Tesla Coils are a straight up awesome on their own, but we've have long been using the high-voltage, low-frequency transformers to create even more awesome creations, like musical instruments, lighters, and crazy suits of body armour.
Now, another Tesla Coil-powered invention is making its way around the internet: a Tesla Coil-triggered, ethanol-powered Gatling gun - an old-school, hand-cranked gun that was a precursor to the modern machine gun, and it shoots 315 film canisters in about 20 seconds.
The gun was designed by one of YouTube’s favourite mad scientists, ScienceBob, who’s mostly known for performing mini-experiments on comedian Jimmy Kimmel’s late-night show – like the time he carved pumpkins by making them explode, or when he set off 900 mousetraps simultaneously.
In the new video, ScienceBob takes on the task of creating a giant wheel that can hold 315 film canisters. Remember film canisters? Good times.
He does this by drilling each of the canisters’ caps to a board that can spin like a gameshow wheel. Then he adds spark gap wires to the back of the wheel so electricity can flow from one canister lid to the next.
Each of these wires has a tiny bit hanging off the side of the wheel to allow them to interact with a Tesla Coil that was prepared earlier.
The Tesla Coil was invented by Nikola Tesla back in 1891, and works by having a primary and secondary coil - each with their own capacitors - that transfer current through an air gap until enough is built up that the tap load (the metal thing at the top) shoots out sparks.
But back to our Gatling gun. Once the wheel is all set up, ScienceBob adds ethanol vapour to each film canister and affixes them to the board. The ethanol provides the burst of energy needed to propel the canister off of the board since a mere Tesla Coil wouldn’t produce enough force on its own.
When it's all ready to go, ScienceBob pulls out his trusty Tesla Coil, cranks it up, and spins the wheel. As it turns, the coil sparks to the wires, igniting the ethanol, and resulting in an insanely fast and loud Gatling gun that launches film canisters across the stage.
You really have to watch the video above to see the gun in all its glory. Reading about a Tesla Coil will never do it the justice it deserves. Although the most impressive part might be how the heck he got all of those now-defunct film canisters in the first place.
And hopefully we don't have to say this, but don't try this at home.