Electricity and magnetism

 Artificial Lightning

Arago's Speedometer
Eddy currents in a metal disc makes it temporarily a magnet which moves a compass needle nearby. Some speedometers work in a similar way.

Artificial Lightning
This generator charges a metal dome up to a potential of 300,000 volts. Explore some of the effects this produces, including giant sparks.

Bending Water
A plastic rod electrically charged by rubbing attracts a stream of water.

Circuits in Parallel
Investigate making a circuit in parallel.

Circuits in Series
Investigate making a circuit in series.

Eddy Currents
A magnet dropped down a copper tube slows down due to eddy currents.

Electricity flows through a coil of wire when a magnet is moved through it.

A hanging wire circles a magnet when electric current flows through the wire.

Hand-Cranked Electromagnet
How does a scrapyard crane work? This shows that an electromagnet is only magnetic when electricity is flowing.

Strong electric forces cause air to conduct electricity (ionise it). This is seen as a spark that moves up the tube.

Jumping Coil
Shows how a loudspeaker works. A coil around a magnet moves when electricity flows through the coil.

Jumping Wire
A force is produced when an electric current flows through a wire placed in a magnetic field. This causes the wire to jump.

Levitating Disc
An aluminium disc floats above electromagnets.

Magnet Puzzle
How can you identify the magnet from the identical iron bar?

Magnet Springs
A big magnet floats above another showing magnetic repulsion.

Magnet Springs (Traveller)
A big magnet floats above another showing magnetic repulsion. (Built to travel.)

Magnetic Field Patterns
Investigate the field patterns around different shapes of magnet.

Maltese Cross
In this cathode ray tube electrons are revealed as they hit a fluorescent screen (as in a TV). You can experiment on the electrons with magnets and static charge.

Motors
Demonstrates how simple electric motors work

Moving Static Electricity
Static electricity is detected using an electroscope.

Ohm's Law
This plore allows measurements to be made on a circuit and a graph drawn to illustrate Ohm's Law: that the current passing through a wire is proportional to the voltage across it.

Pedal Power
Pedal a bike to power lights, a TV, radio and fans. Shows 'muscle energy' being converted to electrical then to other forms of energy.

Plasma Globe
A glass globe, containing gases at low pressure, has a high voltage and a radio transmitter at its centre. Tendrils of glowing plasma stream out to where you touch the globe.

Plasma Tube
Tendrils of glowing plasma stream out to where you touch the tube.

Sparks (moving electricity) near an ordinary radio makes it crackle and hiss. The aerial picks up electromagnetic radiation, and does so much better if you become part of it!

Rubbing Box
Bits of foam are attracted to a Perspex cover when it is rubbed with a cloth.

See-saw Magnets
Suspended bar magnets demonstrate attraction and repulsion.

Solar Powered Wave Machine
Make waves in a tank of water. A float and electrical generator make electricity to power a lighthouse.

Switch Logic
Investigate using switches in circuits.

Transformers
The voltage of alternating current (AC) electricity can be changed using a transformer. Find out how. Transformers are used in all sorts of electrical equipment around our homes.

What Works in a Circuit?
Investigate making a conductors, insulators and resistance.

Wire Resistor
An electrical circuit includes a long wire. By connecting meters measuring current and voltage to parts of the wire you can find out what electrical resistance does and how it can be used to make a simple voltage control.

 Exploring ourselves 3-D Vision Animation Body Colour Illusions Senses Puzzles Exploring the world Chaos Chemistry Earth science Electricity Gases & fluids Light Mathematics Measurement Mechanics Mirrors Sound Space Stradivarium Structures More on exhibits Top ten exhibits Download list Main page