The Van de Graaff (VDG) generator is ubiquitous in the physics laboratory, but the high-voltage discharges that emanate from it can cause user discomfort or damage to nearby electronics during experimentation. In this work, an augmented reality (AR) tool is developed to help students conduct the experiment safely. More specifically, it allows them to observe and investigate the discharge characteristics as a function of distance between the charged metallic sphere of the VDG generator and the spherical wand. The tool is shown to work well, and the feedback from students on its use was positive.

1.
R.
Van de Graaff
,
K. T.
Compton
, and
L. C.
Van Atta
, “
The electrostatic production of high voltage for nuclear investigations
,”
Phys. Rev.
43
,
149
157
(
1933
).
2.
I.
Kholbaev
, “A use of Van-de-Graaff generators for nuclear physics measurements,” in
3rd Eurasian Conference on Nuclear Science and Its Application,
edited by
M.
Fazylov
(
Oezbekiston Respublikasi Fanlar Akademiyasi Yadro Fisikasi Institute
,
Tashkent, Uzbekistan
,
2004
).
3.
S. J.
Lee
,
E. R.
Castro
,
R. M.
Guijt
,
M. D.
Tarna
, and
A.
Manz
, “
Van de Graaff generator for capillary electrophoresis
,”
J. Chromatogr. A
1517
,
195
202
(
2017
).
4.
N. A.
Tritos
,
K.
Casper
, and
G.
King
, “
Museum visit leading to insulin pump malfunction
,”
Ann. Intern. Med.
126
,
746
(
1997
).
5.
S.
Zhou
 et al, “
Inquiry style interactive virtual experiments: A case on circular motion
,”
Eur. J. Phys.
32
,
1597
1606
(
2011
).
6.
H.
Kaufmann
and
B.
Meyer
, “
Physics education in virtual reality: An example
,”
Themes Sci. Technol. Educ.
2
,
117
130
(
2009
).
7.
J. W.
Brelsford
, “
Physics education in a virtual environment
,”
Proc. Hum. Factors Ergon. Annu. Meet.
37
,
1286
1290
(
1993
).
8.
M.
Vasser
 et al, “
VREX: An open-source toolbox for creating 3D virtual reality experiments
,”
BMC Psychol.
5
,
4
(
2017
).
9.
N. Y. K.
Tee
 et al, “
Developing and demonstrating an augmented reality colorimetric titration tool
,”
J. Chem. Educ.
95
,
393
399
(
2018
).
10.
H. S.
Gan
 et al, “
Augmented reality experimentation on oxygen gas generation from hydrogen peroxide and bleach reaction
,”
Biochem. Mol. Biol. Educ.
46
,
245
252
(
2018
).
11.
C. D.
Yau
 et al, “
Augmented reality direct current glow discharge experimentation
,”
Phys. Educ.
55
,
035022
(
2020
).
12.
J.
Lincoln
, “
Augmented reality moon for astronomy lessons
,”
Phys. Teach.
56
,
492
(
2018
).
13.
M. P.
Strzys
 et al, “
Augmenting the thermal flux experiment: A mixed reality approach with the HoloLens
,”
Phys. Teach.
55
,
376
(
2017
).
14.
K. J.
Topping
, “
Trends in peer learning
,”
Educ. Psychol.
25
,
631
645
(
2005
).
15.
Readers can view the video at TPT Online at 10.1119/5.0037354, under the Supplemental tab.
16.
S.
Oprea
 et al, “
A visually plausible grasping system for object manipulation and interaction in virtual reality environments
,”
J. Latex Class Files
14
,
1
11
(
2015
).
17.
H. G.
Hoffman
,
A.
Hollander
,
K.
Schroder
,
S.
Rousseau
, and
T.
Furness
 III
, “
Physically touching and tasting virtual objects enhances the realism of virtual experiences
,”
Virtual Reality
3
,
226
234
(
1998
).
18.
R. J.
LeSuer
, “
Incorporating tactile learning into periodic trend analysis using three-dimensional printing
,”
J. Chem. Educ.
96
,
285
290
(
2019
).
19.
R. E.
Berg
,
“Van de Graaff generators: Theory, maintenance, and belt fabrication,” Phys. Teach.
28
,
281
285
(May
1990
).

Supplementary Material

AAPT members receive access to The Physics Teacher and the American Journal of Physics as a member benefit. To learn more about this member benefit and becoming an AAPT member, visit the Joining AAPT page.