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van de Graaff

in reference to an electrostatic charge generator, 1934, named for U.S. physicist R.J. van de Graaff (1901-1967).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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van de graaff in Science
Van de Graaff
  (vān' də grāf')   
American physicist who in 1929 invented an improved electrostatic generator (later called the Van de Graaff generator) that was adapted for use as a particle accelerator. The generator became an important research tool for atomic physicists and was also used to produce high-energy x-rays helpful in treating cancer.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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