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Vegetable Semiconductors

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Paul Burke, Aug 10, 2006.

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  1. Paul Burke

    Paul Burke Guest

    While looking for something else entirely, I came across this:

    "The same group at Digital that brought us the world's fastest
    microprocessor has also developed the world's only known light-emitting
    horseradish rectifier. (Horseradish rectifers in general are uncommon,
    let alone light-emitting ones.) Read on:

    Dr. Chudobiak,

    I would like to direct your attention to a description of an
    experiment I conducted with colleagues at Digital Semiconductor a few
    years ago. We constructed a light emitting "diode" of sorts from a
    sample of horseradish kim-chi. It rectified. It emitted light. It
    emitted a stench that could raise the dead.

    Matt Reilly (Ph.D.)
    Principal Hardware Engineer
    Alpha Products Group
    Digital Semiconductor

    More details at the Official Vegetable Semiconductor Page."

    Sadly, the link is broken, and a quick Google elicits nothing of
    relevance. Anyone know anything about this potentially important technology?

    Paul Burke
  2. It's a version of applying ***US 120 V mains*** to electrodes inserted
    in a courgette. You get light (coloured) and smoke, with fizzing noises
    and small explosions.

    DON'T try this with European mains.
  3. Georg Acher

    Georg Acher Guest

    Why? This is a popular party trick and school experiment (done by the teacher of
    course). It works very well with pickles (green light) and sausages (yellow
    light and very ugly smell). The sausage light should be done in free air anyway,
    as some types like to explode ;-)
  4. European mains produces a large enough current to cause really energetic
    explosions, enough to cause injury, particularly to eyes. The
    electrolysed vegetable has negative resistance, so the current is
    usually large enough to cause the fuse or circuit breaker to operate.
    That may be OK with sissy Continental 6 A supplies, (;-) but in UK we
    have 13 A supplies, making a BIG bang more likely.
  5. Sjouke Burry

    Sjouke Burry Guest

    Hmm, when I was young, :) ,EU mains worked well,thankyou.
    You can use orange peels, potatos,etc. and it left
    a nice carbon trail as well.
    If you have enough brains, you dont even get
    electrocuted. ;)
    When I "found" a nice radio mains transformer with 500
    volt on it, it worked even better........
    Aint we having a nice occupation???
  6. The sausage we did (240VAC) just cooked nicely.
    No light, burning or explosion.

  7. A 60 W filament lamp in series helps to keep things under control.
  8. I suppose it also helps if the expt is stopped when the sausage is cooked.

  9. t.hoehler

    t.hoehler Guest

    What type of electrodes do you use to cook the sausage if you want to eat it
    afterwards? I remember the HotDogger we had as a kid in the sixties, the hot
    dogs tasted like shit, IIRC. The other kids never seemed to care, but I
    couldn't stomach them. The ends of the dog were the worst, so I suppose it
    was some sort of migration of electrode material into the dog that made it
    taste so bad.
  10. We did it with a couple of stainless steel forks stuck into the ends of
    the sausage and then connected with croc clips to a mains cable.

  11. Not copper or aluminium, for sure! Carbon? Iron (skewers)?
  12. Stainless steel contains chromium. Not good for you in more than minute
  13. That should only be a problem with DC.
    Otherwise it's just hot stainless steel - and not much hotter than
    boiling fat.

  14. Guest

    Guest Guest

    13A is it? I don't there is a mains line in any house in the USA that is
    less than 15A.
  15. Jim Thompson

    Jim Thompson Guest

    Here in AZ, you can have 50A circuits for clothes dryers and electric
    ovens and stove-tops... and 100A for air conditioning.

    ...Jim Thompson
  16. Yes, but that's at 120 V, not 230 V. It matters - a lot.
  17. With the potential gradients, current densities and unstable active
    compounds produced by the electrolysis, I wouldn't advise you to count
    on that.
  18. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Yep.. the minimum circuit is a 15A circuit. 20A are common for any power
    hungry rooms (kitchen, etc.). 30-50A are normal for dryers, stoves, water
    heaters, etc. 100A certainly isn't common for AC here in Michigan, but it
    isn't unheard of.
  19. Guest

    Guest Guest

    For killing you... doubtful. It takes nowhere near 120V, much less 230V to
    kill you. They will both cook you if you aren't careful.
  20. Guest

    Only if your the hot dog.

    When I was doing my apprenticeship. the Broadcast Engineer I worked
    with would detune the x-miter. he had a plate over a section of the
    x-mittion line. used it as a coffee cup warmer. worked great.

    Rick / N4NKR
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