Date: Mon, 21 Feb 2011 14:40:06
Author: Thomas Greenslade
Subject: Re: Tin Foil Capacitor
The huge, multiple-gallon Leiden jar that Bill Reitz saw in the
Royal Scottish Museum at Edinburg can be seen at
On 2/21/2011 2:03 PM, chuck britton wrote:
> I highly recommend 1, 2 and 3 liter versions made with soda bottles.
> Aluminum foil on the outside, water filled, brass knob screwed onto
> the cap with a stainless steel chain dipping down into the water.
> Charge 'em with a decent Van De Graaff generator and they MAY not be
> lethal, but the survivors will definitely have a tale to tell.
> Similar to the level of hit described by Ben Franklin when he intended
> to electrocute his Thanksgiving Turkey.
> At 12:58 PM -0500 2/21/11, Bill wrote:
>> I faintly remember seeing Leiden jars measured in gallons at the
>> Royal Museum in Edinburgh when I taught in Scotland. Would that have
>> been possible?
>> Bill Reitz
>> On 2/21/2011 10:21 AM, Thomas Greenslade wrote:
>>> In the original 1745 experiment by Pieter van Musschenbroek in
>>> Leiden, he tried condensing the electric fluid into a jar of water.
>>> The water inside the glass jar acted as one electrical coating, and
>>> his sweat, on the outside of the jar, formed the other. The jar
>>> therefore had the capacity to hold electric fluid (or charge, if you
>>> want to be modern...) And it held a lot of charge -- Pieter got a
>>> nasty shock when he put the fingers of his other hand into the water.
>>> In the nineteenth century you bought Leiden jars in pint and
>>> quart capacities from scientific suppliers.
>>> I hope that this answers Syracuse Sam's question!
>>> Tom Greenslade
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