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What do i have to do to make it safe for people to touch my Van De Graaff? Answered

My Van De Graaff Generator is 4 foot and is homemade. I built it out of a AC fan motor, a huge rubber band and some other stuff. It is tested and works. When people are at my house they always want to touch it and make their hair go everywhere but i'm reluctant because i dont know its voltage and how to make it safe to touch. Also i was wondering... i have a beard so if i was to touch it, what would my facial hair do would it be the same as normal hair?

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adam 101

Best Answer 7 years ago

Have them stand in a plastic garbage can and turn of power to the generator. Put their hand on the generator and warn them not to take it off for any reason, it will cause intense pain if they remove their hand. have them put their other hand in their pocket or also on the generator, basically they cannot touch anything outside of the can with it. Now you can turn on the generator and watch their hair. Do not touch them!! Turn it off before they remove their hand. We did this all the time in high school science classes.

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steveastrouk

7 years ago

Minimise the CAPACITANCE to ground, don't have a big top sphere, don't put the platform too close to "real" ground.

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Re-design

7 years ago

You need to double check this but as long at the person is not grounded and is standing on a very good insulator, it is save to touch the machine.

All hair will act the same as the hair on your head, but probably to a lesser extent since it's probably courser and shorter.