Monday, May 13, 2013


Sometimes after a week of midterms, having a bit of unadulterated fun is required. For the longest time I had a 1 Farad 12V car audio amplifier laying around my room. I decided it needed to be...investigated. For starters, the actual capacity is nowhere near 1 Farad. After some calculations for Tau, the time constant which determines charging, the capacitance came out to be around 0.66 farads. Not terrible, but certainly not a full farad! 

Two engineers, one high-capacity capacitor, and a GoPro HD. What could go wrong?! The capacitor was first charged to around 23 Volts, disconnected from the power supply, and shorted with an insulated paperclip. Check out Nolan's page for a high-speed video (240 fps viewed at 24 fps).

It was great seeing my reaction in slow motion. And really terrifying how slow my reaction time actually is.

A closer shot of the action.
One neat thing to note: the automatic reflexes of my eyelids were thousands of times faster than the reaction of my hand. Huh...

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