It all starts with a spark

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Primitive particle accelerators used Van de Graaff generators to create the enormous electric potentials that are needed to provide particles with enough energy to split the atom. You can now emulate the likes of Cockcroft and Walton by building your own Van de Graaff generator with household materials. The latest Quasar video shows you how to do it. It probably won’t split the atom but it will certainly give you a shock!

The video, now on YouTube, has been produced by the University of Liverpool’s Quasar group as part of a project funded by the Royal Academy of Engineering to promote accelerator science among schoolchildren.