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Home > Learning Center > Science Center > Make a Galvanometer

How to Make a Galvanometer

Italian physiologist Luigi Galvani accidentally discovered that the leg of a frog twitched when touched with an electrically charged scalpel. In this experiment, you’ll learn how to make a galvanometer, an instrument for detecting the strength of electrical current.

Materials You Will Need:

  • Energizer® Power Pack
  • Compass
  • Strip of 3" to 5" metal from can
  • Floating needle from Oersted's Experiment
  • Varied large lengths of number 22 insulated copper bell wire with approximately 1" of insulation stripped from all ends
  • Switch or alternate commercial knife blade switch
  • 4 nails

Please Read Carefully!

All experiments use safe, low-voltage battery power. Household electrical current contains high voltage that could cause serious injury. DO NOT use household electrical current for any of these experiments. ALL experiments should be conducted under adult supervision.

  • Carefully follow wiring instructions for each experiment. Improper wiring can result in battery leakage and/or rupture.
  • DO NOT take a battery apart. Contact with internal battery material can cause injury.
  • DO NOT dispose in fire, recharge, put in backwards, or mix with used or other battery types. This may cause the batteries to explode, leak and cause personal injury.