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Tesla Coil


High voltage generator of historical interest designed almost 100 years ago!

Useful Links: The Museum of Science in Boston has a brief description on how these coils work. It is rumored that these coils were built by Tesla himself!


This demo has a ground fault. Anything metal and in contact with the probe or the base should be assumed to be at high voltage. Use a ruler to turn the machine on or off to avoid a nasty shock. Be conscious of what the demo is sitting on- some floors have conductive runners underneath them which may transmit a shock to your feet.

This demo uses high voltage. Proceed with caution.


To demonstrate the operation of a Tesla coil and the appearance, sound, and effects of high voltage discharges.


  • Self-contained Tesla coil and probe
  • Wooden ruler
  • Fluorescent bulb (optional)
  • Faraday Cage (optional)


Use a wooden ruler to hit the switch and turn on the coil. Long sparks up to eight inches long can be produced from the probe. These sparks produce a loud noise and look particularly dramatic when the lecture room lights are turned off.


This demonstration works well with a variety of others to demonstrate the effects of high voltage. A fluorescent bulb (mounted on the end of an insulating handle) can be used; when brought close to the probe it'll light up. This demo may also be used with the Faraday Cage.

Demo room information

Location in front of OPQ, some bulbs on meter sticks in Q4
Maker Unknown
Current State Working

demonstrations/5_electricity_and_magnetism/5l_ac_circuits/tesla_coil/start.txt · Last modified: 2020/01/28 23:18 by demoroom