One of our 2012 final-year students, Rebecca Robertz, recently helped out when we needed some real-life models for photos for our brand-new website. One stop was at the Van de Graaff generator.
This nifty machine, invented in 1929, is used in the industry for scientific purposes such as accelerating electrons to sterilise food and process materials, accelerating protons for nuclear physics experiments, driving X-ray tubes, etc. However, the photographers (and Rebecca) had much more fun experimenting with the ability of the generator to make one’s hair stand on end – literally!
Read more about the Van de Graaff generator here. (Link: http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/electric/vandeg.html)