Related Labs, Activities, and Other CoolStuff
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This variable speed generator will develop potentials as high as 350,000 volts, making it possible to perform all basic electrostatic experiments on a large and spectacular scale!
This rugged unit will help you give demonstrations that will impress the socks off your students. Generator provides power for all basic electrostatic experiments on a dramatic scale, with sparks up to 15 inches long. Yet with a maximum continuous current of just 10 microamps, it's safe for classroom use.
- Dome: 25cm
- Overall Ht: 76cm
- Lower Cabinet: 30 x 25 x 7.5cm
Sample Activity: Charging a Person's Hair
This is fun for all the class, but not necessarily an easy demonstration to pull off. If you can raise an entire person to the voltage level of the dome, then their hair should act in much the same way as with an electric plume.
The first step is to insulate the person from ground by having them stand on something like a sturdy plastic milk crate. Have your volunteer place his hand on the dome and then start the machine. The subject must understand that he is not to remove his hand or he will receive a shock when he puts it back. In a minute or so, the person will have been raised to about as high a potential as you're going to get. If the hair is now standing up, you have succeeded. If not, it's time to consider what might be wrong.
First, the P6-3300 Van de Graaff generator is not a huge machine, so the smaller the person you have selected, the better. There will be less surface from which to lose charge. Second, be sure there are as few "points" of loss as possible. Things like rings on fingers, metal barrettes, and belt buckles should be avoided. Third, be sure the machine is in good operating condition and is putting out plenty of voltage.
The repulsive forces available are relatively small and are quite insufficient to untangle hair or overcome any type of hair spray. The best results come from clean, straight, dry hair of perhaps 3 or 4 inches in length. 120v 60hz.Download the instructions
Download additional instructions and sample activities
Download additional info on grounding