August 2, 2019 posted by

Since our generator can draw sparks that are about a half inch long, we know we are generating about 12, volts. How Van de Graaff Generators Work A Van de Graaff generator is a device designed to create static electricity and make it available for experimentation. Always discharge the collector dome between experiments and when you are finished. Electrons are all negatively charged. Oh… never would have thought of that! My friend passed away in from ALS but by then the company was well on its way.

As the belt continues to move, a constant “charging current” travels via the belt, and the sphere continues to accumulate positive charge until the rate that charge is being lost through leakage and corona discharges equals the charging current. Perhaps just because somebody has adjusted it wrongly and the edge was not supposed to scrape the belt? The motor produces a lot of heat that could damage the belt or the motor itself. The chain can be operated at much greater velocity than a belt, and both the voltage and currents attainable are much greater than with a conventional Van de Graaff generator. Any electron on the inside of the can will feel the push from all the other electrons, and will move. Note that any student with a pre-existing heart condition should remain at a safe distance from the generator — a metre should be adequate. It may need a little push to get started. When the motor is on, it turns the lower roller which is covered in silicon tape.

A Van de Graaff generator terminal does not need to be sphere-shaped to work, and in fact, the optimum shape is a sphere with an inward curve around the hole where the belt enters.

Download ppt “Van de Graaff Generator. The air molecules that hit the metal point lose their electrons to the strong pull from the positive tip of the sharp point.


Three pithballs are suspended from thin threads. Silicon is more negative than rubber; therefore, the lower roller is capturing electrons from the belt as it passes over the roller.

The Seriws Picture Van de Graaff generator parts. The high voltage source can be the Van de Graaff generator, or just a couple square feet of aluminum foil pressed against the front of your television set, as we did in earlier projects.

How the Van de Graaff generator works

The device that bears his name has the ability to produce extremely high voltages — as high as 20 million volts. During its lifetime, it accelerated 80 different ion beams for experimental use, tiboelectric from protons graadf uranium. It marked the beginning of nuclear research for civilian applications. Van de Graaff applied for a second patent during Decemberwhich was assigned to Massachusetts Institute of Technology in exchange for a share of net income. Notify me of new posts via email.

The motor produces a lot of heat that could damage the belt or the motor itself. See also our page on how the Van de Graaff works: The third trick uses the soda can to take advantage of this feature of the electrons in an interesting way. Retrieved from ” https: This happens most at any sharp points on the can.

A flat panel solar battery. Apparatus and materials For the demonstration Van de Graaff generator Hairdryer Isopropyl alcohol for cleaning Metal cake tins. For this reason, it is unlikely that any fit person will be harmed by a spark — but see the safety notes above. If you have never done this, try it!

How the Van de Graaff generator works

Metal ducting is obviously safer in this regard. Metal spinning is a close cousin to wood-turning. The charged air molecules hit the rubber, and transfer the electrons to it.


One of Van de Graaff’s accelerators used two charged domes of sufficient size that each of the domes had laboratories inside – triboelectrix to provide the source of the accelerated beam, and the other to analyze the actual experiment. Since the air has the same charge as the wire, the two repel one another.

If you do make a contact with them, mention that old friend Dave Struebel told you about them.

Check out the link: Usually in the 10ua range from memory. For the Van de Graaff generator, the belt is the charged object, delivering a continuous positive charge to the sphere. It pushes away other negative charges on sources around it, such as the lower brush assembly.

After the machine is started, the voltage on the terminal electrode increases until the leakage current from the electrode equals the rate of charge transport. Check our Message Board for more ideasand be sure to search for “VDG” and “rubber band” to get all of the messages. The maximal achievable potential is roughly equal to the sphere radius R multiplied by the electric field E max at which corona discharges begin to form within the surrounding gas.

The rubber band loops over the glass tube and steals the electrons from the glass. The spark is harmless, and similar to the jolt you get from a doorknob after scuffing your feet on the carpet.

Van de Graaff tribodlectric are still used as accelerators to generate energetic particle and X-ray beams for nuclear research and nuclear medicine.