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Particles & Waves

Blipfoto.com

Robert J. Van de Graaff. Born this day in 1901.

RJVDG invented an atom smasher (particle accelerator) that bears his name - the Van de Graaff generator. He and his very successful machines made significant contributions to atomic science, cancer treatment, medicine, and much more. He is the object of my studies for my MA in Science and Technology Studies at York University. Lots more links at my birthday blip for Robert a year ago. Do check it out.

In this blip are my work screens at home. The lower one is on my MacBook and shows one of the pylons in full discharge at Round Hill, the lab Robert built in an old blimp hanger in 1930. The upper one is my monitor which shows that same pylon and its twin in full discharge at the Museum of Science in Boston. It's still working great 80 years later putting on loud and flashy shows. The books are some of my reading materials. The CDs have photos, audio, and other bits and pieces of my research. The photo of Robert at centre was given to me by John Van de Graaff. The grey pencil is one I "borrowed" from MIT's archives. I played with the photo in post. The big monitor looked way to colourful and the lower one too blue so I tweaked it to look more natural in tone but with an antique effect.

I've mentioned it before, but I'll say it again, his son John is the blipper that got me blipping. I am grateful to him and his wife and to his brother William and his family for opening up their homes and files to me as I dig through their father's history.

Coincidentally, today, I got an email sent late yesterday notifying me that I can get up to $2,000 in expenses via a grant-in-aid from the Friends of the Center for History of Physics, American Institute of Physics, in College Park, Maryland, USA after I visit the Niels Bohr Library and Archives in the coming summer. Thanks AIP and thanks RJVDG!

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