High Speed Coin Shrinking

Posted by rob on 12 June 2009

A quarter caught in the act of shrinking

We recently had a chance to work with the fine folks at Intellectual Ventures to quantify some of what goes on with our coin shrinker. Using a bunch of neat gear (including an extremely high speed camera), we were able to learn all sorts of things about our amazing chamber of shrink. Here is some of what we learned:

  • The coin shrinks in just 30 to 40 microseconds. Even when filming at 100,000 frames per second, that's just 3 or 4 frames of video!
  • By the time the coil begins to explode, the coin has already been shrunk for several microseconds!
  • The collapsing coin gets extremely hot: the thinnest part of the center of a quarter glows bright white-red for a few microseconds just after shrinking.
  • At one meter away from the spark gap, the shrinker generates a big bang: about 135 dB, or roughly as loud as a jet engine taking off from 100 meters away.
  • The magnetic field created by the coil is extremely strong: at 10 cm from the coil (just on top of the lid of the blast chamber) we measured a peak field strength of 0.22 tesla, or about as strong as a small neodymium magnet.
  • During the explosion, some of the bits of shrapnel fly past the camera's view at about twice the speed of sound.
  • The edge of the coin moves about 1/4" in 36 microseconds, or roughly 400 miles per hour!

There's a lot more info over on Intellectual Ventures' blog. More photos of the camera rig and actual shrinkage are available here.

A just-shrunk quarter, captured at 100,000 frames per second

Posted in: Electricity, Featured  

15 Responses

  1. Daniel’s MicroBlog » Blog Archive » High Speed Coin Shrinking Said,

    [...] via hackerbotlabs [...]

    Posted on June 17th, 2009 at 4:54 am

  2. Coin shrinking with high voltage in slow motion - machine quotidien Said,

    [...] Hackerbot Labs was invited by Intellectual Ventures to demonstrate their Maker Faire Editor’s Choice [...]

    Posted on June 17th, 2009 at 5:32 am

  3. Encolhimento de Moeda de Alta velocidade | ::LasCou.com.br:: Said,

    [...] apenas 10 kV (15,000 joules!) Mais detalhes aqui. Vi aqui. Leia Mais Sem [...]

    Posted on June 17th, 2009 at 5:49 am

  4. The How-To Blog » Coin shrinking with high voltage in slow motion Said,

    [...] Hackerbot Labs was invited by Intellectual Ventures to demonstrate their Maker Faire Editor’s Choice [...]

    Posted on June 17th, 2009 at 6:16 am

  5. Coin shrinking with high voltage in slow motion | Diy all the Way Said,

    [...] Hackerbot Labs was invited by Intellectual Ventures to demonstrate their Maker Faire Editor’s Choice [...]

    Posted on June 17th, 2009 at 11:23 am

  6. Coin shrinking with high voltage in slow motion | DIY Blogs Said,

    [...] SHRINKING WITH HIGH VOLTAGE IN SLOW MOTION DIY Blogs Recently Hackerbot Labs was solicited by Intellectual Ventures to shew their Maker Faire Editor’s Choice [...]

    Posted on June 17th, 2009 at 12:53 pm

  7. High Speed Camera Captures Electromagnetic Quarter Shrinkage | Diy all the Way Said,

    [...] particular experiment was done by Hackerbot Labs, and Intellectual Ventures has more pics and video at the link [...]

    Posted on June 29th, 2009 at 1:40 am

  8. High Speed Camera Captures Electromagnetic Quarter Shrinkage « NextGenGear Said,

    [...] particular experiment was done by Hackerbot Labs, and Intellectual Ventures has more pics and video at the link [...]

    Posted on June 29th, 2009 at 2:40 am

  9. High Speed Camera Captures Electromagnetic Quarter Shrinkage | Are you reading? Said,

    [...] particular experiment was done by Hackerbot Labs, and Intellectual Ventures has more pics and video at the link [...]

    Posted on June 29th, 2009 at 7:54 pm

  10. dɸ/dt » Blog Archive » Lab log: April 2, 2010 Said,

    [...] drives nixie tubes for the display (via an Arduinix shield). I’ intend to use this with the coin shrinker for additional safety (nixies are much easier to read in the dark than an LCD!). And nothing says [...]

    Posted on April 2nd, 2010 at 8:04 pm

  11. Jeff Said,

    This is great! Good work. I can think of a few (possibly practical) applications that would be fun to implement and test. Are you still working on it? Has it been commercialized for anything yet?

    Posted on March 31st, 2011 at 12:27 pm

  12. Stephan Said,

    Amazing work! and this is so great. has it been televised? so that many people will see it this impressive work.

    Posted on April 13th, 2011 at 7:47 pm

  13. Stephan Said,

    This great work is very impressive. Thanks for sharing it. It's amaze me a lot.

    Posted on April 17th, 2011 at 11:58 pm

  14. Tony Harris Said,

    I read about this in a book a few years ago.

    I'm a wannabe SF author, and I think of new SF gadgets all the time. Last night I had the idea to use a similar technology in a super-gun to change the shape of a bullet as it passed down the barrel.

    My idea was to use Em fields to squash--or stretch, is that possible--the bullet between parabellum, hollowpoint and thin penetrator rounds without much affecting velocity or accuracy.

    Am I nuts, or is this at least possible in theory?

    Thanks

    Posted on June 1st, 2011 at 10:01 pm

  15. dɸ/dt » Blog Archive » Bytecoins! Said,

    [...] I’ll tell you what I paid for them. I traded a shrunken Susan B. Anthony dollar for a 10-byte note, and a shrunken quarter for a 5-byte note. That puts the [...]

    Posted on June 24th, 2011 at 2:09 pm

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