The shrinking coin – geeks’ way to symbolise the economy

Posted: May 31, 2009 in science & technology
Tags: ,

Well, I guess that’s not the intention, but it’s certainly not a bad interpretation 😉 . Hackerbot Labs built a coin shrinker based on an actual industrial process called electromagnetic forming. They charge up a capacitor to 10kV and then release the stored energy very quickly into a copper coil wrapped around a coin. The sudden current change creates huge magnetic fields first within the coil and then in the coin which make the coin contract and the coil explode. Because of the forces unleashed, the whole process is quite dangerous; the videos shows the need for a specifically thick-walled chamber to contain the explosion of the coil and a string being used to trigger the split second process remotely. The coins’ weight and volume apparently are retained during the shrinking procedure and even its features remarkably survive; they just look a bit warped.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

If you wanna know more, check out Hackerbot Labs’ blog which explains the whole process in more details and in addition provides detailed images of the process steps. It also has another video whose quality better but doesn’t show the spectacular explosion in the same great fashion 😉 .


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