Audiophiles often debate about what speakers produce the crispest sound possible. High-end speakers can cost thousands of dollars, but there's no need to go broke just to listen to your favorite songs. Popular Science has created a step-by-step tutorial on how to make a functioning speaker out of the most crisp-sounding material possible: potato chips.
Believe it or not, the speaker is built out of a magnet, magnetic wire, cardboard, a cutting board, a hot glue gun, and of course, a potato chip. Assuming you already have the music source and an amplifier, all of the materials can be purchased for less than $10.
So how the heck can a potato chip actually work as a speaker? It all comes down to some good old-fashioned physics.
The audio source sends signals down to some coiled wire, positioned above a stationary magnet. This electrical input turns the wire into an electromagnet, which begins to move up and down as it attracts and repels the other magnet.
This movement causes the chip to act like a diaphragm (similar to a drum) and vibrates in response to the coil's motion. These vibrations travel through the air until they enter our ears and are interpreted by our brains as sound.
Popular Science has the full instructions to build the potato chip speaker, but you can check out the project right here first:
Hey, kids: it's time to step up your science fair game. Baking soda volcanoes are out, potato chip speakers are in.
(H/T: Popular Science)