A Máquina de Wimshurst é um gerador eletrostático de alta tensão desenvolvida em 1883 by British inventor James Wimshurst. This generator has two counter-rotating discs mounted in a vertical plane, the discs are various metal sectors set whose edges are rounded, two transverse bars with wire brushes, and two metal spheres separated by a distance, so that static electricity sparks jump.
The machine is based on triboelectric effect loads accumulation , onde cargas são acumuladas quando dois materiais diferentes são friccionados um contra o outro. This machine belongs to a class of Electrostatic machines, that "generate" electrical charges through the phenomenon of indução eletrostática.
It was an innovation before previous electrostatic machines as Holtz machine e a Toepler machine which had a tendency to reverse polarity at its terminals, which does not occur in the Wimshurst machine.
A Máquina de Wimshurst, as well as other electrostatic generators, require all electrical structure well insulated, to minimize losses of energy produced by the machine.
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