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Kelvin's Thunderstorm - Create lightning from water and gravity!

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Step 7: Turn it on!

Now it's time to turn the electrostatic generator on and begin producing some miniature lightning!

Turn your hose on, and then use the flow control valves on the y adapter to adjust the flow.

The water should come out fairly fast, but it needs to be as droplets and not a continuous stream. A continuous stream won't give the charges a chance to break away from the source, which is grounded.

Ideally, the droplets should begin to form just above the can, before it passes through it. I found that it wasn't very hard to get this working properly without much adjustment.

The water also shouldn't drip on the can, but pass through it instead. A little splashing is normal and doesn't seem to affect the generation of electricity.

Once the water begins flowing, it should only take a few seconds for the first spark to appear. The more individual water droplet streams, the faster and more often you will get sparks!

Watch the video for close-ups of the sparks in action (Fast-forward to 34 seconds to go right to the sparks!):


 
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