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How Can You Stop Electromagnetic Radiation From Penetrating A Certain Area?

based on 4 ratings
Author: Sharon Cooper
Type

Physics (electromagnetism)

Grade

Elementary school

Difficulty of Project

Easy

Cost

$3

Safety Issues

None

Material Availability

Easily available from the drugstore or your home.

Approximate Time Required to Complete the Project

About a day

Objective

To understand how you can create your own Faraday Cage! 

Materials and Equipment / Ingredients

  • A cell phone
  • Tin Foil
  • A radio
  • A walky-talky 

Introduction

What happens if you are in a car that gets struck by lightning? Would you die? The answer is that you'd never be able to work that car again, but you would feel nothing at all. You'd walk away just fine! Why is that? It's because of a principal that Faraday discovered. If external waves like lightning or radio waves encounter an outer shell made of a material that conducts electricity, all of the charge will go into the shell, and the item inside will feel no effect at all! But does this work on all objects? What about a radio? Or a cell phone? 

Research Questions
  • How can you stop electromagnetic radiation from penetrating a certain area?
  • What kinds of radiation does it block? 
Terms, Concepts and Questions to Start Background Research
  • What is electromagnetic radiation?
  • How do Faraday Cages work?
  • What are radio waves and how do they compare to lightning? 

Experimental Procedure

  1. Find a cell phone, and wrap it in tin foil.
  2. Try to call this cell phone. Do you hear it ringing?
  3. Now turn on the radio and wrap it in tin foil. Does it still work?
  4. Take one of the walky-talkies and wrap it in tin foil. Attempt to communicate with it from the second walky-talky. Do you hear any signal?

Bibliography

“Michael Faraday”. Kids and Energy. ESD Bulgaria. 2005. http://www.kids.esdb.bg/faraday.html 

“Radio Waves”. The Electromagnetic Spectrum. NASA. March 27, 2007. http://science.hq.nasa.gov/kids/imagers/ems/radio.html 

“Electromagnetic Radiation.” Kids Research Express. http://kidsresearchexpress-2.blogspot.com/2008/09/electromagnetic-radiation.html

 

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