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Homework Help: Stabilizing the Leaves of an Electroscope

  1. Jan 23, 2004 #1

    I'm currently building an electroscope for a physics lab, and it's basically set up to be inside a glass jar, with two pieces of aluminum foil attached to a wire inside. The two pieces of foil move when charged objects come near, and it works well most of the time.

    However, when there's a lot of charge brought near the electroscope, the leaves tend to flare out in several directions and sort of twist as well. I've tried making a small loop with the wire to control movement, but the same problem still occurs.

    Does anyone have any suggestions on how I could modify the wire or even the leaves to solve this problem?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 23, 2004 #2
    You might consider using larger pieces of foil for your leaves. Smaller leaves will be hard to control under a large charge. Of course, with the leaves being more massive, you will get a decreased separation with the same charge. You could also use one longer piece of foil folded in half. You should experiment with different sizes and setups until you find an acceptable compromise.
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