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supported by the National Science Foundation
written by John Belcher
designer: Michael Danziger
This animation depicts a negatively-charged particle attracted by the positively-charged sphere of a van de Graaff generator, a device that mechanically separates charge. The animation was designed to help students see that the Coulomb force is transmitted in a continuous manner (as observed between the van de Graaff sphere and the smaller particle). Although the two charges are not in direct contact with one another, they are in direct contact with a medium existing between them. The item may be viewed as a video or in stepped motion.
This item is part of a larger collection of visualizations developed by the MIT TEAL/Studio Physics Project to support an introductory course in electricity and magnetism.
See below for lecture notes that accompany this specific animation:
MIT Open Courseware: Coulomb's Law Lecture Notes
Please note that this resource requires Quicktime.
This resource is part of a Physics Front Topical Unit.
Topic: "Static" Electricity
Unit Title: Electric Charge
This simple and effective Quicktime video shows a model of a negatively-charged particle being pulled in by the positively-charged sphere of a van de Graaff generator. Although the particle is not touching the generator, they are in direct contact with a medium existing between them. We recommend viewing this item in stepped motion.Link to Unit:
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MIT Physics 8.02: Electrostatics - A van de Graaff Generator Attracting a Charge:
Accompanies MIT Physics 8.02: Electrostatics - A van de Graaff Generator Repelling a Charge
A companion Quicktime animation that depicts the opposite process: a positively-charged particle being repelled by the sphere of a van de Graaff generator.relation by Caroline Hall
Covers the Same Topic As Van de Graaff Generators: Construction & Demonstrations
A collection of activities and information on the van de Graaff generator, including plans for building your own.relation by Caroline Hall
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