Robert Van de Graaff: He Put a Charge Into High School Physics


Today's birthday is Robert Van de Graaff's

Whose electric contraption could generate laughs.

His sphere in our science  lab was  a vexation

But it still  split our sides with the horripilation.


File:Van de graaf generator.svg



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  • I wonder if it has a practical application, other than the one in the second picture. Googling it didn't indicate one.

  • Jack, it depends what you mean by 'practical'. It sure served a purpose in illustrating voltage.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    So does a CTA third rail, but it also propels vehicles and fries the occasional passenger.

    Maybe, was there any industrial use for it, like in particle accelerators or the like?

    As far as illustrating static electricity, my blanket does that. I get a good lightning storm when I wake up in the middle of the night. Maybe I should use some Downy.

  • In reply to jack:

    Too late. Both Morton Down(e)y's have gone beyond the great blanket of the sky.

  • AW, did you teach physics????

    This is really a fun and informative post--and I could definitely see this used in an informercial for hair stuff!

    There'd be no shortage of models during these high-static months--but I'd volunteer....

  • In reply to Weather Girl:

    Merry Christmas to you, WG, and peace and good will on these high-ecstatic days.

  • Peace and light to you, AW! Merry Christmas to you and your family, too.

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