Cascade Generator, 1937.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
This cascade generator was installed with the Philips Million-Volt Accelerator at the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge, in 1937. The generator produced the electric field (up to one million volts) used to accelerate particles such as protons and electrons during experiments using the accelerator. It generated these high voltages using a system of capacitors (which act as stores of electrical charge) and rectifiers, insulated and shielded to prevent the charge 'leaking out'.