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Van de Graaff generator

[van duh graf] /ˈvæn də ˌgræf/
noun, Physics, Electricity
1.
a device for producing high-voltage static electricity.
Origin
1935-1940
1935-40; named after R. J. Van de Graaff (1901-66), American physicist
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for Van de Graaff generator

Van de Graaff generator

/ˈvæn də ˌɡrɑːf/
noun
1.
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
Word Origin
C20: named after R. J. Van de Graaff (1901–67), US physicist
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Van de Graaff generator in Science
Van de Graaff generator  

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.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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