How to make Van de Graaff Generator
Such a generator has been known since 1929. It can generate a high electrostatic charge, measured in thousands of volts. Used, in particular, in nuclear research. You can make it yourself from: a wooden stand; a small nail; two pieces of stranded copper wire; ring gum (diameter 8 ... 10 cm, width about 5 mm); empty aluminum cans (they sell drinks); a paper cup (a polystyrene cup is also suitable); a small electric motor (suitable for toys); glass fuse measuring 20 x 5 mm; crocodile clip; battery lock; glue, which is used for plastic; two pieces of PVC pipe per ¾ inch; PVC tee and couplings for pipe pieces; electrical tape.
First assemble the body of the future generator. Its base is a plank, to which a 5 ... 7-centimeter piece of PVC pipe is glued. Top tee. They get a collapsible design, which is convenient if you need to fix or replace something.
An electric motor is placed horizontally in the lateral branch of the tee. For tight placement it is wrapped with electrical tape. A soft cambric made of rubber is pre-worn on the motor shaft.
Drilled a hole in the wall of the PVC pipe opposite the motor shaft. Insert the end of the stranded wire, cleaned from insulation and disintegrated, into it. This is a kind of brush that will remove the electric charge formed on the tape. The conductor is fixed with adhesive tape, glue. Gum is thrown onto the motor shaft and its free end is pulled out into the upper hole of the tee.
Cut a piece of length from the PVC tube, which will provide slight elastic tension. The latter is fixed temporarily on the upper end of the tube segment installed in the upper branch of the PVC tee. Do this with a nail threaded into a rubber ring.
A hole is made in the bottom of the polystyrene cup according to the external size of the PVC pipe. Then put on the upper section of the tube, with the bottom up. Landing should be tight.
Three holes are arranged in the upper part of the PVC pipe. Two in the plane of the axis of the engine. An axis made of a nail is inserted into it, on which a glass tube is placed. The upper end of the ring gum is thrown onto it. A wire is inserted into the third hole with a cleared and soaked end. The latter should not touch the tape, but is located very close to it. The wire is fixed to the body with tape.
Fasten the cup to the tube with glue. From above, place an aluminum can upside down, having previously cut a hole in it corresponding to the diameter of the cup. The cans should be tight.
Connect the electric motor to a power source. It will set in motion a belt drive from a ring gum. Moving, it creates an electrostatic discharge, which is removed by the upper wire, and then accumulated by an aluminum can. To the latter, if everything works correctly, pieces of paper begin to be attracted. If you touch the jar with your fingers, you can feel a slight tingling sensation.