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Class 10 Class 12

Electrostatic Potential and Capacitance

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Van de Graaff Generator

Van De Graff generator: Van de Graff generator is capable of producing a very high potential of the order of 10 MV. 

The underlying principle of Van de Graff generator is that a charge given to a hollow conductor is transferred to the outer surface and is distributed uniformly over it. 
Construction: It consists of a large hollow metallic sphere S mounted on two insulating columns A and B and an endless belt of rubber or silk is made to run on two pulleys P1 and P2 by the means of an electric motor. C1 and C2 are two sharp metallic spikes in the form of combs. The lower comb C1 is connected to the positive terminal of a very high voltage source and the upper comb C2 is connected to the inner surface of metallic sphere S. 
  1. Used to accelerate charged particles such as electrons, protons, ions etc, used for nuclear disintegration.


  1. The generator allows only one route for the movement of charge as it is a series combination.
  2. It can accelerate only charged particles and not the uncharged particles.