Three months in Australia
3rd April '06
I got here at opening time, 10am, and had a quick look round. It's a great place for children, with interactive exhibits etc. However I was here to see their Tesla coil operating. This wasn't gonna happen 'till 1pm, so I bought a meteorite for $20 in the shop and took a coupla foties of railway memorabilia from the other side of the world.
Leaving the museum for an hour or so, I drove down to the Williamstown peninsula to chill out with an anchor thro' me head and look at my purchase.
Looked like a good buy... in the shop. Labelled as Nantan Octahedrite, China. As soon as I handled the object though, it became apparent it was iffy. Not dense enough. It's just the oxidised layer from meteoric iron as it's weathered. $20 rust. Still interesting, but hardly octahedrite. Anyway, upon return to Scienceworks, I took this foto of their giant sundial in bright sunlight. No shadow.
Had a quick look round the pumping house, which once dealt with Melbourne sewage using huge steam pumps. Quite interesting if you're into Victorian-age turd-management.
The high voltage show was very well done. The lecturer was informative & got a few laughs, with excellent demos of a small Van de Graaff, impulse generator and a large Tesla coil. Well worth the visit!
HV equipment behind chain link (flashback to Albert Park F1 cars)
You could hear the spark-gap rotate up to speed before discharge began.
Also, the top toroid has a slowly rotating arc discharge point on it.
This enables "lightning" to strike a car and various mannequins in turn
This appeared to be a Cockcroft Walton voltage doubler arrangement rather than a Marx set-up.
They had a Marx generator and a can-crusher, but they weren't demo'd
Some underwhelming videos of actually very spectacular high frequency discharges -
Tesla coil discharge (Quicktime vid, 5.6MB)
Rotating Tesla coil discharge (Quicktime vid, 12MB)
A plethora of unusual
science & engineering
Book of Amusement
Hundreds of entertaining
experiments from 1854