Van de Graaff Questions --These questions require

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Van de Graaff Questions
--These questions require answers you are unlikely to find on Google, Wikipedia or other online resources. They are
designed to make you think and reason your way through to finding the correct answers. Your answers should NOT be one
word or even one sentence. Your answers must be clearly YOUR answers--not your lab partner’s, not information you
copied from the Internet, a textbook or anywhere else. Much of the information in different questions is related.
Please write clear and complete answers, using the correct terminology.
1. If you make a chain of people, the first holding onto the generator, the others each holding on to a person,
a. who will find it most painful, and why?
b. what happens if you walk up and put your hand near one of the people in the chain, and why?
2. Why do people often get shocks between their toes? Why is that standing on an empty box will eliminate this?
3. Explain how it is that people’s hair will stand on end if they hold onto the generator.
4. With around 350,000 volts going through you from the generator, how is it that you are unhurt?
5. Why, then, do hospital personnel yell “Clear!” before shocking someone’s heart?
6. Why, specifically, can electricity be dangerous to humans?
7. Why is it that electricity is used for muscle repair? (they hook people up with electrodes and run current through the
injured muscle)
8. Why would the above process not “shock” you?
9. If you’re smart, how can you make use of the Van de Graaff generator without harming yourself?
10. What the heck is Gatorade bragging about, saying that their products are “electrolytes”? Why would that matter?
11. Why is it that you blink when someone throws something at your eyes and pull your hand off of something hot before
you even “think” about it? (same reason for both)
12. If you see a person on top of a “live wire”, who is clearly being electrocuted, you should NOT try to pull or push them
off of the wire. Why not, and what should you do that would be a more intelligent (and safer) move?
13. What does the phrase “live wire” actually mean? If someone calls a person a live wire, to what are they probably
referring?
14. Why did my finger “jump” when I used the generator?
15. Why did the pie plates “fly”?
16. Although there can be up to 350, 000 volts going through the generator, it has a current of only 10 mA. Is this
important? Explain.
17. Given what you now know about electricity, why would doctors use electroshock therapy on people who are crazy?
18. WITHOUT COPYING, draw the basic structure of the generator including labels for the major parts. State the purpose
of each part.
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