I am playing a "Cool Circuits" game with my son and cannot figure out how it senses a circuit loop. The game is a clever invention by Penny Norman (see video link here):
Here is a description the game: There is a box powered by a battery. The box has some unknown electrical stuff going on inside. You place eight passive components (each containing a piece of wire) on top of the box. When the eight components are connected to form a continuous loop, a “success” is triggered (the box plays music). How does the box detect a success?
I am guessing the box emits a magnetic field. The creation of a loop creates a change in inductance, and this change is sensed. The baffling things are:
1) It detects a loop, regardless of the area of the loop.
2) It can tell the difference between using the eight pieces to make 1 continuous loop versus 2 separate loops (the latter case does not trigger a success).
One possibility is that the device is sensitively tuned to the 40 different inductances formed by each of the 40 solutions in the game, and is so sensitive that it detects these and only these inductances. But this seems overly-complicated. I do not know how to contact the inventor, so I thought someone on this community might be able to figure it out. Perhaps there is a simple E-M principle that I am forgetting...?