Static electricity/Dancing balls

Aquarium Try
Smaller Version

Problem edit

The dancing ball demonstration is inspiring. The goal is to document the current success and then start trying patterns. Perhaps a pattern of foil on one plate changes the angle of the ball bouncing, or moves them all into one spot. Or perhaps foil can be moved around by hand to create different shapes of balls. The balls can be made smaller or bigger. Perhaps spraying glue or conductive paint that dries will cause them to clump in a 3D shape. This could turn into art or maybe a 3D printer.

Conceive edit

  • video big ball bouncing between CD plates
  • video little balls between plates
  • video conductive ping pong ball pendulum between plates

Design edit

Document the dimensions, the voltages (if known), the ball diameters, weight and construction. Then begin empirical experiments. At the same time create a theory of operation from the analytical physics that would explain this behavior in physics.

For safety's purpose, must outline and propose the experiment to the instructor and class before doing the experiments.

Implement edit

Implement this with a variety of high voltage sources ... as they become available. Start of with whimshurst machines.

Operate edit

Shoot video of each different success or failure.

Perhaps try the above with solder balls or laser printer toner cartridge dust.

Try to add water to the balls video.

Demo edit


Next Steps edit

  • get current system working and document
  • develop theory of operation in the context of "Dancing balls"
  • make hypothesis, design test and analyze the results