Van de Graaff generator

Van de Graaff generator

[van duh graf]
noun Physics, Electricity.
a device for producing high-voltage static electricity.


Origin:
1935–40; named after R. J. Van de Graaff (1901–66), American physicist

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World English Dictionary
Van de Graaff generator (ˈvæn də ˌɡrɑːf)
 
n
a device for producing high electrostatic potentials (up to 15 million volts), consisting of a hollow metal sphere on which a charge is accumulated from a continuous moving belt of insulating material: used in particle accelerators
 
[C20: named after R. J. Van de Graaff (1901--67), US physicist]

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Science Dictionary
Van de Graaff generator  


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A type of electrostatic generator used to build up static electrical charge of very high voltages by transferring electric charge from a power supply to a spherical metal terminal. A high-voltage source transfers charge to a nonconducting conveyor belt, usually made of silk or rubber, which continuously redeposits the charge on the insulated metal terminal, where it accumulates. Even small Van de Graaff generators can accumulate a static charge of 100,000 volts; the largest, up to 10 million volts.
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