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Homework Help: Van de Graff generator

  1. Sep 9, 2016 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Why when an insulated conductor is placed very close to the Van de Graaff generator dome, the conductor will have an excessive charge of the same sign as the dome?

    What is an insulated conductor?!
    why can the charge travel in air?
    2. Relevant equations
    Electrostatics knowledge

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I guess insulated conductor means it is a conductor but it is not earthed by the hands when manipulating it? When it places very near, they share charges by ionising the air particles?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 9, 2016 #2


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    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    About the first you ask just google it and see the pictures. Also take a look at the Wikipedia article:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insulator_(electricity).
    For the second you're on the right path but you have to study about it. A good start is: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Van_de_Graaff_generator
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