Hi all, I've been playing with a van de graaff this week. As I'm sure you know, pointing a nail at someone with their hair raised by the machine will result in the hair immediately sticking back down. I can easily imagine electrons flying off of the tip of the nail and into the hair of the demonstrator, but this is what I don't understand well: Why would this not cause an arc, too (since electrons are moving)? My explanation: The voltage at that distance simply too weak to initiate a concerted gas breakdown...In other words, I reason that only a "few" electrons are flying off of the nail and do not ionize enough gas to be visible in an arc as compared to a deluge of electrons if the object was placed close enough to create an arc. Is this reasoning correct? Thanks in advance.