5B30.26 - Van de Graaff - Lightening Plate

Code Number:
Demo Title:
Van de Graaff - Lightening Plate
Electrostatic Arcing Across a Gap
Area of Study:
Electricity & Magnetis
Lightening Plate, Van de Graaff Generator.

Stand the plate up against a box or hang the plate from a rod.  Connect one terminal of the lightening plate to the dome of the Van de Graaff, connect the other terminal to the base of the Van de Graaff.  When you turn on the Van de Graaff the electricity will flow along the path of least resistance and thus the gaps in the lightening plate are where the arcing takes place.

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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.