Today Richard demonstrated he can't even blow up a capacitor properly.
"We're going to blow up a capacitor, want to watch?"
Now, anyone else would ask "why?" at this point, but experience suggests that I wouldn't like the answer, so after due consideration I downed tools and followed him. A very alert observer might have noticed the pause.
In his room he'd already attached wires to the capacitor, which was potted inside a box as part of some device or other. I suppose the idea was to see how safe the device was if this capacitor ever decided to explode in normal use, but as I say, I didn't ask.
A power supply was attached, connected backwards across the poor cap and switched on. Cue rapid exit from room... The power supply quickly ramped up to about 4 volts and about 3 amps.
"Twelve watts? It's not going to last long" I opined, from the doorway.
"About... now, I'd expect" I ventured, after several seconds had passed with no visible result.
"Any time now..."
After about a minute at 12W I wandered in and wound up the supply up to full power, which was about 20W. People started to cower...
A minute or so passes, with nothing visible happening.
"Twenty watts? I don't believe it..."
I wander over to the device and feel it - it's distinctly warm... No smoke, but I do start to smell a rat - "You did disconnect the cap from the rest of the circuit, didn't you?"
Gah... Bloody capacitor's probably laughing itself silly while the rest of the circuit dumps all the power.