This is an attempt to reporduce Dr. Todd Johnsons demo of a particle accelerator by propelling a coated ping pong ball with electric fields.
What you see is strips of aluminum tape charged and spread out in a bow.l They are used to create electric charges that repeatedly change the charge of a conductively painted ping pong ball. This results in a sort of motor that propels the ball around the circumference of the bowl.
I've heard accelerators like CERN use electric fields, and I've heard they use magnetic fields. I believe I can distuinguish between the two, but I'd be interested in an experts discription of their differences.
Imagine my embarassment if I learn here that there is no difference. Even though everyone knows electromagnetism is a single force, It seems to me that at times it lacks polarity.
Either way, a simple understanding of "likes repel / opposites attract" is enough to see why this machine works.
Step 1: What you need
bowl (at least 8' diameter)
aluminum tape (or copper) (aluminum foil and glue, maybe?)
wires with alegator clips ( I've found that large strips of aluminum tape is hard to solder to.)
A large cfl (compact flourescent tube)
a flyback transformer
a ping pong ball
conductive paint, (I made my own, but I made a poor mix. So I revived my dried out comercial stuff with "goof off." Look here. http://www.goldmine-elec-products.com/prodinfo.asp?number=G16133
I think these home made recepies are sound though. look here. ( http://www.instructables.com/id/Conductive-Glue-And-Conductive-Thread-Make-an-LED/ )