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Van de graff generator gives the same current. How?

  1. Apr 15, 2012 #1
    The reason why we don't die when we touch a Van de Graff generator is because it produces a very low constant current and when you touch it only the voltage change and not the current. It's like a current source rather. But how does that produce constant current?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 15, 2012 #2
    It's more like a charged capacitor....one with high voltage and very low current....

    Now that you mention it, I don't think I've seen an equivalent circuit for one.....

    edit: I just checked wikipedia and they have a different perspective..."Since a Van de Graaff generator can supply the same small current at almost any level of electrical potential, it is an example of a nearly ideal current source."

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

    If I recall the voltage drops dramatically at discharge..... before buiilding again....more like a capacitor, but it's arguable....
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2012
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