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Lighting up a fluorescent lamp with a Van De Graaf generator

  1. Feb 15, 2009 #1
    Hi all,

    Let's say i have the following:

    I approach a charged-up VDG holding a fluorescent lamp. The end nearest the VDG is labelled A and the end furthest away from the VDG is labelled B. My hand is holding the lamp in the middle, i.e between ends A and B.

    The region inside the lamp between A and my hand lights up. This is due to a potential difference between A (high potential) and my hand (ground potential). The region inside the lamp between B and my hand does not light up.

    My question is this: IS there any potential difference between end B and my hand also? My understanding is that without my hand there, end B should also have a high potential,though not as high as A since it is further away from the charged up sphere. Since the region between B and my hand does not light up, i gather there is no potential difference between B and my hand. If that is the case, does it mean to say that B is now also at ground potential?

    Thanks and regards.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 19, 2009 #2


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    Homework Helper

    I'd like to know the answer to this too.

    Guys? :smile:
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