Aluminum Foil Electroscope

An Electroscope is an apparatus that is used to detect electrostatic field, it shows in a visible way the presence of an electric charge, with one you can even have a quantitative idea about how strong is the field. The simple electroscope proposed here is constructed with minimum and common materials and in fact you can build one right now in your kitchen. Visit for Electrostatic Generator plans.

Step 1: Materials

You will need only a glass jar with plastic cap and Aluminum foil roll.

Step 2: Making an Aluminum Ball

Cut a square 10 x 10 of Aluminum foil and smash it in something resembling a ball

Step 3: Aluminum Rod

Take an Aluminum strip with 4 x 10 and smash in form of a rod with 4.

Step 4: Ball and Rod

The rod and the ball made with smashed Aluminum foil.

Step 5: Connecting Rod and Ball

Connect the ball with the rod wrapping a piece of Aluminum foil covering the ball and twisting the end over the rod.

Step 6: Drilling Plastic Cap

Take the plastic cap and make a centralized hole on it enough to the rod pass through, use a puncher or an electric drill.

Step 7: Mounting

Introduce the rod in the cap leaving the ball outside when the jar is covered.

Step 8: Bending the Rod

Make a 90° bend in the rod leaving a 1 long bended end.

Step 9: Preparing the Aluminum Leaf

Take a 10 strip of Aluminum foil and fold the extremities leaving it with the dimensions given in the figure.

Step 10: Mounting the Internal Structure

Connect the folded foil with the rod/ball conjunct by curving the bended end over the middle of it.

Step 11: Finalizing the Mountage

Close the jar with the cap and it are done.

Step 12: Testing the Electroscope

When the Electroscope top sphere is put near or contacting a charged body, like a Hand Powered VDG, the leafs will spread apart proportionally to charge intensity. More DIY plans at



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    10 Discussions

    that was good but i also made an electroscope like this but i need to know weather we can use a battery to make that work

    1 reply

    3 years ago

    is there anyother way to charge that

    hde boss

    7 years ago on Step 12

    thaannkkk good a sweear maa phyisics techear hee waas goona kill mee finaly:P


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    the unicorn will fly out when charge is passed through the aluminium ball

    ITT: the two flaps will move apart


    7 years ago on Introduction

    oh so thats how you make it! we spent forever in our physics class trying to make one of these and it just wouldnt work.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Had to modify a bit. Instead of bending the rod and folding one piece of foil over it, I used a paperclip at the end to hang 2 aluminum foil strips more freely. That way they could detect a smaller charge. Thanks This has worked great in class.