Tag Archives: atomic tape facts

Atomic Physics with Sticky Tape

Atomic Tape Physics 101 – Atomic Physics with Sticky Tape

This article about atomically charged tape was published on ScienceBlogs.com and is credited to the incredibly cool Chad Orzel, an Associate Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Union College in Schenectady, NY.  In this nifty atomic tape experiment, Chad demonstrates how atomically charged tape attracts each other.  So seriously, we love anything tape related so we had to share this with you!  Ok Chad, rock on with your cool Atomic Tape article!  Here goes, as appeared on ScienceBlogs.com  . . . .


In addition to making a toy model to show the tipping-point behavior of charged pieces of sticky tape, I spent some time on Tuesday trying to do something quantitative with this. Of course, Tuesday is the one day of the week that I don’t teach, and I didn’t want to go to campus to do the experiment, so I put it together from the incredibly sophisticated materials I had available at home: Lego bricks and a tape measure belonging to SteelyKid and The Pip.

Having built this high-tech rig, I set up my new video camera on the tripod, and shot some videos of the key phenomena. First, there’s the attraction between two tapes with opposite charges:

In this, you can see the tipping point thing I mentioned– as I push them closer together, there’s an extremely narrow range where the electrostatic attraction pulls the tapes together by a perceptible amount without them flying up and sticking to each other. Once I managed to find that range, I used it to demonstrate the effect that set this whole thing off, namely that when you stick another object in between the tapes, the net electrostatic force on each increases.

I wanted video of this because I used it as a discussion question when talking about the polarization of matter in response to electric fields. The seemingly intuitive answer is to say that the force should decrease because it’s partially “blocked” in some sense, but that’s not how electromagnetism works. The electric field from a charge is not directly impeded by any intervening matter– the net field can change because of new sources of fields, but the original charge still contributes exactly the same field and thus force.

So why the change? Because you can think of neutral matter as being made up of atoms with an electron cloud outside a positive nucleus. In an electric field, these polarize, and become little dipoles aligned with the local field. If the tap on the left is positively charged, the electrons in a piece of paper stuck between the tapes will shift a little to the left. When they do that, the paper is no longer perfectly inert from the perspective of the tapes, but produces its own field.

The effect of that field is to attract both of the tapes. The electrons have shifted left by a tiny amount, exerting an attractive force on the positive tape on the left, while the positive nuclei don’t move at all, and end up a bit more to the right, where they exert an attractive force on the negative tape on the right.

My original hope with this was to see if there is a measurable difference between an insulator like paper and a conductor like aluminum foil. Unfortunately, as you can see, both of them just increase the attractive force to the point where the tapes cross the tipping point, and get sucked onto the paper or foil. There isn’t much difference between them.

The same effect, though, happens between charged and neutral tapes, so I repeated this with one charged tape and one neutral:

The tape on the left has a charge on it, which makes it attracted to my hand, while the tape on the right is uncharged, and not attracted to my hand. When I bring the two tapes close together, though, you get the same tipping point effect– they twitch a little, then get sucked together. The distance involved is much smaller, though– cranking these into Tracker Video, I estimated about a factor of 4 difference (roughly 3cm between the support points for only one charged, and about 12cm for both charged). So, what can we get from that?

Well, the equations giving the forces are pretty straightforward. In the case where both tapes are charged, we just have a Coulomb’s Law sort of thing:

F_{both} = \frac{1}{4 \pi \epsilon_0} \frac{q^2}{r^2}

(where I’ve assumed that the two tapes have the same magnitude of charge, q but opposite signs– this is a pretty good assumption, as the charging process involves quickly separating a neutral pair of tapes, so whatever charge one picks up had to come from the other). If only one tape is charged, the force comes from the polarization of the neutral tape, which is generally expressed in terms of a “polarizability,” which gets the symbol \alpha , because physicists are lazy and don’t want to go any farther into the Greek alphabet than they have to. The force between a charge and a polarizable object is something we derive in class, and is given by the formula:

F_{one} = (\frac{1}{4 \pi \epsilon_0})^2 2 \alpha \frac{q^2}{r^5}

This depends on the fifth power of r, so it’s a much shorter range force than the case where both tapes are charged– if you double the distance, the force between charged tapes drops by a factor of 4, but the force between one charged and one neutral tape drops by a factor of 32. So the qualitative behavior in the videos above is exactly right.

Can we get something quantitative out of this, though? Well, if we make some simplifying assumptions, sure. And this is physics– we’re all about simplifying assumptions…

The main assumptions to make are 1) that the charges involved have the same magnitude in both cases, and 2) that the force at the “tipping point” is the same in both cases. I think these are both fairly reasonable– the charging process is the same in both cases, so the q should be pretty similar, and the range of the effect is small enough that I think it’s not completely ridiculous to say that the force needed to start the tape moving by enough to get tipping point behavior is the same in both cases.

If we do that, then we can just set the two forces above equal to each other, with two different values of r:

\frac{1}{4 \pi \epsilon_0} \frac{q^2}{r_{both}^2} = (\frac{1}{4 \pi \epsilon_0})^2 2 \alpha \frac{q^2}{r_{one}^5}

The q is the same on both sides, so we don’t need to worry about those. which means the only thing in this that we haven’t measured is \alpha , the polarizability of the tape. So, we can solve for that, and get:

\alpha = \frac{1}{2} 4 \pi \epsilon_0 \frac{r_{one}^5}{r_{both}^2}

Using the fact that the tipping point for the case where both tapes were charged was about 12cm and the tipping point for the case with only one charged was 3cm, we get a value of:

\alpha = 9.4 \times 10^{-17}  C-m/(N/C)

Which, um, yeah. That’s a number all right. Is it a reasonable number? Well…

We’re saved, though, by the fact that the textbook makes several references to the polarizability of a single carbon atom, which is about \alpha = 2 \times 10^{-40}  C-m/(N/C). That might actually seem disastrously wrong– we’re 20-odd orders of magnitude off– but that’s the value for a single atom. A piece of tape is made up of quite a few atoms, and that would scale the effective polarizability of the tape up by roughly that number.

So, how many atoms in a piece of tape? I didn’t measure these specifically, lacking a milligram scale in Chateau Steelypips, but as part of the lab we did last week, the students measured the tapes they were using, and a fairly typical mass is something like 300 milligrams. If I assume the entire thing is carbon atoms, that would be around 1.5 \times 10^{22}  atoms, each with a polarizability of \alpha = 6.4 \times 10^{-39}  C-m/(N/C).

“You’re still wrong by a factor of 32,” you say. And that’s true. But, dude, look at how many crude assumptions went into this measurement– you only need five factor-of-two errors to account for a factor of 32, and I’ve got at least three assumptions (the identical charge in the two different experiments, the identical force at the tipping point, and the mass-to-number-of-atoms process) that aren’t any better than that. I’d say this does remarkably well.

So, it turns out you can measure fundamental atomic properties using Duplo blocks and sticky tape. I think that’s pretty awesome. If you don’t, why are you reading this blog, anyway?

ORIGINAL SOURCE FOR THIS AWESOME ATOMIC TAPE ARTICLE:  http://scienceblogs.com/principles/2014/01/17/atomic-physics-with-sticky-tape/

Thanks to Chad for keeping science AND tape cool!

Silicone Tape

Looking for Silicone Tape?

Here at Atomic Tape .com, you can find all sorts of information about tape.  Check out all the silicone tape resources available on the internet:

Silicone Tape Information:

Tommy Tape brand of silicone tape:

Rescue Tape Silicone Tape:

X-Treme Tape silicone tape Made in China:

Silicone Fixit Tape:


Silicone Tape is suitable for a wide range of repairs. From boats to cars to home plumbing repairs, silicone tape is ideal for a fast repair on many kinds of leaks. Stretching and wrapping silicone tape around a leaking pipe or hose can seal the leak in minutes. Silicone Tape can also be used for creating a wire connection seal to prevent moisture from getting into the wire connection.  There are many levels of quality in the self-fusing types of silicone tape, so don’t be fooled into thinking they are all the same.  Read the reviews of these products and be skeptical of those tapes that don’t have a history of positive performance reviews.  For example, read the silicone tape reviews available on Amazon.com.  Silicone Tape can be a life saver product when you have a plumbing leak or automotive hose leak, as it can turn your emergency situation into just another day at the park.  Check out the silicone tape resources listed here on Atomic Tape .com and find the quality that make sense for your repair needs.

You can also choose from a wide variety of silicone tapes on Amazon:

What else can you do with Silicone Tape?

Silicone Tape is ideal for:

  • Marine Repairs – Wrap silicone tape around stuff that leaks on your boat or use like rigging tape.
  • Plumbing Repairs – Several layers of silicone tape will seal up leaky plumbing in your home.
  • Automotive Repairs – Silicone Tape can easily fix a radiator hose or leaking heater hose or vacuum hose.
  • Offroad Repairs – Silicone Tape can fix all sorts of things on a jeep or other offroad vehicle
  • Manufacturing repairs – Silicone Tape can keep machinery running by fixing leaks on a wide variety of manufacturing equipment.

Atomic Yellow Tape



Atomic Tape by Duck brand Duck Tape!

This Atomic Yellow Tape is part of Henkel’s new X-Factor series of high performance tapes.  With a thicker poly layer and more agressive adhesion, this atomic yellow tape will make repairs fast and stick on longer.   Strength is also superior with a thicker cloth and more fibers per square inch.  This new atomic tape yellow duck tape tears easy by hand for easy use.  And, unlike silicone tapes which only stick to itself, this new Atomic Yellow Tape sticks to anything in traditional “Duck” quality and strength.

Atomic Tape Duck Tape is a professional-grade tape that features excellent adhesion to a wide variety of surfaces like cloth, leather, plastic, vinyl,  all metals, and laminates.

5.0 out of 5 stars best and cheapest duct tape out there June 14, 2013

Tape Review By Alvin Ray:

Amazon Verified Purchase

This is the cheapest and most durable duct tape in the market. I’ve tried other cheaper brands but they are not as durable. I use this to wrap big heavy boxes and packages. Aside from being durable, it’s also water-repellent.   And it comes in a variety of colors for different uses and purposes.


Buy Atomic Tape Yellow Tape now on Amazon.com:

Size:  1.88″ Wide x 20 Yards
Color:  Atomic Yellow
Brand:  Duck Tape

Not the kind of atomic tape you were looking for?  If you are looking for a silicone tape try here: http://www.atomictape.com/silicone-tape.htm

Here at Atomic Tape . com we love to show you all the cool things you can do with tape.   Uniquely colored tapes such as the Atomic Yellow Duct Tape allow you to be very creative with your tape applications.  Check out this video of how to make an Atomic Yellow Duct Tape Wallet:

Atomic Tape Fact Sheet

Atomic Tape Fact Sheet!

This page is about the hit single Atomic Tape by Chris Joss!


Atomic Tape is from the album Teraphonic Overdubs, this atomic explosion of beats will help you get your dub on.    Released February 12, 2008, this tape is 46 minutes of atomic beats.  Chris Joss is a French multi-instrumentalist who has released 7 solo albums.  According to Allmusic.com, “Chris Joss constructs funky downtempo music that’s heavily influenced by the film music of Lalo Schifrin, John Barry, and Quincy Jones.  Joss made his debut in 1996 with The Man With a Suitcase.”

Here is the track list from Teraphonic Overdubs including the famous Atomic Tape hit:

1:  Magic Tubes
2:  I Want Freedom
3:  Count the Daisies
4:  Get With It
5:  Jungle Dolls
6:  Fatality Strikes
7:  Atomic Tape
8:  Slack The Slammer
9:  Summer Springs
10:  Luna Rides Back
11:  A Room with a Vu Meter
12:  Surgelator Action
13:  Granted

Download the hit single Atomic Tape here on Amazon:

Not the Atomic Tape you were looking for?   Looking for self-fusing silicone tape  or tape for emergency hose repair Click here for silicone tape info or check out the Yellow Atomic Tape by Duct Tape.

Looking for other albums by Chris Joss?  Here is the Chris Joss Discography list:

Chris Joss Discography:

1999: Bombay By Bus EP – Pulp Flavor

1999: The Man With A Suitcase LP- Pulp Flavor

2002: Dr Rhythm LP- Irma La Douce

2003: The Gnomes EP – Irma La Douce

2004: You’ve Been Spiked LP – ESL Music

2005: Discotheque Dancing EP (Ursula1000 and Fort Knox Five remixes) – ESL Music

2005: A Part In That Show EP (Kraak & Smaak remix) – ESL Music

2005: Inside Deep Throat Soundtrack LP – Koch

2006: Brilliantine a gogo – Boutique Chic EP – Stereo Fiction

2007: Superman EP (Basement Freaks & Plastilina Mosh remixes) – ESL Music

2008: Teraphonic Overdubs LP – ESL Music

Atomic Tape X-Rays from Scotch Tape

Atomic Tape – Scientists say standard Scotch Tape can produce atomic X-Rays!


Here is one of the coolest articles on Atomic Tape . com!  One of the joys of physics, and science in general, is that even seemingly mundane objects occasionally yield physical surprises.  A great example of this made the news about a month ago: the observation that, under the right circumstances, x-rays can be generated by the peeling of Scotch tape!  The phenomenon is an extreme example of the phenomenon of triboluminescence, and I thought I would take a closer look at the research results, which appeared in Nature.

First, a quick but important notice:  THERE’S NO REASON TO WORRY ABOUT USING STICKY TAPE AT HOME!  As we will note below, the x-ray effect is only significant when tape is peeled in a high vacuum.  Such a condition obviously does not occur without special preparation.  So the wrapping of Christmas packages can continue without fear.

It’s worth taking a moment to explain why this seems like such a surprising result in the first place.   Interaction energies in normal chemical interactions tend to be no greater than 10′s of electron volts; for instance, it takes 13.6 eV to ionize a hydrogen atom.  If the reaction releases a photon, this puts the wavelength of the photon at best in the ultraviolet or visible range, with an energy several orders of magnitude lower than the keV or MeV of x-rays.  X-ray emission from atoms under normal circumstances comes only from nuclear processes, e.g. the decay of an atomic nucleus.  Chemical reactions seemingly don’t have enough ‘oomph!’ to generate x-rays.

At Atomic Tape .Com we try to bring you all the cool atomic tape stories on the net.  No, Atomic Tape .com didn’t write the article but the source is given here.  See the whole atomic tape story here on the original atomic news story . . .

ORIGINAL SOURCE:  http://skullsinthestars.com/2008/11/20/x-rays-from-scotch-tape/

Atomic 3.0 Tape to DVD

Atomic 3.0 Tape to DVD

Wondering how on Atomic 3.0 to record from Tape to DVD?  No problem, Atomic Tape . com found this great information on the Atomic MPC Forum:


I want to record from video tape to DVD. I have tried a few TV tuners and a VCR + DVD combo machine and I always get a weird line at the bottom of the picture. Is there any way to avoid this?


For best results you need to use something like a Canopus ADVC-55
Not cheap though at around $400.00 for that model.
Has standard RCA in ports and outputs via Firewire, so you need a firewire card or mobo with firewire built in. Note that it won’t copy Macrovision protected tapes either (most commercial VHS tapes).
or you could use an internal card like the ACEDVio
Prices seem to vary massively on this
Avermedia and probably others do proper capture cards that are cheaper than the GrassValley stuff.

Again may not work with Macrovision protected tapes.

When I did this ages ago I used the ADVC-55 for most of my tapes and for the few macrovision protected ones I captured straight to the TV tuner like you. I tried several and got the best results using a Leadtek PXDVR3200H. The bifg thing with this tuner is it has an inbuilt analogue hardware encoder, unlike a lot of other tuner cards. The hardware encoder means you get a lot less audio sync issues which where a real problem with software encoders and the 2.6Ghz P3 based PC I was doing the capture on. At the time this was a fairly high end PC. 😛

For easy recording a straight DVD Recorder – VHS VCR Combination is often easiest but again won’t do copy protected material.

As for your original problem you are going to have to run the video through an editor and do a bit of cropping on the video component.
For cropping video in the past I think I used Virtualdub, or Gordianknot, but was a long time ago so don’t ask me how to use either of these tools.
Just be aware you want to avoid reencoding your recordings to a different format then burning to DVD which means an other encode. This is not only slow but reduces the video and audio quality each time an encode is done, and you want to avoid that at all costs on a VHS tape recording.


I use an Easycap DC60+ as my capture device, plugged into the VCR. The audio output from the VCR goes into my sound card, but could equally go into onboard mobo sound.

*EDIT* I used the latest drivers found direct here (~28MB .RAR file from ezcap support), they’re the same brand re-named to avoid cheap copycats. They work fine on w7 x64, but don’t update them through Windows update because it breaks recording and you’ll need to roll them back */EDIT*

I use DScaler to record, with Gamma, Linear Correction, Sharpness and Noise Reduction filters activated. This is based on a lot of fiddling with settings to get video output I liked.

I record with the huffyuv v2.1.1 codec full height interlaced RGB, and audio settings at 48000Hz 16 bit.

I then chuck the resulting file through handbrake with video filters Detelecine (default), Deinterlace (slower) and Denoise (medium). Constant quality of RF20. I also boost the audio by 20dBA. It exports as an h.264 mkv file roughly 1.4GB in size for an hour and a half of footage. I could’ve done smaller, but I wanted to extract all the quality I could.

All up, the most expensive part of it is the time I need to invest in hanging around while the various recordings and encodings happen.

Then just burn to DVD using whatever software supports h.264 mkvs.

Thanks for visiting Atomic Tape . com!  We hope you find this information about Atomic 3.0 Tape to DVD useful.

ORIGINAL SOURCE:  http://forums.atomicmpc.com.au/lofiversion/index.php?t50761.html