# Simple Van de Graaff Generator Problem

• Cantor
In summary, the conversation discusses the behavior of a charged Van de Graaff Generator and an uncharged hollow conducting sphere brought near it. The distribution of charges on the second sphere is negative near the generator and positive on the other side, while the net flux through the sphere is zero due to Gauss's Law. The electric field inside the sphere would also be zero, as it would act like a Faraday's Cage.
Cantor
My area of concern is C) and if I am correct in assuming it is like Faradays cage, but I am new to all this so I also put down A and B also.

If you charge up a Van de Graaff Generator and then bring an identical but uncharged hollow conducting sphere near it, without letting the two spheres touch.

A) What is the distribution of charges on the second sphere? My Answer: Negative charge near the generator and + on the other side of sphere.

B) What is the net flux through the second sphere? Answer: Because total q =0 Using Gauss's Law the net flux is zero.

C) What is the electric field inside the second sphere? Answer: E=0, the sphere would act like a Faraday's Cage and the field of induced charges combine with the uniform field to make E=0 inside.

Cantor said:
My area of concern is C) and if I am correct in assuming it is like Faradays cage, but I am new to all this so I also put down A and B also.

If you charge up a Van de Graaff Generator and then bring an identical but uncharged hollow conducting sphere near it, without letting the two spheres touch.

A) What is the distribution of charges on the second sphere? My Answer: Negative charge near the generator and + on the other side of sphere.

B) What is the net flux through the second sphere? Answer: Because total q =0 Using Gauss's Law the net flux is zero.

C) What is the electric field inside the second sphere? Answer: E=0, the sphere would act like a Faraday's Cage and the field of induced charges combine with the uniform field to make E=0 inside.
That looks good to me.

## 1. How does a Van de Graaff generator work?

A Van de Graaff generator works by using a moving belt to create static electricity. The belt rubs against a metal comb, creating a build-up of positive charge on the belt. This positive charge is then transferred to a metal dome, creating a large potential difference between the dome and the ground. This high voltage can be used to create sparks or perform experiments.

## 2. What types of materials can be used to make a Van de Graaff generator?

A variety of materials can be used to make a Van de Graaff generator, including PVC pipes, aluminum foil, rubber bands, and a motor. The key is to have materials that can easily create static electricity when rubbed against each other.

## 3. How do you calculate the voltage output of a Van de Graaff generator?

The voltage output of a Van de Graaff generator can be calculated by using the formula V = Q/C, where V is the voltage, Q is the charge stored on the dome, and C is the capacitance of the dome. The capacitance can be determined by the size and shape of the dome and the distance between the dome and the ground.

## 4. What safety precautions should be taken when using a Van de Graaff generator?

When using a Van de Graaff generator, it is important to take proper safety precautions. This includes wearing protective gear such as gloves and safety glasses, keeping flammable materials away from the generator, and grounding yourself before touching the dome. It is also important to follow all instructions and operate the generator in a well-ventilated area.

## 5. What are some common experiments that can be performed with a Van de Graaff generator?

A Van de Graaff generator can be used for a variety of experiments, including creating sparks, demonstrating the principles of electrostatics, and performing experiments with high-voltage electricity. Some common experiments include making a human electrostatic discharge, creating levitating objects, and observing the effects of electricity on different materials.

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