. Hammer
    6. Small plastic jar with lid; a film canister, which is generally made with HDPE (high-density polyethylene) plastic, works extremely well
    7. Spoon
    8. Paper towel
  • Charging the Electrophorus
    1. Assembled electrophorous
    2. Wool cloth (sweater, socks, or wool felt)
    3. Acrylic sheet; available at hardware stores or from The sheet should be larger than the pie pan.

      Acrylic sheets occasionally come with an adhesive piece of plastic stuck to it. This is to protect the surface of the acrylic. Before starting this science fair project, make certain to peel off and remove every adhesive coverings from the acrylic sheet.

    4. A stable wood table or a stable table with a wood top.

      Diy electronics ideas

      Make certain that the table is completely cleared off. Also, before starting, make certain that the table is completely washed and dried off.

  • Measuring the Charge
    1. Tape, Scotch® (1 roll); do not use any other helpful of tape.
    2. Scissors
    3. A piece of insulated wire, 6″ long
    4. Plastic travel soap dish (clamshell variety); the soap dish should be rectangular
    5. Large, flat piece of Styrofoam
    6. Small piece of an aluminum sheet (an aluminum cover for an electrical box works well, as shown in Figure 6); available at hardware stores or from
    7. Wire strippers
    8. Metric ruler
  • General
    1. Lab notebook
    2. Insulated tongs
    3. Fine-tip pen
    4. Graph paper


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    Bibliography

    1. The following website shows diverse homemade Leyden jars and has some additional sources:
      Leyden Jars. (n.d.). Retrieved March 25, , from ~natnkell/
    2. Check out the «Charge and Carry» project on the Exploratorium website:
      Exploratorium. (n.d.). Charge and Carry: Store up an electric charge, then make sparks. Retrieved March 25, , from
    3. This website has a excellent general sheet on capacitors:
      Brain, M. and Bryant, C. (). History of the Capacitor. Retrieved March 25, , from the howstuffworks website:


    Credits

    Michelle Maranowski, PhD, Science Buddies

    This project is based on the «Charge and Carry» project on the Exploratorium website:
    Exploratorium.

    (n.d.). Charge and Carry: Store up an electric charge, then make sparks. Retrieved March 25, from
    The author would love to thank Eric Muller of the Exploratorium’s Teacher Institute for helpful discussions.

    Apple® is a registered trademark of Apple Inc.

    iPhoneTM is a trademark of Apple Inc.

    StyrofoamTM is a registered trademark of The Dow Chemical Company.

    Scotch® is a registered trademark of 3M.


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    Cite This Page

    General citation information is provided here. Be certain to check the formatting, including capitalization, for the method you are using and update your citation, as needed.

    MLA Style

    Science Buddies Staff. «Where There Is Charge, There Can Be Sparks!» Science Buddies, 12 Jan. , Accessed 29 Jan.

    APA Style

    Science Buddies Staff. (, January 12). Where There Is Charge, There Can Be Sparks! Retrieved from

    Final edit date:

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    Introduction

    Static charge is the buildup of charge on an object. In , Ewald Georg von Kleist invented a tool to capture and store static charge. At approximately the same time, Pieter van Musschenbroek from Leiden, the Netherlands, invented a similar tool.

    Diy electronics ideas

    This tool is called the Leyden jar. The Leyden jar provided early electrical experimenters with a way to store electrical charge and then move it to another put to use. You can read more about static electricity in the Science Buddies Electricity, Magnetism, & Electromagnetism Tutorial.

    Leyden jars come in every shapes and sizes, but they every own the same design. The jar, which serves as the insulator, separates an inner conductive layer (or electrode) and an outer conductive layer (also an electrode). Examples of a conductive layer are aluminum foil and gold leaf. There is generally a metal rod with a ball on top placed in the mouth of the jar.

    The rod, or a chain connected to the rod, touches the inner conductor and is the conduit for electrical charge to the jar.

    Figure 1. Inner workings of the Leyden jar. (, )

    Benjamin Franklin was an early electricity experimenter.

    Diy electronics ideas

    He built and experimented with the Leyden jar. One of Franklin’s favorite experiments was the «circle shock.» In the circle shock, a group of people hold hands and one person at the finish of the human chain holds the exterior of the Leyden jar, while the person on the other finish of the human chain touches the inner conductor. If there is enough charge in the jar, every person in the circle will feel a shock. Don’t attempt this experiment, because you can get a nasty shock!

    The original Leyden jar held water as the inner conductor. Early electrical experimenters thought that the charge was held in the water. However, Benjamin Franklin was the first person to figure out that the charge in the Leyden jar is located where the insulator meets the electrode (in this case, the water).

    Thus, water is not required and can be replaced by attaching an electrode, such as aluminum foil, to the inside of the jar. Franklin also connected several Leyden jars together and created what he called a battery. This is not a battery love we know today, but it was a way to store lots of charge for Franklin’s electrical experiments.

    The Leyden jar is an exciting device because it is the precursor to the modern capacitor. A capacitor is an electrical component that is used to store charge, and along with the resistor and batteries (or voltage supply), forms the basis of every circuits.

    Both capacitors and batteries are similar in that they are components that store charge. The major difference between a battery and a capacitor is that a battery produces charge through a chemical reaction. A capacitor is much simpler as it can’t produce charge, it can only store charge. Capacitors are used in timer circuits and logic circuits and a variety of applications.

    Diy electronics ideas

    For example, the screen on the Apple® iPhoneTM is a capacitive touch screen.

    In this science fair project, become Ben Franklin and build your own Leyden jar. You will also build an electrophorus. An electrophorus is a tool that is used for transferring charge to the Leyden jar. Attempt using little jars that you can discover around the home. Experiment with how much charge your Leyden jar can hold. Remember that even a little jar can store a lot of charge, so be extremely careful or you can get a painful shock.

    Figure 2. Leyden jar battery. (Bakken Library and Museum, n.d.)


    Terms and Concepts

    1. Ground
    2. Battery
    3. Capacitor
    4. Electrophorus
    5. Leyden jar
    6. Benjamin Franklin
    7. Static charge
    8. Static electricity generator
    9. Charge dissipation

    Questions

    1. Is there a limit to the quantity of charge the Leyden jar can hold?
    2. What kinds of jars can you use to store charge?
    3. Does changing the size of the electrodes affect the quantity of stored charge?
    4. What kinds of materials can you use to create static charge?
    5. How endless will the Leyden jar hold the charge?

      An hour? A day? This is called charge dissipation and this is a key factor that circuit designers evaluate.


    Abstract

    Own you ever gotten a shock touching a doorknob after walking across a carpet? Static charge is responsible for that shock. Wouldn’t it be cool to save up and store every of that charge in a homemade jar? It would almost be love storing lightning. This science project will show you how to do that.

    Objective

    Learn about one of the building blocks for every types of circuits-the capacitor.

    Diy electronics ideas

    In this science project you will build a Leyden jar capacitor out of common household materials and determine how much charge is stored as you test diverse charge cycles.


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