To give you a better idea of the power requirements, the main circuit breaker for the generator pictured above is shown below. Working with such high currents and voltages is safe if you know what you're doing and are careful to use only one hand when tinkering with the generator (so your body doesn't complete any circuits).
When the bell jar is assembled, it looks something like this.
The copper container can be slowly lowered out of RF field during a run to provide slow cooling. Materials can also be added to the melt during the run by using a hopper feeding system. Using these techniques, large single crystals of materials such as magnetite (Fe3O4) and thoria (ThO2, m.p. 3,300 degrees C) can be grown with high purity.
Pictures can't do justice to the brilliant white light produced by a skull melter being run at 3,300 degrees C. In fact, you can't even look at it without special goggles.
This page was last updated Sunday, June 12, 2016.
This document and associated figures are copyright 1996-2017 by Rob Toreki. Send comments, kudos and suggestions to us via email.