Hair standing up - with Wimshurst machine?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by erlend, Apr 2, 2011.

  1. erlend

    Thread Starter Member

    Feb 8, 2008
    18
    0
    Hi,

    Why is a Wimshurst machine never used for the static-electricity hair-standing up demo? It's more efficient than the Van de Graaff, and smaller too.
     
  2. JDT

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 12, 2009
    658
    85
    I have a Wimshurst machine and on a good day (when the humidity is low) I can get 3 inch sparks. These discharge from two capacitors (known as Leyden jars). I'm not sure how many volts it needs to get sparks like these but must be 100kV or so.

    Not a good idea to touch!!

    In fact, when I first got the machine the Layden jars were made of glass. One cracked with the voltage stress! Now they are plastic (polypropylene) and seem to be holding up.
     
  3. erlend

    Thread Starter Member

    Feb 8, 2008
    18
    0
    But if you don't use high capacitance Leyden jars then the person will be the capacitor, same as with the Van de Graaff.
     
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