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The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 49, December 3, 2006, Article 39

MAKING SMALL CHANGE SMALLER: HOW TO SHINK COINS FOR FUN

David Fanning writes: "Check this out: it hardly qualifies as
numismatic research or of bibliomaniac note, but those E-Sylum
subscribers who (like me) grew up trying to use their chemistry
sets to blow stuff up will likely enjoy it."

[David forwarded a link to a Popular Science article titled
"Making Small Change Smaller" -Editor]

"Take, for example, my friend Bert Hickman, a retired electrical
engineer living outside Chicago: He rather enjoys using magnetic
force to smash coins to roughly half their normal size. (He then
sells them on eBay, of course.)

"Bert begins the coin-shrinking process by wrapping a quarter in
copper wire and bolting the leads to copper bus bars, which are
connected, by way of a triggered spark gap, to a 600-pound bank
of 12,000-volt capacitors. A bulletproof blast shield encloses
the coin and coil, and a high-voltage power supply charges up the
capacitors. The only thing holding back the several thousand joules
of energy stored in the capacitors is the tiny space between the
spark gap's two brass discs.

"Pressing a switch triggers the spark gap, which releases the entire
charge through the coil in 25 millionths of a second. This creates
a huge magnetic field, which induces a current and then a magnetic
field inside the coin, which in turn pushes back against the field
outside. The repulsion force between these two fields crushes the
metal, instantly taking a quarter down to the size of a dime.

"Bert happily takes custom orders by mail... "Clad" U.S. coins,
such as quarters, work best-they contain a conductive copper core
sandwiched between a nickel-copper alloy-but most metal currencies
will do the trick."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story

To visit the coin-shrinker's web site, see: teslamania.com

For some great images of shrunken coins, see: shrinkergallery.html

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor 
at this address: whomren@coinlibrary.com

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