5H50.10 - Homemade Galvanometer

Code Number:
Demo Title:
Homemade Galvanometer
Torques on a Coil
Area of Study:
Electricity & Magnetism
Homemade Galvanometer, 12 V car battery.

Connect the battery to the Galvanometer and press down on the switch.  Hold the switch down for no more than 10 seconds as damage to the small gauge wire that make up the Galvanometer will result.  The direction the Galvanometer points may be reversed using the knife switch on the apparatus.

  • Thomas B. Greenslade Jr., "Galvanometers", TPT, Vol. 35, # 7, p. 423- 426, Oct. 1997.
  • Tom Kobilarcik, Ed McNeil, Chris Chiaverina,   "Doing Physics",  TPT, Vol. 25, # 4, p. 248, April 1987.
  • Ej - 2:  Freier and Anderson,  A Demonstration Handbook for Physics.
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  • George M. Hopkins', "The Construction of a Voltmeter and Ammeter suitable for a Small Switchboard", Experimental Science, Volume Two, p. 482.
  • George M. Hopkins', Experimental Science, Volume Two, p. 114.
  • Rev. J, Lukin, The Boy Engineers, 1901, p. 320.
  • David Kutliroff, "98, A Demonstration Tangent Galvanometer", 101 Classroom Demonstrations and Experiment For Teaching Physics, p. 215.
  • Borislaw Bilash II, David Maiullo, "Torque On A Current Loop", A Demo a Day: A Year of Physics Demonstrations, p. 299.
  • Janice VanCleave, "Galvanometer", 201 Awesome, Magical, Bizarre, & Incredible Experiments, p. 109.
  • Ron Hipschman, "Giant Meter", Exploratorium Cookbook III, p. 144.1 - 144.4.
  • "Ammeters and Voltmeters", Selective Experiments in Physics, CENCO, 1962.
  • "The Construction of Voltmeters and Ammeters", Selective Experiments in Physics, CENCO, 1962.
  • "Current Sensitivity of a Galvanometer", Selective Experiments in Physics, CENCO, 1962.
  • "Calibration of a Galvanometer", Selective Experiments in Physics, CENCO, 1962.
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  • Rudolf F. Graf, "How to Make a Current Detector (Galvanoscope)", Safe and Simple Electrical Experiments, p. 75.
  • Joseph Frick, "# 304 & 305 & 306 - The Galvanometer & Wrapping the Wire & The Wire-Wrapping Machine ", Physical Technics: Or Practical Instructions for Making Experiments in Physics and the Construction of Physical Apparatus with the Most Limmited Means, p. 351.

Disclaimer: These demonstrations are provided only for illustrative use by persons affiliated with The University of Iowa and only under the direction of a trained instructor or physicist.  The University of Iowa is not responsible for demonstrations performed by those using their own equipment or who choose to use this reference material for their own purpose.  The demonstrations included here are within the public domain and can be found in materials contained in libraries, bookstores, and through electronic sources.  Performing all or any portion of any of these demonstrations, with or without revisions not depicted here entails inherent risks.  These risks include, without limitation, bodily injury (and possibly death), including risks to health that may be temporary or permanent and that may exacerbate a pre-existing medical condition; and property loss or damage.  Anyone performing any part of these demonstrations, even with revisions, knowingly and voluntarily assumes all risks associated with them.