Physics Dept. Demonstration Manual

DEM06 - Explosion Due to Static Electricity


To illustrate the hazards of static electricity in the presence of an explosive gas mixture.

  • Explosion chamber
  • Naptha gas in dropper bottle
  • Oxygen filled balloons, 2, c/w adapter and clamp
  • Electrostatic generator, Wimshurst or Zerostat
  • Long leads


The long leads are connected to the explosion chamber and to the discharged Wimshurst Machine.

The inner vessel of the explosion chamber is filled with an explosive mixture of gasoline and oxygen. Put four (4) drops of gasoline from the top of the vessel and place the lid over the top. Introduce oxygen from the inlet on the bottom of the vessel and clamp the hose. When a spark passes, the gases explode.

Before adding gas, test if the spark is present. Then discharge Wimshurst generator.

Keep leads to explosion chamber apart to reduce leakage of charge.