A galvanoscope for detecting small currents of electricity can be made from a coil of wire, A; a glass tube, B, full of water; a core, C; and a base, D, with binding posts as shown. The core C, which is made of iron and cork, is a trifle lighter than the water it displaces and will therefore normally remain in the top of the tube; but as soon as a current of electricity passes through the coil, the core is drawn down out of sight. The current required is very small, as the core is so nearly balanced that the least attraction will cause it to sink.
The glass tube may be a test tube, as shown in Fig. 2, or an empty developer tube. If one has neither a test tube nor developer tube, an empty pill bottle may be used. The washers at the ends of the coil can be made of fiber, hard rubber, or wood; or can be taken from an old magnet. The base may be made of wood or any other insulating material and should have four short legs on the bottom. Make the coil of single-covered wire about No. 18 and connect ends to binding posts as shown in Fig. 2.
The core is made by pushing a small nail through a piece of cork. It should be made so that it will rise slowly when placed under water. Some filing may be necessary to get the weight just right, but it should be remembered that the buoyancy of the core can be adjusted after the parts are assembled, by pressing the cork in the bottom of the test tube. This causes compression in the water so that some is forced into the upper cork, reducing its displacement and causing it to sink. The lower cork is then slowly withdrawn, by twisting, until the core slowly rises.
The instrument will then be adjusted ready for use.
Connect the binding posts to a single cell of battery--any kind will do, as a slight current will answer. On completing the circuit the core will descend; or put in a switch or push button on one of the battery wires. If the button be concealed where the operator can reach it, the core will obey his command to rise or fall, according to his control of the current. This is a mysterious looking instrument, the core being moved without visible connection to any other part.
Illustration: Interior View