1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

How can the Wimshurst machine generate a very HIGH voltage?

  1. May 11, 2006 #1
    It is so surprising that athe Wimshurst machine can generate up tp 1,000,000 voltage with the size of 50 cm!

    As I know, in order to generate such a high voltage on its 2 terminals, there must be a very large quantity of charges being "collected and stored" in the Leyden Jars.

    Am I right?

    If this is true, where are the charges from?
    The aluminium foils?
    or the "neutralizing brushes?"


  2. jcsd
  3. May 12, 2006 #2
    Voltage is akin to water pressure. Current is akin to water flow. But instead of water we're talking about "charge". And charge is actually quite a slippery thing to get a grasp of. In one respect all matter is made out of it, so there's plenty of it sitting unnoticed in the mica of the Wimshurst machine. I can't give you a detailed answer about the latter, sorry, but here's a link:


    and you may find this "What is Charge" link useful:

    Last edited: May 12, 2006
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook