5N20.80 - Tesla Coil and Pinwheel - Ion Motor

Code Number:
Demo Title:
Tesla Coil and Pinwheel - Ion Motor
High Frequency Tuned Coils, Ion Streams and Repulsion
Area of Study:
Electricity & Magnetism
Hand Held and Table Top Tesla Coil with Pointed Tip Discharge Head, and Pinwheel.

Placing the pinwheel directly onto the point of the large Tesla coil will give large corona discharges from the pinwheel points.

Screw the pinwheel tip adapter onto the table top Tesla coil.  Place the pinwheel on this and turn on the coil.  A corona discharge should be readily visible from the points of the pinwheel in a darkened room and the pinwheel should start to turn after several seconds.

Place the tip of the handheld Tesla coil on the small pin near the lower edge of the pinwheel.  A corona discharge should be visible from the pinwheel points, and the pinwheel will start to turn.

Video Credit: Daniel Reinart.

  • Stephen G. Benka, "Unexpected Wear May Yield New Plasma Rockets", Physics Today, Vol. 64, #5, May 2011, p. 17.
  • Sam Blum, "Plane Achieves Flight with No Moving Parts", Popular Mechanics, Vol. 196, #3, Mar. 2019, p. 18.
  • Paul Noel, "Wimshurst Instruction Manuel", AAPT Summer Meeting 2019.

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