Van de Graaff Generator
A Van de Graaff generator is a device that releases charges that are built up over time in the generator. A Van de Graaff machine is used in the research in nuclear physics.
A Van de Graaff generator will make your hair stick up only if you are insulated from the ground. An example of being insulated from the ground is standing on a wooden box. The first person to build a Van de Graaff generator was Robert Jemison Van de Graaff. He built the first Van de Graaff generator in 1931. His invention was built from a suggestion by Lord Kelvin.
The belt is used to transport the electrons from the bottom of the Van de Graaff generator to the top of the Van de Graaff generator. The belt connects one brush to the another. The belt is usually long so the electricity does not jump from the brush on the bottom to the brush on the top. The material that can be used to make the belt is Surgical tubing. This works because surgical tubing is a conductor this allows the electrons to flow.
The Brushes are used to create the charge that allows the Van de Graaff generator to work. This works successfully because the belt rubs against the brush on the bottom of the Van de Graaff generator, just like rubbing your socks on a carpet. Once the charge is created from the rubbing the belt carries the charge from the bottom brush to the top brush. The top brush then sends the charge to the metal sphere. The material that can be used to make the brushes is braided grounding straps.
The insulated base on the Van de Graaff generator is a form of an insulator. The reason that there is an insulated base on the Van de Graaff generator is so that the electricity that is produced does not go out the bottom and give someone or something a charge. The importance of the insulated base is safety.
In this Mythbusters Van de Graaff generator video you may have noticed that when they showed the animated diagram they showed protons moving. This is a flaw in the video. Electrons are the particles that should have been moving.