# Charge on van de graaff generator

• Danyon
In summary, a van de Graaff generator is a machine that produces static electricity by using a motor to turn a rubber belt, which transfers charge to a metal sphere. It has a variety of uses in scientific experiments, demonstrations, and industrial applications, and can hold several million volts of charge. Safety precautions should be taken when handling and operating the generator.
Danyon
Is there any easy way to determine the charge on a van de graaff generator based on the voltage?

If you could determine the capacitance of the dome, you could use the relationship involving Q, C and V.

NascentOxygen said:
If you could determine the capacitance of the dome, you could use the relationship involving Q, C and V.
The capacitance of a sphere in picofarads is very roughly equal to its radius in centimetres. Of course there will be an exact formula on Google. Then Q = CV (suggest microcoulombs, picofarads, megavolts)

## 1. What is a van de Graaff generator?

A van de Graaff generator is a machine that produces static electricity. It is typically made up of a large metal sphere on top of a column, with a rubber belt running over two pulleys. The belt is used to transfer charge to the sphere, creating a high voltage difference between the sphere and the ground.

## 2. How does a van de Graaff generator work?

The van de Graaff generator works by using a motor to turn the rubber belt, which then transfers charge to the metal sphere. As the belt moves, it rubs against the pulleys and becomes negatively charged. This negative charge is then transferred to the sphere, making it positively charged. The high voltage difference between the sphere and the ground allows for the generation of static electricity.

## 3. What can a van de Graaff generator be used for?

A van de Graaff generator has a wide range of uses, including in scientific experiments, demonstrations, and industrial applications. It can be used to study the effects of high voltage on different materials, create lightning-like effects, and even power particle accelerators.

## 4. How much charge can a van de Graaff generator hold?

The amount of charge a van de Graaff generator can hold depends on its size and design. Most generators used in laboratories can hold up to several million volts of charge. However, larger industrial generators can produce even higher voltages.

## 5. Are there any safety precautions to take when using a van de Graaff generator?

Yes, there are several safety precautions to take when using a van de Graaff generator. It is important to always wear protective gear, such as gloves and safety glasses, when handling the generator. It is also essential to keep the generator away from any flammable materials and to avoid touching the generator or its components while it is in operation.

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