Conference Demonstration - Thomson's Jumping Ring

My Contribution and Project Overview

This project, my focus as an intern in the Summer of 2012, was designed to show off EHT's switching technology at the National Instruments conference. I designed, CAD-modeled, and built a high-power version of Thomson's Jumping Ring.

In the experiment, a capacitor bank is dumped into an electromagnet. The induced fields generate oppositely-polarized currents in a metal ring sitting atop the magnet. This in turn creates fields that oppose the electromagnet's field, creating a force that drive the ring upwards.

The final design needed to be functional, safe, and impressive. As a result, it was designed with shields to isolate the metal ring and an illuminated 20-foot tower to attract interest. it was a great first project!

Skills Demonstrated/Gained

Although at this point in my tenure with EHT I was only mildly familiar with the switching technology, I learned a tremendous amount about materials and machining. I took classes and became proficient with the lathe and mill, along with hand techniques like tapping. In addition to metal machining, I learned about plastic machining, from how to drill brittle plastic, to the use of plastic adhesives.


Poster Presented at Undergraduate Research Symposium, Fall 2012

Completed jumping ring demo at NI Conference, 2012, Austin, TX

Small-scale test of jumping ring demo