The Kelvin generator is an amazing electrostatic device which poses many questions. The authors report the results of their investigations of this device under various controlled conditions with both nonpolar and polar liquids and a sodium chloride aqueous solution. They have found that the generator works well even if the two liquid streams originate from different electrically insulated reservoirs. In addition they propose a model in which the electric charge results from the separation of the hydrogen and hydroxyl ions as the water droplets form.
S. Desmet et al., "On the Kelvin Electrostatic Generator," European Journal of Physics, vol. 10, no. 2, pp. 118-122, IOP Publishing Ltd., Apr 1989.
The definitive version is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/0143-0807/10/2/008
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