A dramatic demonstration of the principle behind sodium arc lights, by passing an electrical current through a pickle of other salty foods.
The Electric Pickle as Will and Idea
Philosophical discussion of the meaning of the experiment, and multimedia files (.AVI, .MOV, .WAV) of the results.
Glowing Pickle
Two enhancements to the standard demonstration apparatus: using a ground fault interrupt (GFI) to reduce the risk of electrocuting the demonstrator, and using potassium chloride (a dietary salt substitute) to produce a pink glow rather than the traditional sodium yellow. Also discusses the mechanism of the single-ended glow.
Shady Hollow
Details how to build a glowing/flaming Pickle. Includes photos of the apparatus using heavy-gauge wire and glass jars as insulators, and a plugged-in pickle glowing only at one end.
X Magazine: Please Pass the Science
Reader feedback with a list of precautions to be taken when electrocuting pickles, of more humorous than practical value. (March 18, 1999)
X Magazine: Please Pass the Science
The Glowing Pickle: Born of Boredom. Essay on discoveries made by bored scientists, from Post-It Notes to pickle-based sodium arc lights. (June 01, 1992)
[Wizard Mozilla]
Last update:
February 14, 2015 at 7:24:06 UTC
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