Monday, April 2, 2018

Caged Lightening

Before leaving Arkansas Mark wanted to play a nearby disc golf course.  We got up early to get to the course before our 2 hour drive to Hot Springs.  Arkansas is the 26th state that Mark has played disc golf in!

Our next stop was the Mid-America Science Museum, two hours away in Hot Springs.  Our main goal was to see the star of the Museum - the Tesla Coil.  Also known as Caged Lightening. 

In 2007 the Tesla Coil was certified by Guinness as the World’s Most Powerful Conical Tesla Coil.

It is a lightning-bolt-spitting invention perfected by Nikola Tesla.

It sits inside a floor-to-ceiling, 2.5 ton Faraday cage (Caged Lightning) which is lined with metal screens to protect viewers.

The operator turns a key, a transformer hums to life, and purple bolts of plasma shoot out. It's like a lightning storm inside a cage inside a building.  It was quite loud.

You might notice the neon sign on the right side of the cage.  It lit up too.  The presenter had Mark come on stage to hold up the electrical plug to prove the sign wasn’t plugged in.

The presenter did not tell us his name but he was very entertaining.  Mark and I were the only people that spent the extra $3 each to watch the program.

There was also a Plasma Lamp.  The presenter held up various neon and light bulbs to see which ones would light up from touching the Lamp.

He had me come on stage to show how our bodies are conductors of electricity.  Every time I put my hand on top of the light bulb it came on.  It was a fun program and we enjoyed it very much.

There is a LOT to see in the museum.  They will be opening a dinosaur exhibit later this year but so far there were only a couple of dinosaurs completed.

The museum is separated into several galleries.  The Marvelous Motion Gallery (a study of the basic concepts of physics) was our first stop.

Peanut Fountain

There was a gallery on memory and how we remember things.

The “Fluid Motion Workshop” is a two-story interactive water tower.  You can throw small plastic balls into the vortex of water.  Mark hit it every time!

Vortex of Water

You can probably tell that Mark tried out every hands-on exhibit!

A fun way to electrocute yourself!

Gravity Well

On the way to the Bob Wheeler Science Skywalk there were several exhibits.

Invisible stained glass:

Now you don't see it ...

Now you do!

The Bob Wheeler Science Skywalk is 40 feet in the air.

It was a lot of fun!

If you find yourself in Hot Springs, Arkansas, the Mid-America Science Museum is worth a stop.  $10 per person plus an extra $3 per person for the Tesla show.

Magnet souvenir.


  1. Ok. I have to go there. I would be like Mark and look at every hands on exhibit.

  2. I know you would! Just can't help touching things.