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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
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