• Use a power supply (not shown) to run current through the 0.1m coils. Use the power supply shown to spin up disk to approx. 4000 rpm (Mike Brown can tell you how to determine the rpm). A potential difference between the outer rim of the wheel and the axel is induced and can be measured using a voltmeter.
  • Located in storage room, L-50.

Wimshurst Generator

Wimshurst Generator Demo Picture
Wimshurst Generator Demo Picture

  • Hand-cranked charge separator. Generate large sparks for
    entertainment or for use in various electrostatic experiments.
  • Use generator to charge capacitor plates or Leyden Jar.
  • Dip conductive pith ball in between parallel plate capacitor
    hooked to W-generator; crank W-generator; pith ball bounces back and forth
    between plates.
  • Located in L01; section A2, covered in plastic bag.

Crude Generator and Motor


Crude Generator and Motor demo picture
Crude Generator and Motor demo picture

  • Purpose: Demonstrate the importance of electromagnetic induction
    in the operation of generators and motors.
  • Motors (right photo) consist of small coils of wire suspended
    above niodym-magnets; coils rest upon bent wires, and bent wires are connected,
    via clip leads, to a battery pack.
  • Generator (left photo) consists of a small coil of wire suspended
    above a niodymium magnet; coil rests upon leads which are connected to a multimeter.


  • Generators and Motors located in L01, section B4
  • Multi-meter in L35, section F3
  • Battery packs in L35, section E1.
  • Clip-clip cables in L35, section E3


Force on Dielectric


Force on Dielectric demo photo

  • When capacitor is charged by Wimshurst generator, dielectric plate experiences a force, pulling plate into capacitor.


  • Capacitor, dielectric plate, and balance arm: L01, section B1.
  • Wimshurst generator: L01, Section A2.


Van de Graaff Gen.


Van de Graaff Generator demo picture

  • Principle: Static electricity is cool.
  • Located in L01, section A2
  • Van de Graaf accessories are located beneath Van de Graaff
    generator in plastic containers.

Some ideas for experiments beyond the typical shock-myself-and-my-students:

  • Bend a paper clip into an L shape and tape it to the charged sphere to create
    an ion gun; point the paper clip at the palm of your hand to feel the “ion
    wind”. Point the paper clip at your shirt to charge your shirt up- after
    30 seconds shirt should begin sticking to your chest.
  • Place a cup of styrofoam peanuts, or a stack of styro or aluminum plates
    on top of the sphere, turn on generator and watch stuff fly.
  • Dim the room lights, touch one end of a fluorescent bulb to the charged
    sphere and the other end of the bulb to the small discharging sphere. Bulb
    will flicker.
  • Using a squirt gun shoot a stream of water past the charged sphere; water
    should ionize and stream will disperse.





Beats Demo




  • Listen to beat frequencies through speakers, while simultaneously┬áseeing waves with oscilloscope. Use scope’s math function to add waves together. Resultant wave (shown in red, above) displays beats.
  • Demo consists of 2 function generators, 2 speakers, and one
  • Located in L02, section C2; Oscilloscope located in L35,
    section F4