Date: Fri, 22 Mar 2002 11:50:29 -0600

Author: Cliff Bettis

Subject: Re: Safety of Van de Graaff Generators


While it's certainly important to be careful using a VDG around capacitors,
the story sounds ULish to me, considering the care one has to go through to
make HV capacitors that store a lot of energy.

Cliff Bettis

----- Original Message -----
From: "William Beaty"
Sent: Friday, March 22, 2002 11:28 AM
Subject: Re: Safety of Van de Graaff Generators

> One guy told me his VDG story from years ago. He had a large roll of
> mylar drafting film, so he cut it into two lengths, got some rolls of
> aluminum foil, and rolled himself a large capacitor. Then he hooked it up
> to his VDG machine and let it run. After many hours he realized that he
> didn't know how powerful the discharge would be (or whether it was working
> at all), so he disconnected it, took it out to his backyard, and stuck it
> into the goldfish pond so the charge could leak away.
> He said that after the immense BANG, most of the water was missing from
> the pond, and all of the fish were dead.
> The moral: don't mess with VandeGraaff machines and Leyden jars, to say
> nothing of mylar capacitors with hundreds of square feet of plates!
> (((((((((((((((((( ( ( ( ( (O) ) ) ) ) )))))))))))))))))))
> William J. Beaty SCIENCE HOBBYIST website
> EE/programmer/sci-exhibits science projects, tesla, weird science
> Seattle, WA 206-789-0775 sciclub-list freenrg-L vortex-L webhead-L