In this classic demonstration of electromagnetic induction, an aluminum ring is propelled straight up a maximum distance of 2 meters. The changing magnetic field from the AC powered coil causes a changing magnetic flux through the aluminum ring. The induced EMF in the ring sets up a current which produces a magnetic field. The induced magnetic field opposes the field of the coil, pushing the ring up.
The PASCO Ring Launcher has been optimized to launch the ring higher and to maximize safety by enclosing all wiring inside the case. A thermal shut-off switch protects the coil by preventing overheating when the momentary launch switch is held down for a prolonged time. A red light indicates when the thermal switch is activated, and further launches are prohibited until the device cools.
The Ring Launcher Accessories set includes a coil with a bulb that lights by induction when the coil is placed over the launcher core. Also includes three additional rings: one split aluminum ring that will not launch, one copper ring to show the effect of changing materials and one shorter aluminum ring with higher resistance to show that it will not go as high because of decreased induced current.
Ring Launcher design ideas contributed by Carl Schneider and John Ertel from the U.S. Naval Academy.
- Ring Launcher
- Aluminum Rings (2)
- One Coil/Bulb
- One Split Aluminum Ring
- One Copper Ring
- One Smaller Aluminum Ring