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Should a Person Touch 200,000 Volts? A Van de Graaff generator experiment!

78977 ratings | 5777524 views
What happens if a person touches 200,000 volts? Should a person even be touching 200,000 volts in the first place? Find out in this live Van de Graaff generator experiment! Other segments from this presentation are available! - Liquid Nitrogen and Fire! - https://youtu.be/ANdt8LuPaEg - Liquid Nitrogen and the Tea Kettle Mystery - https://youtu.be/L0q3uWuqjYE A more complete liquid nitrogen show, shot during one of Jefferson Lab's Open Houses, can be seen here: - Liquid Nitrogen Show! - https://youtu.be/enEtTV-FyCU

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Text Comments (5289)
Blakee (6 hours ago)
almost forgot i was watching something educational that teacher is so good
Mr Awesome (10 hours ago)
Sure, as long as the amps are low enough
Lil Ruski (11 hours ago)
the current is low
Eric the Bleach man (12 hours ago)
Take your shoes and socks off and step on the ground...
Jefferson Lab (8 hours ago)
No different than when he touched both domes with his bare hands.
Ann Mary (15 hours ago)
Minded Seeven (17 hours ago)
I don't get why he could touch the 200kV orb and touch the ground at the same time
Jefferson Lab (15 hours ago)
Because, when he was touching the ground, the other dome was no longer at 200kV. A Van de Graaff is a constant current device (the current is determined by the number of charges being delivered to the dome by the belt per second).
Exo (20 hours ago)
imagine if he tripped and fell off the stool
Jefferson Lab (18 hours ago)
Why do you think that would be interesting? He intentionally steps off the stool whilst touching the Van de Graaff during the video. The ground is the ground. It doesn't know his motivation. Whether he touches the ground intentionally or accidentally, there is no difference.
Andulas is (20 hours ago)
Less noise from the crowd Hard to follow
Jefferson Lab (18 hours ago)
It is closed captioned, so you can read along if need be.
Akshay Anurag (21 hours ago)
I wish I had a Physics teacher as good as you. Or any good !!!
4.9M views (1 day ago)
Never heard an entire class answer, let alone answer correctly
Let em fly Hunting (1 day ago)
JonatasMonte (1 day ago)
This made me so nervous. Meanwhile the kids are really excited...
JonatasMonte (1 day ago)
"Yeeeees" wow.
Bonk (1 day ago)
My brain hertz
Still not enough to power up the flux capacitor.
Cristian Morales (1 day ago)
What if its fake and theres no electricity coming out.
Cristian Morales (1 day ago)
+Jefferson Lab you much be the flash. You're wearing red too.
Jefferson Lab (1 day ago)
You can literally see the electricity flowing from the tip of the nail to the grounding dome.
Daniel Spinosa (1 day ago)
Great teacher
Burntkebab (1 day ago)
It’s only static electricity if it were on 200,000 volts and he suddenly touched it it would hurt him.
Jefferson Lab (1 day ago)
Except, it's not really static. There is a current flow.
Mercio DeComercio (1 day ago)
This video gave me anxiety xDD
thisisme (1 day ago)
6:00 I'm not dissapointed I'm just confused xD
cheuk hang ho (2 days ago)
If I can get the instructor touch the other rod, lol
Jefferson Lab (2 days ago)
He does touch it.
RandomGiorgio (2 days ago)
Turns out 200000 volts is a good form of hair gel
OnlyTrying YouTube (2 days ago)
"im not disappointed, im just confused - why am i not dead"
Caleb Berry (3 days ago)
*spills water on 200,000 volt machine*
Richard Pike (3 days ago)
Somehow I learned so much from this. Also how is that crowd so responsive? In all my classes I've taken people take like half a minute to respond to a professor's question lol.
Thanks for asking yes they should
Woot_ Noot (3 days ago)
How it fells when your friend shocks you
JamEpix (3 days ago)
*Then You Slip Off Of The Stool...*
Jefferson Lab (3 days ago)
He steps off the stool during the presentation while touching the Van de Graaff. Do you think there would be a different outcome if he slipped?
Kebein (3 days ago)
funny to see that his hair begins to stand up :D
NJD_Playz (3 days ago)
Hardly any amps but high voltage? Looks like I'm alive
Keegan Rae (4 days ago)
Why does he look like Ian from smosh???
Jefferson Lab (3 days ago)
Don't you mean "Why does Ian from smash look like him?" This guy is older, so he looked this way first.
Ryan Stewart (4 days ago)
Imagine if he fell off the stool
Jefferson Lab (4 days ago)
How would that be different from when he stepped off the stool? Other than falling, that is.
Betongboy Albert (4 days ago)
7:10 i thought there was a earthquake
callum fishing (4 days ago)
I was doing in physics and I was used cause my hair is long Ish and I was tapped by so many poeple as they wanted to see if I zapped them. Was pretty cool
Compote Vivart (4 days ago)
A van de graaf can’t produce 200000 volt
Jefferson Lab (3 days ago)
You might try watching this video: https://youtu.be/BTGXJ9TtueI We have some close-up shots of the Van de Graaff as it's running. You'll see that the belt isn't sliding across the rollers.
Jefferson Lab (3 days ago)
The video referenced does not mention friction a single time. If you watch how a Van de Graaff works, you'll see that the belt doesn't slide across the rollers. If you were riding on the belt, you would eventually come into contact with a roller, stay in contact with it for a time, and then lose contact with it. This is what I mean when I say that a Van de Graaff doesn't use friction. It isn't like shuffling your feet across a carpet. It's the contact of two dissimilar materials that's important, not the relative motion of the two materials. Again, I refer you to the triboelectric series.
Jefferson Lab (3 days ago)
The breakdown voltage of air is known. Measuring the length of the longest sparks gives a good estimate of the voltage.
Compote Vivart (3 days ago)
And yes a van de graaf use friction https://youtu.be/rpyHFMwaNDM
Compote Vivart (3 days ago)
Jefferson Lab right I was wrong a van de graaf can produce e- and p+ but it’s not you on the video so how can you know the voltage?
Sir Lance Goodthrust (4 days ago)
I learned more with this guy in 10 min that all my physics classes put together.
JRyce (4 days ago)
Every teacher needs to be like this
Noam (4 days ago)
Boreal Fox (4 days ago)
tausif islam (4 days ago)
after watching this i tried to touch 200000 volts and died
Jefferson Lab (4 days ago)
And then returned from the dead to leave a comment. Nice.
JEN CHI (5 days ago)
Bsr, touching 200,000 volts no problème si P = 0 what, I = 0 amp Fréquence = 0 .
Jefferson Lab (5 days ago)
But power isn't 0 and current isn't 0.
jkman10 (5 days ago)
Im still confused about the current not killing him. ohms law tells us I = V/R. So he's not dead because his body has a high resistance?
Jefferson Lab (5 days ago)
Make sure you're applying Ohm's Law correctly. A Van de Graaff is a constant current device, so you shouldn't be using Ohm's Law to calculate the current that flows. You should be using Ohm's Law to calculate the voltage. When the resistance is high (body + stool), then the voltage is high. When the resistance is low, the voltage is low. In either case, the current is the same. It's a different situation for something like an electrical outlet, which is better modeled as a constant voltage source.
Goabnb94 (5 days ago)
What this doesn't explain, though, is why with 200,000V a high current doesn't flow. You can touch both terminals of a 9V battery and with 100K odd resistance of the body, not enough current flows (lick the terminals and you'll feel it). But if a 110-120V outlet can provide enough current, despite your body's resistance, to kill you, then why can't 200,000V? Especially considering that as voltage increases, your body's resistance decreases as the electrons penetrate your skin to your blood. A static shock can be high enough current to kill but over such a short period of time that their simply isn't enough power to do harm. But with a Van de Graaf it is always building up charge relatively quickly, that shouldn't he be getting shocked (and quite large but not lethal) every time he touches the grounding rod or moves to the floor? Why with such a high voltage is current low? Because ohms law indicates V=IR, so with 200K voltage, and 100K resistance, current such be 2A. Definitely would be a painful shock that would force the body to react uncontrollably.
Jefferson Lab (5 days ago)
Realize that a Van de Graaff is a constant current device. You don't feed Ohm's Law a voltage and a resistance and calculate current. You feed Ohm's Law a current and a resistance and calculate voltage. In steady state, this particular Van de Graaff produces a 2 uA current. If the resistance is high, then the voltage is high. If the resistance is low, then the voltage is low. Either way, the current is 2 uA.
Tank Slapper (5 days ago)
Principal: Come on man you gota stop doing this our electrical bill was $23,000 dollars last month.
Jefferson Lab (5 days ago)
An electric bill is based on energy used, not voltage. While the voltage is high, this is still a low energy device.
Jaqen H'ghar (5 days ago)
Wow man.... You just made Physics so much more fun... That is awesome 😍
波wave (5 days ago)
this is how you teach
Darrel (5 days ago)
Its the current not the voltage that kills
Darrel (5 days ago)
ohh okay its at the end of the video lol
Mason R (6 days ago)
Why am I not dead? *10 Questions Science Still Can't Answer*
**after watching this** Me: "Mom!! Where can i buy a pocket-sized lightning rod?"
Ricky Lee (7 days ago)
This is 8 years old and just now popping up in recommended videos
Ishan Murjhani (7 days ago)
Jose Rodriguez (8 days ago)
"What would happen if I touched the dome with my right hand at the same time?" "You would go Super Saiyan!" I was hoping to hear that answer. Was somewhat disappointed :/
Kunyang Li (9 days ago)
5:58,his hair
hapshan (9 days ago)
this video brought to you by - The Lightning Rod Company Inc.
CyanideSurprisee (9 days ago)
What happens if he takes his hand off?
Jefferson Lab (9 days ago)
He takes his hand off in the video. What would happen is what happened then.
Sagar Ranga (10 days ago)
the most curious physics question of my life finally has an answer now....randomly thanks
Stephan Elam (10 days ago)
How do you feel when your insulated?
Chirag Singh Yadav (10 days ago)
His hair stands
Zefanja Scheinhardt (11 days ago)
Just here to look at his hair
Bhanu Tewari (11 days ago)
Amazing demonstration!
Ailurophile (11 days ago)
I don't get the rod part.
Dezmin Danehy (11 days ago)
omkr 01 (12 days ago)
If you are Nikola Tesla or Thor, go ahead and touch the generator...
Nixizium (12 days ago)
lovely teacher, when i get to this grade i hope i get one like him
PJ Irizarry (12 days ago)
3:08. I jumped so hard my eyes rolled back 😂😂😂😂😂
Rasheik Bailey (12 days ago)
Uncle iroh redirecting lighting was actually real wow
calvin yip (13 days ago)
That's awesome
aclock2 (13 days ago)
Is there any benefit from touching it ? Do I get super power ?
Jessicat (14 days ago)
My teacher did that to me
Ivan DLC (15 days ago)
I thought volts was current.
Jefferson Lab (14 days ago)
Nope. Voltage is a measurement of potential while current is a measurement of flow. Imagine a waterfall. Voltage is analogous to the height of the waterfall and current is analogous to the amount of water coming over the falls.
alan2021233 (15 days ago)
its cause theres barely any amps
manoj rajanna (16 days ago)
no humans harmed during the act
monch borbon (16 days ago)
This is a good teacher..
TikTokToxic (16 days ago)
That actually kept my attention the entire time..... I WISH I had this teacher in school!!!
iamnotcatok (16 days ago)
touches outlet in wall dies, touches 200,000 volts doesn't die. what kinda logic's that?
Jefferson Lab (15 days ago)
It's the difference between a constant voltage source (the outlet) and a constant current source (the Van de Graaff).
Aqaev Rasul (16 days ago)
I remember my teacher brought one of that devices to school and i would charge myself and hit my friends at school with electricity
FrankCompanyEVG (16 days ago)
He is slowly becoming a super saiyan while touching that sparky thing xd
niraj pradhan (17 days ago)
i dont get it .... why isnt he dead can any 1 explain??
Jefferson Lab (16 days ago)
Because the current is too low to be harmful. A Van de Graaff is (ideally) a constant current device. At study state, this particular Van de Graaff supplies about 2 uA of current. If the resistance is high, then the voltage rises until Ohm's Law is satisfied (with current equalling 2 uA). If the resistance is low, then the voltage drops until Ohm's Law is satisfied (with current equalling 2 uA).
The Nuclear Boy (17 days ago)
The amp is 0.
Jefferson Lab (15 days ago)
The resistance isn't infinite and the voltage isn't zero, so the current can't be zero.
The Nuclear Boy (16 days ago)
+Jefferson Lab i believe you but electroboom said the current is 0
Jefferson Lab (16 days ago)
No, the current is low, but not zero.
Sam Sam (17 days ago)
this is the jefferson lab? seems way more chill than i thought it would be
CB Heroes (17 days ago)
Watching this channel, when I have to wake up 5 hours later for school.
Obay Rafi (17 days ago)
Thats why i like physics
Jeferson Müller (17 days ago)
How come that somebody disliked this video?
Alberto 9324 (18 days ago)
shocking discovery
MASA APOLLO (18 days ago)
I did this at school last year :D
"I'm not dead, which is a good start." I tell myself that everyday.
Dara T. (19 days ago)
Shanelle Lee (19 days ago)
Do you realize when he uses the nail to touch the second ball he's hair goes up and down?
Jefferson Lab (19 days ago)
Yes... He talks about it, so I hope it's noticed.
James Hall (20 days ago)
No? Wait. Should I?
___Jakóp___ (21 days ago)
But what... How this small steel ball makes 200 000 volts. How.
Jefferson Lab (20 days ago)
IMperilbuster (21 days ago)
So electric current kills people not voltage?
GLaDOSTheKittene (21 days ago)
do you know what voltage is? yes what does it measure? ahhbhhbhdhhchhc
RobloxBeast20177 (21 days ago)
who is literally scrolling through the comments while watching
Girish Radhakrishnan (21 days ago)
Electroboom send me here
Diogo Andre (21 days ago)
Gary Padden (21 days ago)
very good illustration !
John Carr (22 days ago)
Trick question. It's not the voltage that kills you--it's the amperage. *watches video* Called it.
Coco (24 days ago)
It's not the volts that kill you, it's the amps
Cool Cat (24 days ago)
These type of teachers made my formative years interesting and as a result made me learn and think about stuff because I was interested and stimulated by it. We need more brilliant teachers like this guy 😁
João Pedro Macedo (25 days ago)
But why the current is low? Maybe it's because his body have an high resistence?
Jefferson Lab (25 days ago)
The current is low because a Van de Graaff is a constant current device and this particular Van de Graaff can only supply a low current. So, when working through Ohm's Law, you hold current constant and adjust the voltage as demanded by the resistance. If the resistance is high, then the voltage is high. If the resistance is low, then the voltage is low.

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