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Toys Science

Fun With an Induction Cooktop? 147

fishfrys writes "Besides generating heat quickly and efficiently in ferromagnetic pans, what sorts of fun things can you do with an induction cooktop? This seems like a pretty serious piece of electromagnetic equipment — boiling water can't be the only thing it's good for. I went to YouTube, expecting to find all sorts of crazy videos of unsafe induction cooktop shenanigans, but found only cooking. What sort of exciting, if not stupid, physics experiments can be performed with one? Hard drive scrubber? DIY Tesla coil? There's got to be something."
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Fun With an Induction Cooktop?

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  • by RealBorg ( 549538 ) <{gro.retsamtsoh} {ta} {zsamoht}> on Friday October 29, 2010 @04:31PM (#34067540) Homepage
    that's what i have found so far. normally you cannot use aluminum on an induction cooktop, probably because a thick layer of aluminum is equally as conductive as the copper inductor in the cooktop, however a thin layer of aluminum can be brought to hover itself away from the cooktop and / or begin to glow if held in place. my cooktop took no damage from trying this but of course - don't try this at home
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 29, 2010 @04:32PM (#34067560)

    I remember seeing induction heating used to make a block of ice glow red hot.

    Apparently it heats the trace amounts iron inside the ice so this only works with tap water. Not really sure if it would work with an iduction stove top though. Worth a try.

  • by guorbatschow ( 870695 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @04:40PM (#34067684)

    Last time I used my induction stove to cook water for noodles, I put the power to max, all the while listening to music on my iphone via headphones. You know, those standard apple headphones with microphone and volume controls. Right when I put the power to max, the music went off. Turns out the volume was set to minimum. So I tried to restore the volume via touch controls, but it went to minimum immediately, again. I already had experience with malfunctioning apple headphones (cable short-circuit) so I unplugged them, which helped. Then I noticed that the proximity to the cooktop had an effect. Apparently the induction pattern induced the same signal in the headphone cables that a volume down would produce...

    Anybody with a Bosch induction stove and an iPhone/iPod should try to confirm this.

  • by skids ( 119237 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @04:57PM (#34067928) Homepage

    Neat. I imagine their are potential lithography applications. Or you could just inject a BB into an egg and cook it from the inside out for the ultimate in runny whites.

  • by Technician ( 215283 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @05:08PM (#34068046)

    Using the coil from a monitor flyback transformer with the powdered iron core removed, the secondary often will have it's voltage rating exceeded in a spectacular display. Be sure to use lots of ventilation.

    If you have several old dead monitors, you have a source of these.

  • by geekoid ( 135745 ) <> on Friday October 29, 2010 @05:32PM (#34068346) Homepage Journal

    get a magnet near the headphone wires, and you can control the device.

  • by ( 1665555 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @05:38PM (#34068402)
    Once upon a time I worked in a metal foundry. There people used induction furnaces to melt all sorts of alloys for castings. Skin depth is key. If you have tiny skin depth in your material it will take forever for something interesting to happen. Step 1 find an insulating container which will not burn. Glass can work(assuming your metal melts before the glass does) or ceramic is better. Place fun things in it like steel wool. Turn on the coil. Be astounded by steel wool. Aluminum cans are thin enough to melt, but be cautious they can ignite in air and if they do you can be poisoned or otherwise injured by the alumina.

    I think it might be fun to use a thin metal implement in a glass bowl to cook something from a hot rod.
  • Re:Here's one (Score:3, Interesting)

    by John Hasler ( 414242 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @05:41PM (#34068442) Homepage

    > ...with minor tweaks you could make one hell of a HERF weapon out of one...

    Not likely. These things operate at about 27KHz. On the other hand, you might be able to generate a couple of kilowatts of ultrasound by fabricating a "speaker cone" from a resonant metal disk and some magnets and use it to curdle your brain.

  • Re:Here's one (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Ungrounded Lightning ( 62228 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @05:43PM (#34068460) Journal

    I've seen induction heating used to temper truck axles, among other things.

    I saw it used in the manufacture of commutators for starter motors:
      - Copper bar bent into circle.
      - Induction heat to orange in about 5 seconds, to weld the joint and take the stresses out of it. Result: Stress-free donut.
      - Smash the donut into shape (segmented hollow top-hat) with dies.
      - Mold plastic into it - to support it and make an insulated press-fit for the shaft).
      - Saw the segments apart.

    I've been trying to figure out how to make slip rings for a windmill. Seems like bending, welding, and annealing a copper bar would do the trick. And an induction hot plate ought to be just the ticket for the welding/annealing step.

  • by Idiomatick ( 976696 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @08:32PM (#34069898)
    My stove has a button to 'STOP TIME'! Top that!
  • Re:water balloon (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Psychofreak ( 17440 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @10:12PM (#34070414) Journal

    Blacksmith's induction forge: for the modern smith. []


  • by Prune ( 557140 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @10:14PM (#34070424)
    This is why Tesla coils seem a lousy way to get high voltage. I've bought not-too-large 250 kV transformers from industrial portable X-ray machine power supply on eBay previously and you can chain a few together (in an oil tank, of course) to get in the megavolt range--at significantly higher _continuous_ power levels than with a Tesla coil of the same size. TCs are way oversized for what they accomplish.