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[Phys-L] Re: Kelvin Water drop experiment

I made one of these back in college. I used coffee cans. I had to get the
paint (label) off the cans. Not sure what i used -- some think paste that
dissolved the paint. If you don't do this, I guess the charge does not
build up properly.

Forum for Physics Educators <> on Friday, December
2, 2005 at 4:20 PM -0500 wrote:
Greetings everyone. I hope all of you are having a nice school year.

I have a question about a project that one of my students is trying to do.
She is trying to perform the Kelvin water drop experiment. She made a
wooden platform/structure to support everything. At the top is a 1 gallon
milk container with 2 small plastic tubes coming out of the bottom of the
milk container. Underneath the milk container are 2 small metal cans
1.5" diameter), with both the top and bottoms cutout. Underneath the 2
small cans are 2 large metal cans that catch the water. She is using 2
gator clip wires to connect the upper right small can with the lower left
large can (and vice versa). All of the cans have been sanded down to
any plastic or corrosive coverings and try to make the best contact with
gator clips. We have tried both distilled and tap water to run through

We have both tried everything we can to get it working, but we haven't had
any success...not even a spark. I did hook up a voltmeter to see if there
were any changes and it did register a small difference, but nothing too

Does anyone have any suggestions? We've been looking online and a couple
books for some help, but still haven't had any success.

Thank you,
Dwight Souder
Ashland, OH
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