5N20.40 - Tesla Coil

Code Number:
Demo Title:
Tesla Coil
High Frequency Tuned Coils
Area of Study:
Electricity & Magnetism
Geissler Tubes, Table Top Tesla Coil with Sphere and Pointed Tip Discharge Heads, and Neon and Fluorescent Tubes.

The Welch Tesla Coil Demonstrator has a oil filled capacitor.

CAUTION: Do not tip the capacitor as this will spill oil.  Dielectric oil can be used to replaced any that is lost.

6 inch sparks are easily obtained with this unit.

The table top Tesla coil will give 4 to 6 inch sparks quite easily as well as light the variety of fluorescent and neon tubes.  You may light the Geissler tubes with both of these coils but you must regulate the output intensity of the large coil so as not to burn out the tube.

  • Nathan Tompkins, "Miniature Tesla Coil Teaching Lab", TPT, Vol. 57, #6, Sept. 2019, p. 390.
  • Dan MacIsaac, "Tesla Coil Projects for Students", TPT, Vol. 57, #1, Jan. 2019, p. 62.
  • Thomas B. Greenslade, Jr., "Tesla Coil", AJP, Vol. 78, #10, Oct. 2010, p. 989.
  • Kenneth D. Skeldon, Alastair I. Grant, and Slan A. Scott, "A High Potential Tesla Coil Impulse Generator for Lecture Demonstrations and Science Exhibitions", AJP, Vol. 65, #8, Aug. 1997, p. 744.
  • Donald G. Bruns, "A Solid-State Low-Voltage Tesla Coil Demonstrator", AJP, Vol. 60, #9, Sep. 1992, p. 797.
  • "E-195. Tesla Coil & Fluorescent Tube", DICK and RAE Physics Demo Notebook.
  • Freier and Anderson, "Em-8, Ep-2", A Demonstration Handbook for Physics.
  • Richard Manliffe Sutton, "A-31", Demonstration Experiments in Physics.
  • Emily Conover, "Getting Amped for Nikola Tesla Museum", APS News, Vol. 25, #1, Jan. 2016, p. 3.
  • Jessie Geoffray, "A Full-Metal Dress for Electric Exhibitions", Popular Science, Vol. 286, #8, Aug. 2014, p. 73.
  • Julien Clinton Sprott, "4.6, Tesla Coil", Physics Demonstrations, ISBN 0-299-21580-6, p. 192.
  • "Making High-Frequency Oudin and Tesla Coils", The Boy Scientist, p. 131.
  • Barton B. Anderson, "The Classic Tesla Coil, A Dual-Tuned Resonant Transformer", Nov. 24, 2000.
  • Grant Mellor, "Constructing a Tesla Coil", Flying Tinsel, 1993, p. 122 - 126.
  • Borislaw Bilash II, “Fluorescent Tube“, A Demo A Day – A Year of Physical Science Demonstrations, p. 279.
  • Forrest M. Mims, "The Neon Glow Lamp", Experimenter's Corner, Dec. 1976, p. 111.
  • Bob Iannini, "Electronic Gadgets for the Evil Genius", Chapter Seventeen, "Solid State Tesla Coil", p. 175.

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.