Definition of Wimshurst machine in English:

Wimshurst machine


  • A device for generating an electric charge by turning glass discs in opposite directions (now used mainly for demonstration purposes in schools).

    • ‘The sectored type of Wimshurst machine is perhaps the most well-known of the traditional induction static machines.’
    • ‘Operate the Wimshurst machine by turning the crank in a counter-clockwise direction.’
    • ‘There are plenty of other plans for Wimshurst machines available which use more readily available materials.’
    • ‘Otherwise the Wimshurst machine is used in many other demonstrations to supply electric charge.’
    • ‘Some X-ray units used various forms of electrostatic generator at first, but as X-ray tubes became available capable of running at currents in the order of milliamps, rather than micro amps, the use of Wimshurst machines ceased.’


Late 19th century: named after James Wimshurst (1832–1903), English engineer.


Wimshurst machine