|Wimshurst machine (ˈwɪmzhɜːst)|
|a type of electrostatic generator with two parallel insulating discs revolving in different directions, each being in contact with a thin metal wiper that produces a charge on the disc: usually used for demonstration purposes|
|[C19: named after J. Wimshurst (1832--1903), English engineer]|
|Wimshurst machine (wĭmz'hûrst') Pronunciation Key
An electrostatic generator used to generate static electricity at high voltages, consisting of mica or glass disks covered with metal sectors of plates that are rotated in opposite directions. The rotational energy is used to build up static charge across the plates, while each plate periodically makes electrical contact with another as it rotates, building up a voltage by induction. The Wimshurst machine is named after its inventor, British engineer James Wimshurst (1832-1903).