School of Physics Lecture Demonstration Manual

El-11 Franklin's Bell (Lightning Warning Device)

Published: Tuesday 14 March 2006 - Updated: Thursday 31 March 2011

Aim

To demonstrate Benjamin Franklin's lightning warning device.

Apparatus

Diagrams

Click on pictures to enlarge.

Lightning Warning Device Diagram

Description

The bell apparatus is placed beneath the Van de Graaff dome. Starting the generator simulates a storm passing overhead. The high voltage present rings the bells.

Safety notes

Electrical safety 

Maintenance 

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