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HW 11 - Phys 1203 HW 11 Electricity experiment Jacob's...

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Phys 1203 HW 11 Electricity experiment: Jacob’s Ladder Air normally doesn’t conduct electricity very well. The Jacobs ladder has a transformer that converts household electricity into high voltage. The arc forms where the gap is smallest and the current heats the surrounding air causing it to ionize and rise. The arc travels with the ionized air, as it follows the path of least resistance, upward between the two conducting rods until the distance between the two becomes too great and the arc breaks. Another example of high voltage enabling electricity to pass through air can be seen in lightning during thunder storms. Benjamin Franklin’s experiment with the key on a kite was in exploration of this very phenomenon. Also the shock you receive in winter when reaching for a metal door knob is caused by a current crossing a small air gap, which can be seen in the dark. Similarly, static electricity builds from rubbing a TV screen, and the same effect happens when you shock your friend standing next to you.
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