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The Tesla Coil debuted on APSU's Instagram account last month using a balloon geaturing The Gov. APSU PUBLIC RELATIONS

Tesla Coil lights-up APSU’s growing Physics Department

Last month, the APSU Instagram featured a photo of students creating a bolt of electricity using a Tesla Coil.

Jonathan Bunton, senior physics major, said that APSU got the coil a year ago as part of the Physics department’s ongoing series of outreach projects.

Tesla coils take electricity and build up the charge in tightly coiled thin wires. When it is released, it creates the lightning-like spark seen in the photo.

The tesla coil APSU has came as a kit and was assembled by Bryan Gaither.

“In APSU’s physics department we’re really big into the AP Day competitions,” Bunton said. “That’s one of the biggest reasons we bought it; we always want to bring in something kind of new, something we’ve never had before.”

Former projects include a Ruben’s tube and an eddy current.

“We’ve also had Ruben’s tube once which is where you can see waveforms in sound built in a wall of flame,” Bunton said.

The eddy current involved magnets.

“We made a giant eddy current model, where you have a giant copper tube and you drop a magnet through it, and because of the opposing magnetic fields it creates, it falls really really slowly,” Bunton said.

The physics department is into public outreach at elementary schools, middle schools and G.H.O.S.T.

“Part of it is just we like having fun toys,” Bunton said. “A lot of our motivation is that it’s something really fun to have, it’s a really big part of our department and our club as Del Square Psi, our physics and astronomy club. One of the biggest things that we do is public outreach.”

Getting people interested in science is their goal.

“We have really big focus about introducing people of all ages to the sciences and getting them excited about it, and it really helps if you have some really cool exciting demos to show to people,” Bunton said.

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