Quarter Shrinking

Well, I’ve found a possible new hobby when I’m old with waaaay too much time on my hands. Quarter Shrinking! Basically all you have to do is get some special switches, a butt-load of huge capacitors, some heavy duty copper wire, and of course, some quarters. Sounds easy right?

Well, it isn’t quite THAT easy. That special switch I mentioned. Well, it’s really special. We call that the Trigatron Switch. It needs to be able to handle anywhere between 0 and 50,000 joules of electrical energy reliably. (That means not exploding or welding itself together.)

As for that butt-load of huge capacitors, I really mean a butt-load, actually I don’t think that’s really accurate. Since all together based on weight alone, these guys have nearly a ton, yes that means 2,000 pounds of capacitor, I’d say more like it’s a truck-load of capacitors.

The heavy duty copper wire isn’t all too special. Just the standard large gauge ceramic coated stuff. Along with the even bigger wires you’ll be using to connect the switches, safety equipment (feel free to skimp here), and capacitors to the shrinking coil.

No, they don’t have to be quarters that you shrink, but it is altogether fairly impressive when you shrink a full size American quarter down to smaller than an American dime.

So, I suppose now that you’ve obviously built this machine, and looked at the results, I bet you’re wondering: “Nigel, How’s this even possible?” Well, Have I got an answer for you.

First, a massive amount of electrical current is stored in the capacitors to be released through the coil of large gauge ceramic coated copper in which lies a quarter. So, Quarter sits inside the coil, electricity sits inside the capacitors, and the only thing separating them is this thingy called a Trigatron. Well, lets pull the trigger on this Trigatron and see why this works.

So, we’ve all of a sudden got a huge, and I mean HUGE, amount of electricity flowing through this coil wrapped around a quarter. Now most of us know that when electricity of any normal sort is pumped through a coil, it creates a magnetic field. We’ve got the same thing here, but on a much larger scale. We are all of a sudden creating this hugely powerful magnetic field around this quarter. So what? Big deal? Quarters don’t crush in your pocket from the earth’s magnetic field. What makes this crush?

The coil explodes, that’s what. The amount of electricity going through the coil causes it to explode, which unfortunately for the otherwise happy, healthy, and full size quarter, this means that the hugely powerful magnetic field we have, is now collapsing upon itself. We know what’s at the center of that field don’t we?

The result is somewhat like if you took a bunch of semi-trucks, from all different directions, and simultaneously crashed them into any small car. The result is a lot smaller.

In all seriousness though, the magnetic field shrinks everything on the quarter just about equally, so, by the time the process is done, the quarter is a little thicker, but definitely smaller around.

Check out this page to see pictures of all this going down and descriptions from the man himself.

Remember, electricity can be extremely dangerous, you must know what you are doing to attempt any work on any electrical circuits. Please don’t try this sort of thing at home. I don’t know if I would, and that’s saying something.

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