Note: I am aware of this question. It is 6 years old and I didn't find an answer there and I didn't want to necro the question.
As part of a school physics project I need a very large voltage. I will be generating sparks in a low-pressure environment which will require at least 10kV (we still need to test the jars to see how low a pressure we can realistically maintain).
In order to generate the high voltages required I intend to use a Cockroft-Walton Voltage multiplier
I've seen several values for Capacitors dotted around the internet and no explanation for them. According to this video its normal to use a square wave, again, no explanation. Most diagrams I have seen require a load resistor with a high resistance, I assume this is because of the inability for the circuit to produce high currents without discharging the capacitors.
My questions are these:
Is the resistor necessary if I'm using this to drive a spark gap? I would actually quite like the output voltage to drop when there is a load for safety reasons. (My classmates are not as respectful of electricity as I am.)
Are there any good resources with equations describing the relationship between the capacitances and the behaviour of the circuit?
What effect does the shape/frequency of the waveform have on the behaviour of the circuit?