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please tell me, if the charged terminals of two voltage multipliers, one terminal at (-)25kV is brought near another charged terminal at (-)5kV what happens to the charges, do the terminals behave as if they were at 20kV difference between the terminals?
does the (-)5kV terminal become (+)20kV?
thank you,

Hello Gene,

Edited slightly for readability and grammer.
If both voltage multiplier circuits are the type where one of the output terminals is tied to neutral, then yes, the 2 voltage outputs would have 20 kV voltage differential. There could be an arc between the 2 if the terminals were close enough. In the same way that there could be an arc between the 2 output terminals of a (+)20kV multiplier's terminals if they are close enough.

Again assuming both voltage multiplier circuits are the type where one of the output terminals is tied to neutral: If you put the negative lead of a high voltage voltmeter on the (-)25kV and the positive lead on the (-)5kV, the meter would read (+)20kV.

I hope this helps,


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Steve Johnson


I would be delighted to help with questions up through the first year of college Physics. Particularly Electricity, Electronics and Newtonian Mechanics (motion, acceleration etc.). I decline questions on relativity and Atomic Physics. I also could discuss the Space Shuttle and space flight in general.


I have a BS in Physics and an MS in Electrical Engineering. I am retired now. My professional career was in Electrical Engineering with considerable time spent working with accelerometers, gyroscopes and flight dynamics (Physics related topics) while working on the Space Shuttle. I gave formal classroom lessons to technical co-workers periodically over a several year period.

BS Physics, North Dakota State University
MS Electrical Engineering, North Dakota State University

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