One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A machine devised to produce a high voltage by means of an endless belt collecting electrostatic charge from a source and transferring it to a large isolated metal dome, on which a large charge accumulates.
- ‘When connected to the van de Graaff generator, the material inside it will bounce around rapidly’
- ‘The massive piece of equipment is, in principle, just a souped-up version of the van de Graaff generators you probably remember from high school physics class.’
- ‘A range of accessories are available for our van de Graaff generators, or perhaps you fancy your hand at building one yourself?’
1930s: named after Robert Jemison van de Graaff (1901–67), American physicist.
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