Ray Herb’s career in the development of electrostatic accelerators spans 65 years. He began in 1933 by pressurizing a Van de Graaff generator, for the first time. Over the next six years, the group at the University of Wisconsin, under his direction, developed the fundamentals of equipotential rings, potential grading, corona triode control, and other basic mechanisms for the practical use of electrostatic accelerators while making fundamental contributions to experimental nuclear physics. This group held the world’s record in sustaining potential difference of 4.5 MV. During World War II, he worked on radar at the Radiation Laboratory. After the war, Herb resumed his career with further fundamental contributions including metal/ceramic bonding, ultrahigh vacuum pumping, negative ion source development and metal charge carriers. The company, National Electrostatics, under his direction manufactured the accelerator which still holds the world’s record for the highest sustained potential difference of 32±1.5 MV. Throughout his career he led teams which made the electrostatic accelerator a valuable tool for applications in a wide variety of scientific fields, well beyond nuclear physics.

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