Hair Raising Experience!

12th July 2016

Hair Raising Experience!

Van De Graaff 1 (Small)Van De Graaff 2 (Small)This machine is capable of producing around 200,000 volts on the metal dome at the top.

When compared to a standard UK plug socket of 230 volts, this seems crazy! However, the trick with the Van De Graaff is that although there is an enormous voltage, there is a very small current, so the most you will get is a small shock! Even though it is a small shock, some of the 'tough' year 10 boys still let out a squeal when they touched it!

You can see in the photograph that your hair will stand up when you put your hands on the dome and stand on an insulator. This happens because the Van De Graaff generator is transfering electrons from the dome onto your body and, in particular, each strand of hair. Electrons always have a negative charge, and because similar charges repel, all of your hair strands start to repel each other! Thus your crazy new hair do!

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