Thor's hammer gets a Tesla coil, puts out 80,000 volts

According to comic book legend, Thor's hammer can summon lightning. A couple of makers decided to make that concept real with an assist from a Tesla coil.

Hammer and bulb
Caleb Kraft demonstrates the hammer's effect on a lightbulb. Video screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET

Thor's hammer + Tesla coil = zzzzap. Before we get into this, let's talk about safety. You probably shouldn't try this at home. Or at work. Or pretty much anywhere else. We're talking 80,000 volts of electricity. Unless you really know what you're doing, don't try to mess with the elemental forces of nature that were harnessed for this project.

Caleb Kraft from Hackaday and Tesla coil expert Staci Elaan teamed up to bring a comic book legend to life. To make Thor's hammer, Mjolnir, truly summon lightning, they had to provide the lightning in the form of a solid-state Tesla coil embedded into a foam prop. At the push of a button, 80,000 volts of electricity arc from the hammer's top.

"It will light up any fluorescent bulbs around, scare children, and leave the smell of ozone behind. It is super fun!" Kraft says.

Elaan built the small Tesla coil that is hidden inside, while Kraft created the prop around it. The whole thing is portable and uses a battery hidden in the bottom of the hammer's handle.

I'm sure Neil deGrasse Tyson would get a kick out of this version of Mjolnir. It may not weigh 300 billion elephants thanks to the foam construction, but it sure does pack a wallop.

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