Honors Physics students tackled the electrophorus lab practicum today. Historically, this lab practicum has been a challenge for students for a couple of reasons. Some are not careful with their technique or observations. Others, struggle to believe what they observe and substitute their assumptions for their observations. Specifically, students really struggle to believe their observation that the metal plate when placed on the charged based of the electrophorus does not become charged via conduction.
To keep everyone honest, we have two different kinds of setups that we place side-by-side. Remarkably, the pink insulating foam and pie plate with styrofoam cup handle electrophorus that I made works better than the “official” electrophorus apparatus purchased years ago!