John Van de Graaff

By VandeGraaff

Research in Progress

Edward Fenner, a masters student in Science and Technology Studies at York University in Toronto, is doing research on the work of my father, Robert Van de Graaff. He was an experimental physicist, best known for his invention and development of the so-called Van de Graaff generator, which is still used to accelerate atomic particles.

Edward is spending a few days with us to go through my father's papers. His T-shirt shows Nikola Tesla, an earlier pioneer in the fields of electricity and electromagnetism, including high-frequency radiation.

In the left background is a small model of a Van de Graaff generator; somewhat larger ones are often used to demonstrate static electricity in high-school physics classes. The first large generator built by my father is at the Boston Museum of Science, where it is used for spectacular daily demonstrations.

ADDITION: Edward has joined Blipfoto in the meantime and put up a blip of us--blip for blip, I guess.

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