Danger! High Voltage
|His hair doesn't usually do that (but if he could get it to, he would.)|
A Van de Graaff generator is a device that creates extreme amounts of static charge. It's similar in appearance to a Tesla coil, but markedly different in its construction and function. From the outside, they're strikingly similar; the most common design for both consists of a metal spheroid atop a column that separates them from their base, but that's just about where the resemblance ends. (One is pretty safe to touch during operation...the other, not so much!)
But while the Tesla coil is a precisely-tuned combination of resonant LC circuits, the Van de Graaff generator is as simple as a conveyor belt for electrons.
|That's not an analogy; it's a literal belt that carries electrons from one place to another!|
Image courtesy Omphalosskeptic, CC BY-SA 3.0
|Alike charges on the strands of my hair repel and try to spread out from one another, giving the impression that my hair is trying to get free from my head.|
Ruud de Graaf said...
Good Job! Nice to see how you can amuse yourself as I did when I made my first one when I was 15. It is the first time i see in 'how it works' that someone starts at the top roller instead of the bottom roller. I think it all depends on the materials used and there places in the triboelectric series. If i.e. teflon is used for the bottom roller and polyurethane foam for the upper you will have a charge affinity difference of 250 nC/J (source: http://www.trifield.com/content/tribo-electric-series). This is the best way to increase the current and therefore the speed the sphere will load. BTW: a very extensive explanation can be found on http://science.howstuffworks.com/transport/engines-equipment/vdg3.htm.
I would suggest you put a drop of water on an insulator and near the loaded sphere from above slowly (with the drop hanging down) and look what happens. Now you made the cheapest High Voltage meter that exist!
I would be carefull with electronic equipment in the neigberhood of the VDG Generator though. I blew up once my amplifier which was about 2 meter distance... And never put a grounded sphere above the VDG Generator sphere as I did (only once...). The shock you'll receive is getting ugly...
Sunday, October 25, 2015 at 9:08 PM