We Can Figure This Out.org
Virtual Lab: Van de Graaff Generators
University of Virginia
             
 
© 2003-Present, John C. Bean
 
As the belt moves away from the bottom pulley, it now has excess negative charge on both its inner and outer surfaces. All of these electrons exert a repulsive “electrostatic force” on one another.

This is an electron’s worst nightmare.

If the newly arrived electrons could, they would slither down the belt and jump back over to the comb. But they are trapped on the insulating surface of the rubber belt and cannot move.

 
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