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Thomas Edison tried thousands of experiments when he was inventing the
incandescent light bulb. You can experiment too and find out how a light
bulb really works, by making your own! (Adult supervision recommended.)
What to do:
- Cut the copper wire in half and strip at least one inch of insulation off the ends of each length of wire. Next, punch two
holes in the jar lid. (You can use a nail for this.) Thread one end of the wire through
each hole in the lid.
- Make a hook at the end of each wire (the end that
will be inside the jar when you put the lid on). Twist two or three
strands of the iron wire together, then twist the ends around the hooks in the
copper wire. The iron wire will act as your filament.
- Place the lid (with the filament and wires attached) in the jar and carefully connect the free
ends of the copper wire to the terminals on the 6-volt battery. Once both ends are
connected to the battery, the current should start flowing, causing the filament to heat up and
give off a bright orange glow.
Your homemade light bulb is working! The light will last for anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes, depending on your filament. (Note: once your filament is burned
out, don't touch it right away - it will be very hot.)