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saps
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[*] posted on 17-6-2005 at 10:00
Static Electricity


What materials woulkd be best for generating static electricity??
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Mr. Wizard
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[*] posted on 17-6-2005 at 10:18


That is a little like asking what chemicals would be best for chemistry. A simple quick answer might be a piece of PVC pipe, or rubbing a balloon against a piece of fur. It seems those little styrene plastic packing chips do an amazing job of generating and holding a static charge. What sort of static electricity are you talking about? Are you trying to make a spark or learn about charges? Try using Google and start with static electricity and do sub-searches. If you have some ideas about what you want to do, ask a question here.



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Lambda
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[*] posted on 17-6-2005 at 10:59
What the hell should I do with my old scrached gramaphone records ?


BUILD A VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR !

Polish up the fidelity of your old scrached gramaphone records, kick ass in the high voltage zone !, build a Van der Graaf Generator !.

To get a kick-start in the world of static electricity and discharge, here are a few websites with some good links.

http://www.amasci.com/emotor/vdg.html
http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/electric/vandeg.h...
http://science.howstuffworks.com/vdg2.htm
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Did he just stand up, or is it his hair on end ? :o
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saps
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[*] posted on 17-6-2005 at 11:49


Mr. Wizard, when you refer to styrene do you meen polystyrene foam
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Pyridinium
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[*] posted on 17-6-2005 at 13:38


Denim against a PVC / vinyl chair is wicked for making static electricity. Now, how to store this energy... a Leyden jar!!! Somewhere round the lab there is one I made with a nice lacquered wooden cap and a brass knob.

I know, Mr. Wizard, you already mentioned PVC. :P

Saps, look up Wimshurst Machine on google. LP records, as Lambda mentioned, are best for this kind of setup.
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12AX7
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[*] posted on 17-6-2005 at 17:34


Quote:
Originally posted by Mr. Wizard
That is a little like asking what chemicals would be best for chemistry.


Actually it's more like "which metals are better for a battery, iron and copper or zinc and copper, or...?"

There's an electrostatic equivalent of the reduction potential series somewhere out there. A Google should turn something up. :)

Tim




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Mr. Wizard
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[*] posted on 18-6-2005 at 08:40


saps,
Yes, I was referring to polystyrene foam chips. Even the blocks of it are very static prone. Static electricity is a general term, usually referring to very high voltages with low currents generated on insulating materials. The fact the materials are usually good insulators, prevents the charge (an excess or deficit of electrons) from moving, thus the term 'static'. Once you start collecting the charge with conductors, you are not technically dealing with static electricity, but high voltage low current. There is a complete spectrum of variations on this .

What is it you are trying to do?




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MadHatter
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[*] posted on 18-6-2005 at 14:09
Van De Graaf


These generators use a rubber belt, rollers, motor, and pickup combs to charge a sphere.
In the days when I had hair, I could make it stand on end by touching the sphere. Ever considered a
Tesla coil instead ? You didn't state any specifics about voltage, amperage, or even application.




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Lambda
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[*] posted on 18-6-2005 at 20:50
Static electricity, isolators and discharge ?


I agree with you MadHatter, if you want to get a real show going, then go Tesla. But seeing that Saps is talking about static elictricity, vinyl would be a good and cheap way to go. A rotating record, can be put into a Van der Graaf principle. But as Pyridinium remarked, it can best be used in a Wimshurst configuration. Leather, leather was used in the Van der Graaf, Rubber was rather offlimits in those days. However, it serves no point in going into irrelevant side walks about the subject. It's the principle that counts. I agree with you MadHatter, Saps was not clear about exactly what he intends to do with the principle of static electricity and materials. I tend to then just say: Take the best isolator, go for glass, ceramics, teflon or polystyrene. This would be a dead end for a thread that has such interesting potentials.

I built a Tesla Coil of nearly two meters high, wich gave sparks of about one meter long. The primary coil was triggerd via a "rotating spark gap" and a 15 000 - 20 000 volt capacitor discharge. The primary currents were very high and absolutely deadly. Apart from the fact that people with a pacemaker should avoid such experiments, these sparks were extremely dangerouse. They can easly put your clothes on fire, and give extremely painfull burns, that you find out if/when you wake up again. And then moving becomes a tuff wake up call. Often not mentiond, when talking about high voltages and low currents, is that if it hits you in the eye, vision may go down the drain. There is no need to touch enything solid, for the sparks will find you by themselves. They will come to you and embrass your stupidity with a "warm" welcome.

However, if Saps would be so kind as to be more specific, then maybe we can get something interesting going here.
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He thought the Faraday cage principle would save him, but as his bodily fluids began to cook, in "shock" he realized that he must have overlooked something !


[Edited on 20-6-2005 by Lambda]
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saps
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[*] posted on 25-6-2005 at 10:26
Static electricity


I am very confused. I know that objects such as sheets of paper are attracted to staticaly charged objects because both have opposite charges...but why cant batteries make the same affect.
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Lambda
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[*] posted on 25-6-2005 at 12:37
Opposite charges attract each other


Saps, they do have the same effect, but just not so promenent. The voltages are very low, compared to the several thousand volt static electricity charges you are refering to. If you would put thousands of 1.5 volt batteries head to tail in series, there would be no difference in effect. The only difference would be the high currents involved, and static electricity currents are usually very low. Static electricity charges are collected by isolators, wereby the charge can't flow away. This object then stays charged untill it can relieve itself via a conductor, or a spark jump to an object with an opposite charge (like rain clouds can do). If you would charge a ballon positive, and bring this near the negative pole of the several thousand volt battery, then it would fly towards it. The same would happen if you would bring your baloon near a negatively charged baloon.
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[*] posted on 25-6-2005 at 13:51


Also, keep in mind batteries have no electrical charge relative to other objectives, only the other end of the battery.

So, you'd need to ground the positive end of your several thousand volt battery to get the balloon to fly towards it.
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[*] posted on 25-6-2005 at 15:25


I I were to separate two metal plates by some (isolating) squishy silicone gel and applied a relative charge of 50 kV to one of the plates (and grounded the other one so that would be 0 V) would the plates move towards eachother like magnets?



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[*] posted on 25-6-2005 at 15:34


Quote:
Originally posted by Nerro
I I were to separate two metal plates by some (isolating) squishy silicone gel and applied a relative charge of 50 kV to one of the plates (and grounded the other one so that would be 0 V) would the plates move towards eachother like magnets?

Yes, and the force would be stronger as the plates got bigger or closer together. I don't know if an insulating material separating the plates would have an effect too, but a conductor will change the field.




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[*] posted on 25-6-2005 at 17:22


Batteries (DC current) and static electricity are one in the same - look up the Duluc/Zamboni pile (which curiously is also a very close approximation of a perpetual energy source, you'll see why on webpages on the subject).

Tim




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Lambda
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[*] posted on 25-6-2005 at 17:38


I don't agree about the grounding of the battery. If that were to be so, then bringing the to poles together would never give a spark untill they touch. The spark will jump before they touch, because there is a fieldstrength. A cloud from which lighting hits another cloud is allso not grounded. The fact that this happens is sollumley atributed to a difference in potential, wereby a threshold level is overun. Both sides of the battery will ALLWAYS be charged. If you attach a wire to one end of the battery, then this will allso become charged. How do both of you then think that electricity can sence a potential difference, if there were no fields to determen this by. Dose one baloon have to be grounded to attract another baloon ?. Theoretically, a battery will even try to collaps if there were no way that a spark could jump, and the voltage would go higher and higher. An empty battery would allso be longer than a charged one would be, based on opposite charge attraction and deminishing fieldstrength.
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Lambda
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[*] posted on 25-6-2005 at 17:41


Sorry Tim, I posted this after you had replied.
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Mr. Wizard
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[*] posted on 25-6-2005 at 18:10


Quote:
Originally posted by 12AX7
Batteries (DC current) and static electricity are one in the same - look up the Duluc/Zamboni pile (which curiously is also a very close approximation of a perpetual energy source, you'll see why on webpages on the subject).

Tim

Since you brought up these interesting items, the Zamboni or 'dry pile' I'll tell you a very quick and easy way to make one. I've never seen this anywhere else. This won't make sense unless you've read up on their construction; take regular printer paper and spray one side with graphite lubricant. The graphite must be in a non oily base, carried only by a completely volatile solvent. On another sheet of paper spray galvanizing paint, that is a rust preventative paint consisting of powdered zinc in a volatile Toluene solvent. Use a paper cutter or scissors to cut squares (I used 2.5 cm ), and then stack the zinc and graphite sides together, leaving the white paper backs facing each other. Even 4 or 5 of these stacked will register a few volts on a cheap digital volt meter. I never made a big pile, just enough to prove to myself it would work.
You would think the paper would act as an insulator, but it forms a very high resistance battery, which is the whole idea behind a 'dry pile'. Once again the layering is:
-ZPPGZPPGZPPGZP..........PGZPPG+

This is a much cheaper and easier method than using zinc and copper sheets or foil, if you could find them. Breathing a little moisture on the paper will help in very dry climates. You should be able to get 60 to 80 volts with two sheets of paper. More info if requested.




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[*] posted on 25-6-2005 at 19:50


Quote:
Originally posted by Nerro
I I were to separate two metal plates by some (isolating) squishy silicone gel and applied a relative charge of 50 kV to one of the plates (and grounded the other one so that would be 0 V) would the plates move towards eachother like magnets?


With 50KV I think that before noticing any electromagnetic force you would have an arc blowing thru the insulation.
To create an electromagnetic field you need to have a current flowing thru a conductor. the higher the current the higher the effect. The plate with the 50KV would not have a current flowing.
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[*] posted on 25-6-2005 at 19:55


50kV can easily be handled by some 1/16 to 1/8" plate glass, or a much thinner layer of diamond if you can get some wide and flat enough. :D

Electrostatic force certainly does squash the dielectric, anyone who's worked with pulsing capacitors has seen and heard it. :)

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[*] posted on 25-6-2005 at 20:02


I recall some plastic chair that was biting when I was getting up. You can test different material holding it thru a piece of paper to isolate it from your hand and rubbing it on syntetic fabric. Then just put it in contact to your skin. You will know when you find the right stuff... :)
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[*] posted on 25-6-2005 at 22:11


Quote:
Originally posted by Lambda
I don't agree about the grounding of the battery. If that were to be so, then bringing the to poles together would never give a spark untill they touch. The spark will jump before they touch, because there is a fieldstrength. A cloud from which lighting hits another cloud is allso not grounded. The fact that this happens is sollumley atributed to a difference in potential, wereby a threshold level is overun. Both sides of the battery will ALLWAYS be charged. If you attach a wire to one end of the battery, then this will allso become charged. How do both of you then think that electricity can sence a potential difference, if there were no fields to determen this by. Dose one baloon have to be grounded to attract another baloon ?. Theoretically, a battery will even try to collaps if there were no way that a spark could jump, and the voltage would go higher and higher. An empty battery would allso be longer than a charged one would be, based on opposite charge attraction and deminishing fieldstrength.


Let me explain. Yes, there is an electrical field between the two poles of the battery. However, that doesn't cause the battery to have a voltage realative to other things. You would need to ground one end to bring the other end to have a high potential towards other things, as the ground has a voltage of 0.
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neutrino
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[*] posted on 26-6-2005 at 05:28


It would have a potential, just a very weak one. A point charge creates a field, which gives rise to a potential (voltage). The thing is that the charge on a battery terminal is not very big.

Mr.Wizard: That sounds interesting. It sounds like it deserves its own thread.;)

[Edited on 26-6-2005 by neutrino]
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[*] posted on 26-6-2005 at 20:21


I don't know if it deserves a thread, but I'll try to put a demo pile together with some jpegs. I'm not going to make a full sized multi-thousand volt battery, but I'll get enough information together to show how it could be done. I could scan some book pages to attach too.



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[*] posted on 27-6-2005 at 10:05


Sry... what i originally meant was: when considering thier useable and positions in the triboelectric series what 2 materials most eficiently produce a negative charge
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