American Journal of Educational Research
ISSN (Print): 2327-6126 ISSN (Online): 2327-6150 Website: http://www.sciepub.com/journal/education Editor-in-chief: Ratko Pavlović
Open Access
Journal Browser
Go
American Journal of Educational Research. 2020, 8(6), 383-390
DOI: 10.12691/education-8-6-4
Open AccessArticle

Modern Tesla Coil as a Multidisciplinary Example in STEM Teaching

Hye Jung Kang1,

1Electrical Engineering, College of Business, Engineering and Technology, Texas A & M University, Texarkana, TX, 75503, USA

Pub. Date: June 07, 2020

Cite this paper:
Hye Jung Kang. Modern Tesla Coil as a Multidisciplinary Example in STEM Teaching. American Journal of Educational Research. 2020; 8(6):383-390. doi: 10.12691/education-8-6-4

Abstract

A modern Tesla coil is an excellent multidisciplinary example in undergraduate STEM teaching. It incorporates several concepts from physics and electrical engineering. For example, Ampere’s law and Faraday’s law are concepts in physics while an LC circuit, an RLC circuit, and the properties of a transistor are concepts in electrical engineering. A Tesla coil shows the intimate relationship between electricity and magnetism. Ampere’s law states that a current induces a magnetic field and Faraday’s law states that a changing magnetic flux induces a voltage. In a classical Tesla coil, a spark gap switches the current on and off flowing through the primary coil. Meanwhile, in many modern Tesla coils, a transistor is used instead of a spark gap, since it can switch on and off very quickly using a lower voltage. Several papers described how modern tesla coils work. However, the designs of modern Tesla coils were complicated and the mathematical descriptions for Tesla coils were beyond undergraduate students’ level. This paper describes a modern Tesla coil by providing mathematical details that are appropriate for undergraduate students’ level. To satisfy the educational purpose of this paper, we also choose the simplest design for a modern Tesla coil. The primary circuit in a modern Tesla coil used here is a parallel RLC circuit. We show that it can play the same role as the series RLC circuit of the primary circuit in the classical Tesla coil.

Keywords:
Tesla coil ampere’s law faraday’s law electromagnetic oscillator transistor

Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

References:

[1]  D. G. Bruns, “A solid-state low-voltage Tesla coil demonstrator,” Am. J. Phys. 60 (9), 797-803. Sep. 1992.
 
[2]  K. D. Skeldon, A. I. Grant, and S. A. Scott, “A high potential Tesla coil impulse generator for lecture demonstrations and science exhibitions,” Am. J. Phys. 65 (8), 744-754, Aug. 1997.
 
[3]  K. D. Skeldon, A. I. Grant, G. MacLellan, and C. McArthur, “Development of a portable Tesla coil apparatus,” Eur. J. Phys. 21 (2), 125-143, 2000
 
[4]  G. L. Johnson, “Building the World's Largest Tesla Coil History and Theory,” Power Symposium 1990. Proceedings of the Twenty-Second Annual North American, 128-135, October 1990.
 
[5]  D. C. Giancoli, Physics for Scientists & Engineers with Modern Physics, 4th ed, Pearson Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, 2009, 793-794.
 
[6]  D. C. Giancoli, Physics for Scientists & Engineers with Modern Physics, 4th ed, Pearson Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, 2009, 795.
 
[7]  M. L. Boas, Mathematical Methods in the Physical Sciences, 3rd ed, John Wiley & Sons, 2006, 417-418.
 
[8]  M. L. Boas, Mathematical Methods in the Physical Sciences, 3rd ed, John Wiley & Sons, 2006, 408-409.