Salem science teacher burns students with Tesla coil

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  • #10411
    Alfredo_T
    Participant

    Earlier today, I heard a report on KPAM that Samuel Dufner was arrested for “criminal mistreatment” of students in one of his South Salem High School science classes.

    Dufner had been doing a science class demonstration wherein he demonstrated the ignition of gases using sparks generated by a Tesla coil. (A Tesla coil is a device that produces long lightning-like arcs by generating high AC voltages at frequencies of a few hundred kHz.) In one class, he suggested that the arcs from the coil could also be used to create temporary tattoos on the skin and invited students to volunteer.

    Dufner was later released on $2000 bail.

    http://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/news/2015/05/06/south-salem-high-school-teacher-arrested/26955907/

    #10414
    kennewickman
    Participant

    What an Idiot !

    #10416
    edselehr
    Participant

    Shocking

    #10417
    Amus
    Participant

    Edselehr,

    As an educator, it’s not surprising that this story would spark your interest.

    #10418
    Alfredo_T
    Participant

    Shocking

    ARF ARF ARF! 😉

    If somebody had offered me a zap from a Tesla coil when I was a teenager, I would have declined, no question about it. However, most high schoolers (or people in general) have never heard of RF burns.

    After thinking about this story a bit, it seems to me that the report might have been incorrect in saying that Dufner used the coil to igninte gas samples. I think that more likely, Dufner had tubes containing gas samples, and the RF energy generated by the coil caused the gases to glow, much like a neon sign. The purpose of such a demonstration would be to show that different elements have different spectral signatures that can be observed using a prism.

    #10420
    Alfredo_T
    Participant

    UPDATE: The Marion County District Attorney’s Office has dropped charges against Dufner.

    http://www.kgw.com/story/news/2015/05/06/south-salem-hs-students-skin-burned-arrest/70892714/

    #10421
    missing_kskd
    Participant

    For what it is worth, doing this does not hurt, and it does make images or marks that heal, assuming low current and a probe and local ground to do it.

    KSKD had one, and did this with a couple adventurous friends.

    We found out by getting zapped, playing with the coil.

    A vandergraph (sp) generator can do this too. Static discharge will lightly fry skin.

    Not recommended, of course. I can’t believe a teacher would do this. Wtf?

    #10422
    edselehr
    Participant

    Seriously though, in this day and age whenever a teacher conducts a classroom experiment or demonstration that even holds the slightest personal risk to students, it is forbidden.

    In my district maybe a dozen years ago, an old-school science teacher was demonstrating microscopes and had the students gather a sample in a way she had done regularly over the years – prick their finger and look at a sample of their own blood. But, the rules for blood-borne pathogens had changed in the interim, and when a parent caught wind of what she was doing, the teacher suddenly was ready for early retirement.

    When a students personal safety is at issue, the system doesn’t kid around.

    #10423
    Boss_Radio_1550
    Participant

    Poor Guy…Just trying to teach the kids a cool science experiment. I’ve gotten worse burns adjusting grid leak bias. I never cried to my mommy.

    #10424
    missing_kskd
    Participant

    I did the blood sample too. Was very cool.

    #10470
    kennewickman
    Participant

    In 1966 we did our blood types in Biology . Teacher had us put an exacto type knife in the bunson burner and then we poked our fingers. Pretty simple times back then relative to worrying about blood born Pathogens.

    #10473
    duxrule
    Participant

    Our science teacher gave us the basic recipe for homemade napalm, but that was back in the 70’s, when napalm was on everybody’s mind.

    #10489
    skeptical
    Participant

    We had (quite heavy, by the way) bottles of Mercury we could pour in our hands and play with.

    #10492
    duxrule
    Participant

    His formula was gasoline and Fels Naphtha laundry soap.

    #10592
    Alfredo_T
    Participant

    We had (quite heavy, by the way) bottles of Mercury we could pour in our hands and play with.

    I recall reading that mercury in its elemental form (as in those bottles, in thermometers, in silver fillings, etc) is not easily absorbed into the body and is therefore not that dangerous.

    Compounds containing mercury are dangerous. For instance, methylmercury, released into the environment in industrial wastewater, is what poisoned cats and humans in Minamata, Japan in the mid 1950s.

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