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J2-03. Van De Graaff Generator With Ground Sphere


To demonstrate operation of a Van de Graaff generator and to illustrate electrostatic concepts.


Van de Graaff generator with ground sphere.




The ground sphere is positioned a few inches away from the Van de Graaff dome and grounded to the base of the Van de Graaff. When the machine is turned on, the dome becomes charged negative and the ground sphere becomes charged positive by induction. The ground sphere is attracted to the dome, as can be easily seen. After the spark, the two spheres lose their charges, and the ground sphere relaxes to its original position, whereupon the cycle repeats.


Ronald Blum, Notes on "Image Methods in Electrostatics" (A Computer-Animated Film), AJP 36, 412-417 (1968). ◙R. J. Van de Graaff, K. T. Compton, and L. C. Van Atta, The Electrostatic Production of High Voltage for Nuclear◙Investigations, Physical Review 43, 149-157 (1933). ◙A. W. Simon, On the Theory of the Van de Graaff Electrostatic Generator, AJP 22, 318-326 (1952). ◙R. G. Herb, Van de Graaff Generators, Handbuch der Physik 44, 63-104 (1959). ◙K. S. Subudhi and P. Tiwari, Comparison of Simon's and Van de Graaff's Theories of the Electrostatic Generator, AJP 30,◙333-335 (1962). ◙K. Asano and