Friday 6 August 2010: Van de Graaff generator
This is a small, table-top version of a Van de Graaff Van de Graaff generator commonly used in high-school settings to make kids' hair stand on end. Full-scale VDGs operate in multiple millions of electron Volts and do a bit of atom smashing. The inventor, Robert J. Van de Graaff was a pioneering physicist of particle accelerators. This unit is in the home of John, Robert's son. I visited to meet John and his wife and to scope out doing research on Robert and his work for my Master's degree in Science and Technology Studies (STS) at York University in Toronto. This unit wasn't sparking so John and I tried to fix it to no avail. We think something is broken or missing. The silk belt is in good shape. You can see it in the glass column.
Back-blipped 01 March 2011.