Series and Parallel Leyden Jars

Series and Parallel  Leyden Jars

Leyden jars are charged by an electrostatic generator connected to the inner electrode while the outer plate is grounded. The inner and outer surfaces of the jar store equal but opposite charges.

PIRA Code(s): 
Set up time: 
5 minutes
Physics and Science Concepts: 
Electricity and Magnetism, Capacitance
Jars can be charged with either the Wimshurst generator (5A50.10) or Van de Graaf generator (5A50.30). Charge Leyden jars in parallel and discharge, charge in parallel again and connect in series before discharging. The intensity of the sparks as well as their duration is much greater for the series connection.
Do not touch the charged capacitor. Make sure the jar is discharged before storing or touching.