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Running Time:
00:05:54
The ancient Greeks knew about magnets, and they knew about electricity, too. But it wasn’t until the nineteenth century that a connection between the two was discovered. Staff physicist Paul Doherty tells the story of how a professor made the connection…which led to modern motors.

Project: Teacher Institute Science Teaching Tips | Browse All

Date: November 25, 2009
Format: Interview
Category: Everyday Science
Subject(s): Physics
Running Time:
00:02:54
In November 2009, Exploratorium After Dark welcomed particle physicist Dr. Austin Richards—aka Dr. MegaVolt. Under the Palace of Fine Arts rotunda, he jousted with a high-voltage Tesla coil, which generated 200,000 volts of electricity and shot 14-foot-long arcs of lightning through the air.

Project: After Dark | Browse All

Date: November 18, 2009
Format: Event
Category: Popular Culture
Subject(s): Physics, Art
Running Time:
00:00:38
This electrifying After Dark event featured Austin Richards, Ph.D.—aka, Dr. MegaVolt®—jousting with 14-foot electrical arcs from his high-voltage Tesla coil on the evening of Thursday, November 5, 2009. This wonderful performance contributed to the celebration of the Exploratorium’s 40th Anniversary.

Project: After Dark | Browse All

Date: October 14, 2009
Format: Event
Category: Science in Action
Subject(s): Art, Physics, General Science
Running Time:
00:52:10
Cheer on the competitors in this zany science cook-off. Teachers compete before a live audience at the Exploratorium for the revered title, "Iron Science Teacher." This week's secret ingredient: batteries.

Project: Iron Science Teacher | Browse All

Date: July 17, 2009
Format: Demonstration / Activity
Category: Everyday Science
Subject(s): General Science, Chemistry
Running Time:
00:00:28
The air is so dry here at McMurdo that anything that gets charged, stays charged. Moist air quickly discharges objects because the water in the air picks up charge from an object and quickly flies away, taking charges with it. This does not happen here. We are constantly getting shocks from our clothing, our bedding and when we exit vehicles.

Project: Ice Stories: Dispatches from Polar Scientists | Browse All

Date: December 11, 2008
Format: Expedition
Category: Science in Action
Subject(s): General Science, Physics
Running Time:
00:00:40
An introduction to the stripped-down motor, a simple and easy-to-make version of the electric motors found in toys, tools, and appliances.

Project: AfterSchool Activities | Browse All

Date: January 14, 2008
Format: Demonstration / Activity
Category: Everyday Science
Subject(s): General Science
Running Time:
00:01:16
A detailed description of the simple materials needed to make a stripped-down motor.

Project: AfterSchool Activities | Browse All

Date: January 14, 2008
Format: Demonstration / Activity
Category: Everyday Science
Subject(s): General Science
Running Time:
00:02:48
A step-by-step demonstration of how to make the stand for the stripped-down motor.

Project: AfterSchool Activities | Browse All

Date: January 14, 2008
Format: Demonstration / Activity
Category: Everyday Science
Subject(s): General Science
Running Time:
00:05:16
A step-by-step demonstration of how to make the coil for the stripped-down motor.

Project: AfterSchool Activities | Browse All

Date: January 14, 2008
Format: Demonstration / Activity
Category: Everyday Science
Subject(s): General Science
Running Time:
00:01:41
How the stripped-down motor works, including a discussion of how electricity and magnetism combine to drive the machine.

Project: AfterSchool Activities | Browse All

Date: January 14, 2008
Format: Demonstration / Activity
Category: Everyday Science
Subject(s): General Science