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Re: [TCML] Science Fair Project
I don't believe Tesla coils are appropriate for a science fair.
The risks to the public, other school children and the child doing them are
It is unlikely that they will have accumulated a body of safety knowledge
that experienced coilers take for granted.
They will often have no knowledge of the public liability implications or
the risks of public performance.
I suspect that many science teachers will also have little experience with
My background: I topped the state science fair with "Factors affecting the
length of a spark" and repeated this the following year with "Spark
These were done with low power <30W ignition coil systems capable of giving
a shock but unlikely to be anywhere near the range of a 300W NST system .
These projects were "safe" and had a sound hypothesis, method, data
collection, results and conclusions (as well as the sparks being media
Just making a Tesla coil is engineering, not science and while technically
challenging, the chaotic nature of sparks from a TC does not lend itself to
good scientific method and experimental accuracy.
Of course, this may be different with a Tesla coil savvy parent or teacher
but neither alone will make both home and school safe places.
I understand that the internet allows much faster acquisition of knowledge
to achieve these goals but there need to be some checks and balances for
Also, I have never run a Tesla coil indoors without a Faraday cage (apart
from my micro-powered and safe to touch briefcase coil).
In general, I can't do school performances due to the public liability
issues. And I am far more experienced in the various issues involved than a
student would be.
From: Jim Lux
Sent: Saturday, November 17, 2012 3:53 AM
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