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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!


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?

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

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

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

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