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Electric field experiments

Discussion in 'Science' started by lucyobrien, Dec 3, 2019.

  1. lucyobrien

    lucyobrien New commenter

    I'm teaching electric fields at the moment (year 12) and after asking around, our department has limited ideas for experiments in this topic. The only demo we have tried is using grass seeds to show fields lines.
    If anyone could share any demos, student investigations etc on any aspect of this topic, I'd be very grateful.

  2. colacao17

    colacao17 Senior commenter

    The seeds one is great, it's one of my favourites

    I saw something (on here I thin) recently about using a similar set up to plot equipotentials. If I find it I'll repost here.

    Edited to add - jsut browse down the science page and it's there, Equipotential lines, started by Newstein.
  3. lucyobrien

    lucyobrien New commenter

    Yes, I did see that one with copper sulphate solution. Looks like it could be messy. I once saw a teacher using a grid drawn with graphite pencil. I was wondering if anyone had tried anything similar...
  4. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    In my 30 years of teaching physics, the only demo of electric field lines was using semolina sprinkled on olive oil and the apply high Voltage to probes dipped in the oil. It was done on an OHP in a petri dish so students could see the field lines form. It was all very slow motion but the semolina grains followed the field lines after a while and with enough voltage, about 5000V. That was the only demo of electric field lines I ever did. It's not the easiest part of the A-level spec to teach.
  5. Orion

    Orion New commenter

    - shuttle charge
  6. Orion

    Orion New commenter

    - copper sulphate
  7. Orion

    Orion New commenter

    - grass seeds
  8. Orion

    Orion New commenter

    Do charging by induction with two metal spheres, you charge them and move apart.

    Also the GLE...

  9. armandine2

    armandine2 Established commenter

    the old electroscope came up recently, as I tried to resource what coulombmeters were out there - they can get quite expensive (Keysight B2987A) if you can't get secondhand (Keithley 616 say)
  10. alanbarnard

    alanbarnard New commenter

    I did a calculation a few years ago (sorry - no figures now) and concluded that the galvanometer reading was of the wrong order to account for the charge being transferred by the ball.
    Orion likes this.

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