10A05.20 - Bird on a Wire

Code Number:
Demo Title:
Bird on a Wire
AC Power
Area of Study:
Electricity and Magnetism
Hot Dog Cooker, LED's, Plastic Tongs.

Video Credit: Jonathan M. Sullivan-Wood.

Insert the LED's into the hot dog before you plug in the cooker.  The LED's that are inserted with the legs parallel to the direction of the current in the hot dog will light up, but the LED's that are inserted with the legs perpendicular will not.  A simple way to show that you need a voltage difference for current to flow. 

  • Harvard Instructional Physics Labs, "Electric Currents: DC Circuits", https://sites.fas.harvard.edu/~scphys/  
  • Jearl Walker, "5.22, High-Voltage Lines", The Flying Circus of Physics Ed. 2, p. 228.
  • Julius Sumner Miller, Q229 & A229, Millergrams II – Some More Enchanting Questions for Enquiring Minds, p. 71 & 118.

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