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Old 11th February 2007   #1
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Electricity from candles? (science)


Check out the link to a video showing how to generate electricity with two candles. Somebody needs to explain why this works.

http://www.metacafe.com/w/400937/

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Old 11th February 2007   #2
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Quote:
Somebody needs to explain why this works.
It's a "magic trick".

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Old 11th February 2007   #3
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Notice that the leads lay off the sides and one hand always disappears below the table while lighting the candles. I believe he has four leads of which two are connected to a power source with switch.

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Old 12th February 2007   #4
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My brother-in-law works at the Argonne Labs, so he's a pretty smart guy. He sent me this:

Although I did not try the experiment, I am sure that the candle "demonstration" is a hoax--it is physically impossible. There are several physical principles that are violated here. First, the circuit is not complete--the candles appear to be physically separated. For electricity to flow there must be a complete circuit that includes a source of electric potential such as a battery, a generator, a photovoltaic cell, etc. Second, the candles themselves are made of wax--an electrical insulator. No electricity can flow through wax--at least not enough to light a bulb or make a motor turn. Third, the magnetization of the nails is a red herring. Magnetic fields can be used to generate electric potential only when moved with respect to a coil of wire. In this demonstration, there is no coil and nothing moves. This is either a magician's trick or done with some clever video editing.

Later he sent me this:

I looked again at the candle-power video. I'm convinced that this "works" by way of a trick. For example, if the demonstrator (a magician by trade, no doubt) hollowed one of his candles to hold a battery and modified the "nail" that went into the candle so that it had two small wires running along its length and modified the alligator clip lead to have two wires running along it (each attached to a separate, electrically isolated alligator "jaw"), he could form a complete circuit and run the lamp and the motor from the battery. The other candle would then just be a dummy prop. Also, watch the video and note that when he blows out the candle, his left hand slips under the table out of view, perhaps to activate a switch of some kind. In any case, there is no way that this can work as advertised.

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Old 12th February 2007   #5
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Well, I don't know. I thought Whiskeyman had pegged it but I've since went back and read the comments posted by other people who've viewed it (toward the bottom of the page). Many of them say they tried it and it does work, some make attempts at explaining why it works.

However, I suppose there's no guarantee that those aren't posts by the guy that made the vid or something like that. Also, there's also a lot of posts in the thread that have been"removed by Mysterious1". Don't know what that's all about for sure.

That hand going under the table does look pretty fishy though. He puts it there both when he lights the candles and when he blows them out. He does this with both hands in the vid and I noticed when he puts his right hand down, it's not straight down but rather a bit down and to his left. That's also where he puts his left hand when it goes under the table.

I suppose there's one way to find out if it works or not. Give it a try and see.

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Old 12th February 2007   #6
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It IS a magic trick.
There are several ways to acomplish the effect, one is described above.
Another is the placement of the candles on the table:

The candles each have a nail in the bottom that makes contact with the nails he sticks in them. The bottom of the candle nail makes contact with a metal spot on the table that blends in. His left hand controls the switch under the table.

Plus, the way he rubs that magnet will not magnatize a nail, it has to be stroked in ONE direction only so as to line up the nails electrons. Rubbing a magnet back & forth in both directions won't magnatize anything escept maybe the last stroke of the magnet will magnatize a quarter inch of that nail.

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