Wimshurst machine

[ wimz-hurst ]
/ ˈwɪmz hɜrst /

noun Electricity.

a device for the production of electric charge by electrostatic induction, consisting of two oppositely rotating glass or mica disks carrying metal strips upon which charges are induced and subsequently removed by contact with metallic combs.

Origin of Wimshurst machine

named after J. Wimshurst (died 1903), English engineer
Also called Wimshurst generator.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for wimshurst machine

Wimshurst machine
/ (ˈwɪmzhɜːst) /


a type of electrostatic generator with two parallel insulating discs revolving in different directions, each being in contact with a thin metal wiper that produces a charge on the disc: usually used for demonstration purposes

Word Origin for Wimshurst machine

C19: named after J. Wimshurst (1832–1903), English engineer
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Science definitions for wimshurst machine

Wimshurst machine
[ wĭmzhûrst′ ]

An electrostatic generator used to generate static electricity at high voltages, consisting of mica or glass disks covered with metal sectors of plates that are rotated in opposite directions. The rotational energy is used to build up static charge across the plates, while each plate periodically makes electrical contact with another as it rotates, building up a voltage by induction. The Wimshurst machine is named after its inventor, British engineer James Wimshurst (1832-1903).
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