Van de Graaff

I'd like to run a Van de Graaff experiment in my class, but there are places that suggest that's inadvisable.

https://melscience.com/US-en/physics/experiments/physics-van-de-graaff-generator_2-generator/#section-safety

https://spark.iop.org/van-de-graaff-generator-safety

https://web.physics.wustl.edu/introphys/Archives/SP16/Electrostatics_SP16.pdf

The Voltage is high, but the current is low.
Human skin has a high resistance 500-1000Ohms and a poor conductor when dry.

I posted previously on this topic (as did ElectricFrank), but my posts are no longer on the website.

Thanks,
Benji007


3 Comments

Generator

by docklock - 2023-04-02 20:18:12

Consulting the Great Dr. Google --- he/she says: not a good idea.  If it can light up a bulb held in your hand it's not worth the gamble to me.  While PM "might" go into standby; the circuitry might get smoked.  
Too much for me to risk.  

Van de Graff

by AgentX86 - 2023-04-02 22:57:53

This is a really good question.  I certainly wouldn't be the one to test it.  The charge will stay on the surface of the body (charge repells) and the current is very low.  OTOH, it's an unnecessary risk.

I strongly advise against this

by crustyg - 2023-04-03 09:41:56

While I think other contributors are focusing on current and possible damage to your device, I'm pretty sure that there is going to be a *lot* of electrical noise while your generator (Van de Graaff or Wimshurst) is operating, and the risk is that this will be picked up by your device and affect its operation - either by providing impulses that appear to suggest you're being paced already (so no paced output from your device) or by appearing as a tachy-arrhythmia and triggering some anti-arrhythmic response from the device.

I'd watch from a good few feet (10-20feet) away whilst a colleague does this experiment.

You know you're wired when...

You fondly named your implanted buddy.

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