Van de Graaff's generator

  title={Van de Graaff's generator},
  author={Michael F. Wolff},
  journal={IEEE Spectrum},
  • M. Wolff
  • Published 1 June 1990
  • Physics
  • IEEE Spectrum
The development by Robert J. Van de Graaff of the generator that bears his name is recounted. A memorandum he produced in 1933 reveals his first major insight: he could accelerate ions and electrons to enormous energies by generating a high voltage in a vacuum. Actual experimental work had to wait until September 1929, when the new Ph.D. arrived at Princeton University in New Jersey to work under physicist Karl T. Compton. A month later, Van de Graaff was able to show Compton the first model of… 
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