March 1, 2013
by: Norm Barstow
This is a guide on how to make a Leyden Jar that makes awesome sparks with materials you may even find in your house. It’s inexpensive, basically harmless and fun.
Here is the list of materials you will need:
- An empty film canister with lid. These are available at Educational Innovations.
- Multistrand insulated wire; eg. type HPN Heater Cord
- Single conductor/solid un-insulated wire, about 1.5 mm in diameter (16 gauge copper wire).
- Some aluminum or copper foil. (NOTE: Any conductive foil will work. Copper foil is thicker and easier to work with than aluminum foil, but aluminum foil works. Heavy duty aluminum foil works best.
- A bolt (10/24) with a round head that is shorter than the film canister’s height. Two nuts that fit the screw. Washer is optional.
- Scotch tape.
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February 26, 2009
by: Tami O’Connor
During my 16 years in the classroom, my students and I have accumulated a plethora of fond and one or two not-so-fond memories. One memory that still makes me cringe deals with the amount of time I spent traveling from one film-processing center to the next, in search of those perfect little containers I made such great use of within the walls of my science classroom. I’m sure you know exactly what I’m talking about…those little containers, which could be used for everything from conveniently and securely storing small amounts of solids or liquids to acting as the engine compartment of the well-known makeshift paper rocket.
What versatile things those film canisters are…
Thanks to Bob Morse of St. Albans, we have found yet another use for those mini containers. In this short segment, Bob demonstrates how to construct a simple Leyden jar that is large enough to produce a nice spark, yet small enough to be perfectly safe, and best of all, durable enough to reuse over and over again! The only materials needed are a film can, a small strip of aluminum foil, a paper clip, a small section of PVC pipe, a cloth or piece of fur to rub on the pipe and a small amount of water.
How to Build a Leyden Jar
In this age of digital cameras, 35mm film canisters are becoming a thing of the past. Educational Innovations can supply you with clean film canisters to use in your home or classroom. Check out the other activities we have for film canisters, and please feel free to share your own ideas with us.