How to safely create static electricity from AC current

  1. Is there a simple way to "make" static electricity from an AC outlet? Looking for a way to make my hair stand (what is left of it) on its end for an experiment. Thanks for your comments in advance.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. I guess I need a portable Van de Graaff generator - is that the only way?
     
  4. berkeman

    Staff: Mentor

    Welcome to the PF.

    Rub your hair with a balloon?
     
  5. besides that
     
  6. Bobbywhy

    Bobbywhy 1,908
    Gold Member

    Electrostatic generators can be divided into two categories depending on how the charge is generated:

    1. Friction machines use the triboelectric effect (electricity generated by contact or friction)

    2. Influence machines use electrostatic induction

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrostatic_generator

    The favorite electrostatic generator at our Museum of Arts and Sciences is the “Kelvin Water Dropper”. All of our visitors love it. It does not need AC power; only falling water powers it!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kelvin_water_dropper
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  7. BobbyWhy - thanks I have never heard of the KWD! -- Seems like it would be cool to build on a down spout where it rains a lot.....
     
  8. Bobbywhy

    Bobbywhy 1,908
    Gold Member

    Windadct, If you intend to build a Kelvin Water Drop Electrostatic Generator, I highly recommend using Bill Beaty's website for you guide. See:

    http://amasci.com/emotor/kelvin.html
     
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