Tesla Coils, Cans, Bottles and Other Ideas for College Christmas Tree

Christmas is around the corner and everyone is thinking about presents and decorations (unless you still have finals to pass..). Traditional glass ornaments and laces are adorable; however, if you’re bored with this stuff (or simply don’t have any at the dorm), you can create decorations for college in modern way, using almost everything, the only limitation is your imagination. Some science lovers cannot go without science even on holidays and thus yield sometimes strange, or even crazy ideas and hand-made implementations. We don’t recommend you to construct the foregoing stuff at home, as without understanding of physics and proper safety arrangements this could turn into troubles. If you are not a physics lover, proceed to other ideas for Christmas trees in this article. So look! This is Tesla coils decorated Christmas tree:

Tesla transformer (also called Tesla coil) is a device invented by electrical engineer, physicist and futurist Nikola Tesla and named after him. By the way, this scientist is widely known thanks to his contribution into design of modern alternating current power supply system. Tesla coil is a resonant transformer producing high voltage of high frequency. The device was patented September 22, 1896 as “Apparatus for the production of electric currents of high frequency and potential”.

Tesla coil: principles of functioning

The simplest Tesla transformer consists of two coils – primary and secondary,  the chopper (recall common Spark Gap), condenser, donut (not always used) and terminal.

First let’s try to understand physics behind the work of this device. The functioning of the resonant transformer can be explained on the example of ordinary swing. Each object has its own frequency of oscillations, which is called natural frequency. In case of swing it depends only on the length of a suspender. If we push a swing periodically, the maximum achievable amplitude (or the height of elevation of the swing, its top point) in such case is proportional to applied external force. If amplitude of our efforts coincides with natural frequency of a swing then its amplitude will grow many times. The same reasoning can be applied to the Tesla transformer: secondary oscillating circuit acts as a swing, the generator plays the role of external force applied. “Length of a suspender” is parameters of electrical circuit. The primary circuit or oscillator (depending on the device) provides their consistency (that is, “boosting” comes in the right time instants).

Simpler and safer ways to create your own College Christmas tree

There’s no necessity to put your life in danger and touch electricity to create Christmas tree nearly out of nothing! Below there are ideas of using the most common things present in every college student’s apartment in abundance. Best College Christmas tree – use Coke/beer cans or dedicate it to your recently gone finals and missed sleeping hours choosing Red Bull.

Bottles also look great, however it’s a bit trickier to arrange them.

Books also can comprise a beautiful and minimallistic one. No waste in this case! Also you can easily make it thematic, using particular textbooks. Think of Calculus Christmas tree, for example. Or even make a homework Christmas tree picking all you homework notes and papers of the last year. Also you can decorate it with cheating notes or reminders you also used in classes lately.

Have no books, no homework, drink no beer? Find anything which looks like a tree branch (or just anything) and assemble it as you wish. Call your buddies to help you, team work boosts creativity. The result may look like this:

If you already have Christmas tree or can afford one, but want to add some originality, just.. hang it upside down! All you need to do is to fix a hanger in the ceiling and attach your tree to it. Decoration process is the same as in case of regular positioned tree:

Have great college Christmas tree of your own? Share in comments. We wish you all the best in upcoming year. And Merry Christmas!

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Filed under College Life, Engineering, Physics.