Northwestern Physics Demos                                 Go back to Electrostatics
DCS# 5A50.10NWU# ES-11 Location:    back room
title: Whimhurst Machine
aka:  lightning bolt maker

A four stage electrostatic generator.
 Turn the crank CLOCKWISE to operate.
Two small leydon jars collect the charge and discharge happens between the electodes above the plates.  Be sure to discharge the machine by moving the electrodes together when finished using the device.
   The electrodes can be connected to provide charge for other demonstrations, like volta's hail storm, etc...

    Would this work on the moon? (ie. with lower gravity and in a vacuum?)
    How does the strength of the spark depend on electrode separation?   Why?
pix of set upoperation