MEMSS students have a smashing good time

They learned about the Van de Graaff generator

Nina Gibaldi’s hair-raising experience. (Photo supplied)

Nina Gibaldi’s hair-raising experience. (Photo supplied)

Mount Elizabeth Middle Secondary School student Nina Gibaldi experienced the effects of static electricity in Jennifer Knott’s Physics 12 class recently.

The device creating the static is called a Van de Graaff generator, which according to howstuffworks.com is a device designed to create static electricity and make it available for experiments.

The American physicist Robert Jemison Van de Graaff invented the Van de Graaff generator in 1931.

The device that bears his name has the ability to produce extremely high voltages — as high as 20 million volts.

Van de Graaff invented the generator to supply the high energy needed for early particle accelerators, or atom smashers, because they accelerated sub-atomic particles to very high speeds and then “smashed” them into the target atoms.

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