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

van de graaff in Science

Van de Graaff

[văn də grăf′]Robert Jemison 1901-1967
  1. 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.
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