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Physics Girl

DIY Lightning Experiment! Make a SHOCKING Capacitor

May 25, 2017

Create "lightning" in your living room!

Check out PBS SpaceTime here:
https://www.youtube.com/PBSSpaceTime
A quantum video to start with:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-MNSLsjjdo

Make giant sparks by building up static charge on a homemade 2-plate capacitor, and discharging through a grounded rod. Watch as my friend Ashley agrees to touch the charged-up capacitor. How is it possible to touch such a high voltage? Well, the spark looks dramatic, but the bowl can only hold a small, limited amount of charge, so the current is low.

The inspiration for this video and tips on how to improve the capacitor were thanks to Scott at notabs.org. Original video here with an impressive 10 inch spark! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWGIYd4W5_A

Creator/Host: Dianna Cowern
Editor: Jabril Ashe
Animations: Kyle Norby
Research: Sophia Chen

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