So I needed something to procrastinate from homework with one day, so I decided I would make this leyden jar. I had all of the materials laying around (as do most people) and about ten minutes I didn't want to spend doing homework, so this was perfect. the design is pretty straight forward, so I will not go into a whole lot of detail. Either way, this is a perfect beginning electronics project for anyone. I do not think there is really anybody who is not capable of making this. 

Step 1: construction

Leyden jars have been around since the late1700s. They are basically a primitive capacitor. it holds charge and will discharge.
In this jar there are five main parts. the inside foil, the outside foil, the inside wire, the outside wire, and the jar itself which must be an insulator. basically if you build up a positive potential in the inside foil, and keep the outside foil grounded, it will want to make the charge on the outside equal that of the inside, so a spark will jump from the grounded outside to the inside.
      To make it all you need to do is glue some aluminum foil to the outside of the jar (which needs to be glass or plastic), and tape a wire to it, glue some more foil into the inside and tape some wire to that. drill a hole in the lid of the jar and put the wire connected to the inside through it. screw on the lid and you are done.

<p>I have never been able to charge a Leyden Jar. Any suggestions?</p>
<p>Could I charge it with an AC generator????? I have a hand-crank AC generator out of an old telephone and I was wondering if it would work with that.</p>
great idea.i made one and its so easy.just charging is a little challenge.except that every thing is easy
Thanks! I was actually kind of surprised by this, but simply walking on carpet while holding the outside foil can create enough static electricity to charge the jar. This only works in low humidity of course... You can also stroke the wire from the inside foil on a CRT TV or monitor to charge it, or use a van de graaff generator (like the one I made<a href="https://www.instructables.com/id/350kv-Van-de-Graaff-Generator/" rel="nofollow">https://www.instructables.com/id/350kv-Van-de-Graaff-Generator/</a>) or a wimhurst machine to charge it.
Can you use a metal lid?
You could, but you would want some distance between the outside foil and the lid, which would depend on how big of sparks you would be expecting to make. I would make the distance double what you expect to make.
I heard that copper wire doesn't work for this.<br><br>Have you done it with copper wire?
Yeah That is what I used for this project. It worked fine.

About This Instructable




Bio: Science is my passion. I find myself constantly working on countless experiments, from low energy particle accelerators to good old simple electronics. I also like ... More »
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