Definition of Van de Graaff generator in English:

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Van de Graaff generator

Pronunciation: /ˌvan də ˈɡrɑːf/


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.
Example sentences
  • 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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