17 November 2020. We ran an experiment in the middle-school science lab today. We discharged a big electrical capacitor through a tiny wire. The energy deposited in the wire obliterated it. We went way beyond the “Gee! Wow!” aspect of the experiment. We use lots of physics and math in analyzing the results. We use equipment uncommon in school labs for setting up the experiment and measuring the voltages. We also used a high-speed video camera to catch the demise of the wire in action. This revealed interesting details, including the huge power and huge current coming out the capacitor.
The write-up is in PDF format here:Learning from a demonstration of an electrical spark vaporizing a bit of copper wire