The Slow Mo Guys blew up capacitors and filmed it at 187,000 frames per second

Originally published at: The Slow Mo Guys blew up capacitors and filmed it at 187,000 frames per second | Boing Boing


They let out the magic smoke!


While I enjoyed the footage a big part of me cringed when, after stating they didnt want to breath in the cloud of smoke and particles, they chose “blow it away” instead of respiratory protection :man_facepalming:


Exploding capacitors give me the heebie jeebies


Seeing some revenge taken upon aluminum electrolytic capacitors was exactly what I needed today. Thanks!


We work with explosive initiation systems, high voltage X-ray/LINAC devices, Marx banks and the like. There’s a “Blood on the Highway” style of training video that we used to get that focused on arc flash accidents and it’s terrifying. I’ll happily deal with proper explosives any day over anything possibly energized…


Read that as “The Slo Mo Guys blew up caterpillars” and thought “Well, that’s needlessly cruel.”


Slo Mo guys rock - and that new camera is a beast, what an unexpectedly cinematic thing unfolding in a blink of an eye.

Once had a cap go off on an early 80’s drum synthesizer I was attempting to refurbish. One of the power supply caps, about the size of a D-cell, went off in comically accurate synchronization with the impact of the drum stick on the trigger pad 5 feet away on the other side of the bench during the (clearly failed) smoke test. That’s when I learned that if the insides don’t shred completely (like in this video) - the coiled up foil in an electrolytic cap comes drifting down everywhere in absurdly celebratory little streamers of toxic confetti amid the astonishment and electrical destruction.

Always wondered if it was the electrical signal surge event or - (and this is more likely I think) - the physical impact wave, that pushed that little can past its pressure containment limit.


I recall blowing up the biggest capacitor I could get (about the size of my thumb) during a misunderstanding of how capacitors function.

It made the world’s loudest ‘SNAP’ and released about a cubic kilometre of black dust.

My (Aircraft Radionics Engineer) father came to investigate and looking at me, just shook his head sadly.



I used to do this with salvaged parts and my model train transformer, but sadly no high speed camera. I think the fumes may have made me who I am today …

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