|Van de Graaff generator (ˈvæn də ˌɡrɑːf)|
|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]|
|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.