In Class Experiment

During the Enlightenment, people began to question why and how certain phenomenon occurred. Because there was no clear explanation, people automatically believed it to be the fate of god. Benjamin Franklin, being an enlightened thinker, began to experiment with electricity to try to better understand how exactly it worked.

In class, we tried to model one of these experiments. We blew up balloons and rubbed them with a wool cloth to generate electricity as seen in the image below. We then attached tinfoil to a meal wire and dangled it from a piece of cardboard. We tested to see if there was electricity generated by observing if the tinfoil would be attracted to the balloon or not. As we rubbed the balloon a strong negative charge built up and thus attracted the tin foil which was positively charged.

exp2 exp

Similarly, as we can see in his letters to Peter Collinson, Franklin would run experiments and write a clear description as to what he did and what materials he used and then try to draw conclusions to explain the phenomenon he witnessed.  He ran experiments several times to try to prove his theories.


2 thoughts on “In Class Experiment”

  1. This was a really interesting and fun experiment, i like your inclusion of pictures in the blog post. It made it much easier to follow.

  2. Nice pictures it really brings back fond memories of my own experiment. I liked your analysis about Franklin’s scientific process. Also I liked how you reference Peter Collinson and his letter with Franklin about Franklin’s various scientific experiments. Although I wish you mentioned you own results of your recreation of Franklin’s experiment. Overall very well written.

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