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Q & A: electric energy

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Most recent answer: 10/22/2007
Q:
Hi my name is Megan and i’m doing a science report on energy. I chose to do Electrical energy, but I need to include demonstrations in the project. I’m having a really hard time finding easy to do Demo’s. I need to present the demo’s so i’d like to keep it simple and small. Do you have any suggestions? Please Help!
- Megan
A:
Charged capacitors provide a good example of stored electric energy. Capacitors are easy to buy, and the are found in a number of devices including disposable cameras that have flashes. The battery within the camera stores chemical energy, which is released slowly as electrical energy. This energy is transfered to the capacitor (you can often hear them charging) and stored as electric energy. The capacitor releases the energy very quickly when a flash is made. If you choose to use a capacitor, BE VERY VERY CAREFUL!!! Ones that are charged to high voltage can make big sparks, because they can deliver more current for a short time than batteries can. Make sure that your capacitor is only charged up to a few volts.

Anyway, you can then discharge it into a flash bulb to illustrate the release of the stored energy.

(published on 10/22/2007)

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