Van de Graaff Generator

Demo Number 182
Location Shelf 27
Description This is an electrostatic machine that uses a moving belt to accumulate very high electrostatically stable voltages on a hollow metal globe.
 Related Demos 005, 338, 339, 340, 383, 405
  • See the second image to the left for the proper setup!
  • The Van de Graaff generator can be thought of as a constant-current source connected in parallel with a capacitor and a very large electrical resistance.
  • This particular generator has “hairs” that stand up and illustrate the accumulated charge.
  • This is a 400kV generator and can produce sparks up to 5-6”
  • The potential differences achieved in modern Van de Graaff generators can reach 5 megavolts. Applications for these high voltage generators include driving X-ray tubes, accelerating electrons to sterilize food and process materials, and accelerating protons for nuclear physics experiments

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This Demo is Part of the following Categories: 5A10 Producing Static Charge, 5A50 Electrostatic Machines