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Generating High Voltage?

  1. Jul 14, 2016 #1
    Good Afternoon everyone,

    Question: What are some effective ways to generate a high voltage (Multiple KV) using amateur equipment? I've dealt with high voltage before, so I'm aware of the safety issues.

    Anyway, here is what I've got thus far:
    If you go on ebay, and search for high voltage power supplies, you'll find two things. You'll find the really sketchy "1 MV converter for $7, shipped from china", or you'll find a few legitimate ones which, for the low price of $500 dollars, can generate up to 3 KV. Of course there are the capacitors, but they still only go up to a few hundred volts without spending hundreds.

    The other methodology I've looked at, is the ol' leyden jar method. Leyden jars are cheap, and if you have a static generator (Van de Graff or Wimshurst), they can presumably generate "quite a bit". My only problem with this method, is that I haven't been able to find any reliable way to predict/measure what voltage is actually produced...Not capacitance, but voltage.

    So, if you wanted to generate a few KV, what would you use? I'm leaning towards Leyden jars, but is there a way to predict what voltage you'll get before you build the thing? I know it changes depending on how charged it is, but how would one calculate the upper bound (Assuming one exists)?

    If I completely missed something let me know!
    Thanks in advance,
    Yours in Science,

    P.S. I'm about 90% sure this is in the right category (high energy...?) - If not, feel free to move me around!
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 14, 2016 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    A commercial power supply.
    Unfortunately, many visitors in this thread won't be, and we don't want to have "how to hurt you" instructions (like do-it-yourself high voltage creation), so we can't discuss this.

    High-energy physics, a part of particle physics, starts where electrostatic accelerators don't work any more, somewhere in the multi-MeV to TeV range.
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