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MIT Physics Demo -- Resonant RLC Circuit

A variable capacitor (C), large inductor or solenoid (L), and 200W light bulb (R) are connected in series to 120 VAC. The inductance of the inductor can be varied by inserting an iron core, and the capacitance can be varied by a row of switches. By varying the inductance and capacitance, we can achieve the resonance of the circuit, where maximum current flows through the resistor (light bulb).

Read more about RLC circuits here.

Comments (2)

For all but the final capacitance value, the ‘tuning’ effect (whilst moving the core back and forth) cannot be seen. At the resonant position of the core the operator’s hand is out of view.

Posted 8 years by Anonymous

Have you heard of making capacitors from tinfoil and party cups, 1 wrap tinfoil around bottom of cup and attach left hand lead, 2 Add a cup to bottom of other cup ontop of tinfoil, and attach right hand lead, 3 Repeat and Repeat 4 Fill with mineral oil and cap the top. 5 attach Right Hand Leads together (every other cup got one) With a piece of metal tape. 6 Repeat step5 with Left Hand Leads. 7 apply voltage and watch it work.

Posted 8 years by Anonymous

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MIT Department of Physics Technical Services Group

MIT Department of Physics Technical Services Group

Category: Science | Updated over 6 years ago

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April 22, 2008 14:38
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