5B10.31 - Volta's Hailstorm - Jumping Particles

Code Number:
Demo Title:
Volta's Hailstorm - Jumping Particles
Area of Study:
Electricity & Magnetism
Volta's Hailstorm, Static Sticks (Large and Small), Van de Graaff Generator or Whimshurst Generator.

Volta's Hailstorm - Put pith balls, vermiculite, or aluminum foil into the cylinder. As this is brought near a Van de Graaff generator the particles will bounce rapidly up and down.  This is due to the fact that the particles are attracted towards one plate until they touch it and gain the same charge as the plate.  At that time they are repelled by that plate and attracted to the other plate until they touch that plate and the cycle repeats.

The static sticks (large and small), are both used in the same manner.  Charge the plastic tube by rubbing with cat's fur or a paper towel and the particles inside will stick to the walls of the tube.  Touching your finger to the plastic tube will cause the particles inside to move in an interesting fashion.

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