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Electric Quest

Turn the knob to send current through the pipe. The one who reaches the finish line without touching the pipe with the ring wins.
Article by N+1
3 min to read · May 24 2023
Turn the handle to send electricity through the pipe. Try running the ring along the pipe without touching it. If you touch it, you will hear a beep.
The track has resting islands covered with paint. This paint is a dielectric, meaning it does not conduct electric current. That's why there is no signal when you touch the ring. There are two pipes, so you can play two players against each other.
Whoever reaches the finish line without touching the pipe with the ring is the winner! Don't be afraid — it's safe.
Electricity comes from the movement of electrons. These are the particles that are inside atoms. They make up everything around us, including us. When electrons move from one atom to another, they create an electric current. If you see lightning in the sky, that's billions of electrons moving through the air at the same time, releasing a lot of energy.
But how does electricity get into our homes and make all the electrical devices work? Not by chasing around the world looking for lightning? Electricity is created by special devices — electric generators. And then it's sent through wires to a power plant and then to our homes. When we turn on a microwave or other device through an outlet, electricity flows through the wires and makes the device work. The key is to make sure that the wires are not broken anywhere, because this is the path for the running electrons.
In our labyrinth it is exactly the same: the pipes carry electric current - they are conductors. Inside the rope there is also a conductor. So if you touch the ring to the pipe, the circuit closes, the light comes on and you hear a signal. But until the ring and the pipe are connected, there is air between them and there is no current.
Conductors are substances that conduct electric current well. For example, metals: steel, gold, copper, aluminum. Dielectrics are, on the contrary, substances with poor conductivity. For example, glass or plastic. The paint on this pipe is also a dielectric. So when the ring touches the paint, there will be no signal.
In contrast to what happens in our lab, lightning has a very high voltage, which means that there is a large potential difference between the clouds and the ground. When lightning strikes, the potential difference causes a strong electric current to flow through the air.
However, there is a lot of resistance between air particles, which makes it a poor conductor. Therefore, lightning can only pass through air if the voltage is high enough. In our maze, the current is weak and the voltage is low, so everything is safe.
By the way, the human body is also an excellent conductor, because it contains large amounts of water and electrolytes. In fact, up to 70% of our body is made up of water, and electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium are found within and between cells. Because of the ability of electricity to flow through our body, we check the function of the heart with an electrocardiogram, the head with an electroencephalogram, and use other methods of diagnosis and treatment.
If we weren't conductive, we couldn't feel electrical discharges such as electric shocks or static electricity, which we often feel when brushing our hair or changing our clothes.
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