Physics Experiment: it lights or don’t

by iw_azeheb 03 Mar

Depending on the ability to conduct electricity or not, materials can be classified as conductors or insulators. The “It lights or don’t” physics experiment is a great way to test the ability to conduct electricity from some simple materials.

The experiment

The purpose of the “It lights or don’t” experiment is to make an electric current flow in a simple circuit, with only a battery and a lamp. So just close the circuit with various materials to test if it is conductive, and the lamp lights, or insulation, and the lamp turns off.

To assemble the circuit you will need:

  • One piece of conductive wire (approximately 30 cm of common electric wire)
  • Two 1.5V common type batteriesUma lâmpada de 3V
  • Cutting pliers
  • One roll of insulation tape

In addition, several types of materials will be required to be tested as conductors or insulation, for example:

  • Metals (nails, piece of electrical wire, wire, clips)
  • Plastics (school rulers, garbage bags, grocery bags, outside pens, erasers)
  • Household objects (ashtrays, stones, etc.)

To assemble the circuit, first attach the batteries and use a piece of insulation tape to secure them.

Cut two strands 20 cm long and peel the ends.

Then attach one end of one of the cables to the positive pole of the batteries.

Take the other cable and attach one end to the lamp and the other end to the negative pole of the battery.

Now press the positive pole wire on the underside of the lamp to test it. If all is right the lamp will rise.

And then the materials will be tested by touching the wire that is connected to the batteries and touching the underside of the wire that is only against the metallic point of the lamp. To do this, place it on a table (without touching the lamp) and place some of the chosen material on it. Then simply touch the lamp contact on this material to close the circuit connection. And finally, just check if the lamp lights, which means that the material is conductive, and if it doesn’t light, then the material is insulation..

Did you like the experiment? Now get to work and just find out which materials are conductive and which are insulation.

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