The Wimshurst Machine, developed in the early 1880s, is an electric generator that utilizes electrostatic induction to generate a large potential (voltage) difference across two capacitors. It develops a maximum electrostatic potential based on the number of plates used and their diameter, and the spacing between the plates. Increasing the rotating speed of the plates does not increase the maximum discharge voltage; rather, it only decreases the time the machine takes to gain its full electrostatic potential. This machine was purchased for use at the NJIT from the Central Scientific Company.
68.8 x 75.5 x 45 cm
Matthew J. Brown
NJIT Department of Physics
electric generator, electrostatic induction, voltage, wimshurst