MadSci Network: Physics

Subject: Building a Wimshurst Machine

Date: Mon May 11 12:56:56 1998
Posted by Peter Irwin
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Area of science: Physics
ID: 894909416.Ph

Hello there, My name is Peter Irwin, and I have a question or two for 
you.  I am trying to build a Wimshurst Machine for creating sparks.  
The wimhurst machine was a popular device a long time ago until the 
van de graf generator came along.The plans are at http:// plans 
aren't very good at actually explaining how a wimhurst machine works, 
and I haven't been able to find books on it.At first I thought a 
wimhurst machine just uses friction and static electricity to produce 
sparks.  But it actually uses induction somehow. 1.  How does 
induction work?2.  How is it used in a Wimshurst machine?3.  I am using 
vinyl records for spinning discs.  How conductive is vinyl, and how 
can I reduce its conductivity?4.  Same question as above.  I am using 
wood for pulleys.If you could help me with these questions, I would be 
very grateful.Thanks, Pete.

Re: Building a Wimshurst Machine

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