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Experiments with large capacitors, what can be done with those big "car audio" capacitors? (1.2 Farad size.) Answered

If you were a "mad" science teacher, what experiments would you show your classroom of students? We're looking for a WOW! factor here, something memorable. Parameters for this experiment include (1) large capacitor such as a 1.2 Farad capacitor, and cheap or easily found parts to demonstrate experiments. Trying to avoid items that cost much or require lots of time and effort. (Building a Tesla coil would be an example of something that takes too much time or work.) Thanks Instructables community!

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Caboose98 (author)2011-01-24

I was wondering the same thing, i have two 100,000 microferrad capacitors, anything i can make that would be interesting????? I was taking apart a Colecovision printer, and found those, along with other large comonents, like a huge, i mean HUGE, transformer. otherwise, yeah.... Any ideas on fun projects that are easily build-able?

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Han_Solo_Order66 (author)2015-05-27

one thing you could do is make a emp and sho magnetic deflection on a crt television if you chose this be sure all important electronics are sheilded

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LiquidLightning (author)2011-01-14

Get a bigger one, some on the order of 2,000F, then hook it up to a flyback and make plasma arcs.

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Mr. Apol (author)2009-06-25

Several possibilities come to mind. With sufficient capacitance you can discharge enough power to crush soda cans, explode slender wires, etc. Less violent but just as memorable, you can charge a smallish Leyden jar with a static machine or simple friction rod and discharge it through a long line of students holding hands. This would replicate the famous 18th century experiment where a Leyden jar was discharged through a line of several hundred soldiers (in another case, monks). It need not be so large a jar--a 320 pf jar like my Soda Can Leyden jar would be fine. You don't want to hurt anyone! Paul

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jtobako (author)2009-05-15

I just picked up a used one to power a small spot welder/battery tab welder. The problem with 'wow' is the low voltage : (

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