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Creative ideas for electrostatics demos/labs

  1. Sep 16, 2011 #1
    I am trying to put together some demonstrations for E&M class related to the topic of conductors in electric field, particulary that the field inside is zero (something like Faraday cage) and that the field gets stronger with curvature. I have seen videos of the courses with some great demonstrations, but I do not have enough equipment to reproduce them in our lab. One thing we do NOT have is a decent electroscope to measure (or at least compare) the charge. We have some foil-leaf ones but you can't observe much of an effect on them. We do have a VandeGraaf generator. Does anybody know of any experiments that could be set up with some basic materials?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 16, 2011 #2


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    At what level of education you want to make those demos?

    As for your Faraday's cage - what I used to demonstrate at high-school was a ball made of net of thin copper wires, with multiple foil-leaf electroscopes attached inside and outside, then electrised with tabletop van-de-Graaf (disk electrostatic machine may be probably used as well)

    Other demo I did was:
    insulated copper foil laying on the table, small electroscope standing in the middle (connected to the foil with a wire, electrised. Electroscope shows the field.
    Half-sphere made of copper net, connected with a wire to the foil and electroscope, mounted on an insulating long plastic rod. As you slowly cover the electroscope with the Faraday's cover - the electroscope shows vanishing field.
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