(Don’t use fruit right out of the
refrigerator because moisture will
condense on it.)
What happens when you put a
sheet of paper over the plate and rub
that? If you put a thin book on the
machine and put the can on top of
that (raising the can about an inch
from the surface) is the effect still
Take an ordinary, small neon
lamp and spread the leads outward.
Hold it by one lead over the Enigma
Machine and you can see it light up
(see Figure 4). This is easiest to see
in subdued lighting. How far away
from the box can you move the
lamp and still see it glow? (Note that
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different lamps perform differently.)
Put the plate on the box and
touch the free lead to the plate. The
lamp glows brightly. Now, move the
plate away from the box and touch
the free lead to the plate (see Figure
5). You can move it much farther
away before the lamp goes out.
Shades of Tesla!
The plate is acting as an antenna.
It picks up the electric field and
passes it through the plate and lamp
into you. Obviously, the metal plate
works better than just the lamp lead
because it’s so much bigger and
collects more energy. Try different
orientations of the plate. Try different
antennas. Do rabbit ears work? How
about a bowl of water? Be creative.
Somewhat surprisingly, the
Enigma Machine is very well-behaved
when it comes to ElectroMagnetic
Interference (EMI). You would
normally expect that such “radiated
power” effects would cause significant
problems with radios and TVs. There
is very little EMI generated.
Teasers for the Next
NUTS & VOLTS
If you run the Enigma Machine
on batteries, the effects are greatly
reduced or even eliminated. If you use
the AC adapter or any power supply
connected to the AC line, the effects
are much greater. If you use batteries
and touch just an oscilloscope
probe tip (without grounding the
probe) to either battery terminal, the
effects return (use a 1X probe). The
oscilloscope doesn’t have to be on,
but it does have to be plugged in. Can
you figure out what’s going on?
Try to measure the current of the
pulse. Use different methods. Are the
results the same?
We’ll go over these points in
detail next time and add more
experiments to try. Later, we’ll look
at how this related to “Kirlian Auras”
and provide a physical explanation
for what’s happening. We’ll also see
how to identify chemical solutions
without actually touching them. Stay
Circle #82 on the Reader Service Card.