Experiment gives new meaning to “fair dinkum” power

fair dinkum
Image: Luke Weston via Twitter

Prime Minister Scott Morrison clearly hadn’t seen this experiment when he labelled coal “fair dinkum” power, or he surely would have come up with a new tagline.

It doesn’t get more Aussie (or novel) than using Vegemite to create a circuit, with a piece of toast as a base.

Electronic Engineer Luke Weston posted the results of his experiment on Twitter.

Each line of Vegemite connects to a 9V battery and a different cable on the LED, which changes colour depending on which line is powered.

So how does it work? According to Gizmodo, vegemite has a high salt content which means it can be conductive. It also has high viscosity, which makes it relatively easy to trace makeshift circuits. In this case, it was spread onto the toast with a syringe.

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As for the toast base, since the bread has been cooked, the majority of water has evaporated, making it a great insulator.

Mr Weston says the RGB LED has four wires, and the second one in from the left that appears to be on its own is a cathode – the electrode from which a current leaves a polarised electrical device.

While we’re not likely to be using Vegemite in practical electrical applications any time soon, it gives us another reason to appreciate the salty spread.