Electrostatic Potential
Electricity and Magnetism

Electrical entertainments

Stories from Physics for 11-14 14-16 IOP RESOURCES

During the eighteenth century, a craze for electrical demonstrations sprang up and itinerant lecturers toured fashionable salons showing off novel entertainments. Some of the strangest of these included:

  • Stephen Gray’s Flying Boy  −  a young boy was suspended by silk threads from a wooden frame and charged. When the boy held out his hands, pieces of paper and chaff flew up from the floor.
  • The Electrifying Venus  −  a female member of the audience stood on an insulated stool and was charged. When a male volunteer attempted to kiss her, he received a shock
  • The Thunder House  −  a doll’s house which demonstrated the effects of lightning strikes and the protection offered by lightning conductors. Some houses were rigged with gunpowder to dramatise the effect of a strike on an ungrounded house.

References

Electrostatic Potential
is used in analyses relating to Electric Field
can be analysed using the quantity Work

Disable node explorer

Off
Limit Less Campaign

Support our manifesto for change

The IOP wants to support young people to fulfil their potential by doing physics. Please sign the manifesto today so that we can show our politicians there is widespread support for improving equity and inclusion across the education sector.

Sign today