5B20.10 - Gauss's Law Demo - Faraday's Icebucket

Code Number:
Demo Title:
Gauss's Law Demo - Faraday's Icebucket
Gauss's Law
Area of Study:
Electricity & Magnetism
Van de Graaff Generator with Discharging Rod, Electroscope, Copper Bucket, and Charge Transfer Rod.

Place the copper ice bucket beside the Van de Graaff generator and charge. Using a small charging rod rub the inside of the sphere and then touch the electroscope. No charge should be shown. Then touch the outside of the sphere and then the electroscope. A large charge will be observed. This demo works best in the winter months as the charge will leak off the sphere fairly rapidly in high humidity.

A cool variation is to use two ice buckets. Charge one bucket and then connect the outside surface of this bucket to the outside surface of the other bucket. Each buckets will now have 1/2 the initial charge. Now disconnect and recharge one of the buckets again. This time connect the inside of the charged bucket to the outside of the uncharged bucket. All of the charge from the first bucket will be transferred to the second bucket.

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Disclaimer: These demonstrations are provided only for illustrative use by persons affiliated with The University of Iowa and only under the direction of a trained instructor or physicist.  The University of Iowa is not responsible for demonstrations performed by those using their own equipment or who choose to use this reference material for their own purpose.  The demonstrations included here are within the public domain and can be found in materials contained in libraries, bookstores, and through electronic sources.  Performing all or any portion of any of these demonstrations, with or without revisions not depicted here entails inherent risks.  These risks include, without limitation, bodily injury (and possibly death), including risks to health that may be temporary or permanent and that may exacerbate a pre-existing medical condition; and property loss or damage.  Anyone performing any part of these demonstrations, even with revisions, knowingly and voluntarily assumes all risks associated with them.