Talk:Wimshurst machine

Latest comment: 1 year ago by Redrose64 in topic Reference
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Is the Wimshurst REALLY a constant current generator,

or is it a high voltage generator with a very large output resistance

OR is there any difference between these two.Light current 00:29, 9 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It's constant unless you use leyden jars to build up a charge. (you don't need leyden jars)
Ignoring the leyden jars, the machine is indeed a constant current generator. The current is proportional to the area of the sectors, the number of sectors and the RPM of the discs. (talk) 14:23, 16 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
A Leyden jar, spark gap, or other means of conducting the current with a sufficient voltage drop between the collector combs is required. Without such, the uninterrupted transport of charge from one side of neutralizer bar to the other side, reduces the polarization gain to less than one (i.e. one less ohmic losses in sector and neutralizer bar). The transport of charge from collector comb to neutralizer bar is effectively a "short" that will eventually dissipate any initial charge distribution. Grandfatherclok (talk) 04:19, 29 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]


For what purpose was that machine buiilt? Just a demonstrator or are there any real-life applications?-- (talk) 21:20, 24 May 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Influence machines (and particularly the Wimshurst machine) were used around the turn of the 20th century for operating X-ray tubes. Machines used for this purpose were often constructed as multiple Wimshurst machines operating in parallel to produce the necessary current to achieve good X-ray images. (talk) 14:23, 16 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

While the average current may be down in the microamp range, the peak (spark) current is well above that - probably in the kiloamp range. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:48, 4 November 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

why is this process cumulative?Edit

When I read the article, I didn't get why this process is cumulative. If anyone knows, it will be good to add detailed explanation about this. And I want to know too. thx in advance (talk) 10:49, 15 January 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

On a sector by itself, the charge whether positive or negative, tends to repel itself, leaving little charge in the interior and a high charge density at the edges and corners. The high charge density determines an electric field many times stronger than that between oppositely charged sectors between the neutralizer bars. Bringing the same charged sectors physically close climbs the electric field to raise the voltage between the collector combs on opposite sides many more times greater than that between oppositely charged sectors. The collector combs provide a path for the release of this potential energy as the charges flow into the Leyden jar attracted to the opposite charge flowing into the opposite side of the Leyden jar. Grandfatherclok (talk) 04:19, 29 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]


A Wimshurst machine is on the Jan 26 2022 airing of "The Repair Shop". 2600:1700:7AA0:D7CF:9989:A0E1:A9CF:5B0D (talk) 07:13, 27 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

True. Made by the man himself, no less; and kept in the family for generations [pun intended]. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 14:34, 27 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]