Van de Graaff generator

noun

: an apparatus for the production of electrical discharges at high voltage commonly consisting of an insulated hollow conducting sphere that accumulates in its interior the charge continuously conveyed from a source of direct current by an endless belt of flexible nonconducting material

Word History

Etymology

after Robert J. Van de Graaff †1967 American physicist, its inventor

First Known Use

1937, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of Van de Graaff generator was in 1937

Dictionary Entries Near Van de Graaff generator

Cite this Entry

“Van de Graaff generator.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Van%20de%20Graaff%20generator. Accessed 28 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

Van de Graaff generator

noun
: a device for producing high voltages by building up charge in the inside of a hollow sphere
Etymology

named for Robert J. Van de Graaff 1901–1967 American physicist

Medical Definition

Van de Graaff generator

noun
: an apparatus for the production of electrical discharges at high voltage commonly consisting of an insulated hollow conducting sphere that accumulates in its interior the charge continuously conveyed from a source of direct current by an endless belt of flexible nonconducting material

called also electrostatic generator

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