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Need Science Help. Is this safe? Answered

On my ongoing quest to find a science fair, I stumbled upon this : it's basicalle a high voltage motor that acts like a bell, with a clapper that bangs from one can (or bell) to the other and back again.

The thing is, it get's it energy by putting an aluminum foil over a TV screen, which has a lot of static electricity.

I was wondering, is this safe?


Just going by the description, I'd say you're looking at Franklin's Bells.

Franklin is credited with the original design, but he was corresponding with an Englishman, John Canton, and many believe the idea was a mutual invention, drawing on both people.

The original version had one bell connected to a high antenna, and the other to Earth (ground). As a thunderstorm approached, the antenna picked up charge and transferred it to Earth via the bells. I run them off a VdG to provide a constant supply of charge, but a CRT will work them if you keep switching it on and off.

They're safe, as long as you don't have a pacemaker and don't run them off actual lightning.

BTW, your picture won't open.

Just noted your link and, for my money, his book, gizmos and gagdets should be required reading in school science classes....

Your advice is as good as it gets. I can't wait to sue you!

I expected something like that, I'm just worried over how much the tv would give off.....

static is not really static, but besides that, the voltage is very high (but you have received those shocks before) and the amperage nearly nonexistent.

i.e., it will make the hair of you hand stand on end, and make a crinkling sound....but not much more than that.

It should be quite safe, just don't do it any where near flammable stuff and all of that. You may get a static shock like you get from the car. However, never EVER use a Marx generator I had built for this experiment, too much power and far too dangerous...

You've probably been "shocked" by your television screen before though, right? A little flash of light, a little bit of electric smell. That's about as nasty as it's going to get. Putting tin foil on it certainly isn't going to make the shock any more impressive. On that note, I damn near killed my little sister with the static stored inside a camera's flash box, once. THOSE things are dangerous.


9 years ago

should be ok. Don't connect the foil to a giant capacitor or anything like that. static electricity has quite low overall energy, in general.