How to make a simple plasma globe
Please be careful: All of the dangers mentioned in the parent page are valid for this apparatus too. So be aware of high voltage. Please read additional notes concerning your safety given in the text below.
Once you operated your coil it's easy and funny to make some magic with it. A simple plasma globe would amaze you enough. All you have to do is to find an ordinary electric bulb. Since these bulbs are filled with gases to prevent the filament from corrosion and make it much brighter, you can ionize the gas in the bulb and turn it to a plasma globe. Not all of the bulbs have the same gas composition so you may have to search for. Your globe won't look as mysterious as original ones but it's worth to take a look at it.
As you see this circuit is grounded. You are grounded too and this means there is more availability for current to pass through your body. Take precautions for the high voltage cable and the conductive parts of the bulb so prevent yourself and other ones touching them. When you approach your fingers to the bulb you'll observe plasma attracting there. As you dare to touch the glass you may find tiny sparkings hitting your finger without pain but they will burn out your tissue. Intense lightning hitting a point in the glass sphere would cause that point to heat. With my tiny coil, I haven't seen this caused the glass to break but it's possible. If the glass breaks then there will be a chance that sparkings may jump from the bulb's wires to your fingers. Another danger is ozone, produced by the corona built up at the outer surface of the glass, that is harmful to your lungs. Also ultraviolet emission is very high for your eyes in this operation. So run your globe only for a short period, in a well ventilated place, avoiding to touch the bulb, and at an optimum voltage so it won't break and hurt you.
Here are some photos of a bulb I've operated. Notice that sparkings are formed easily and longer in the bulb compared to the ones in the air.
Attracting plasma with hand
Another one similar
Plasma is visible even in strong room light
In the dark, plasma looks fantastic
Recorded two movies with digital camera showing the actual operation of the bulb. First one is taken in the dark, the other is in room light. Really wanna be able to take better ones but my camera/computer duo is ... very slow!
Operating in the dark
Cinepak Codec, 146K, 5.5 Secs.
Operating under room light
Cinepak Codec, 232K, 6.3 Secs.
I'd really like to have a big glass globe to fill with inert gases. Till that day have to play with this small ones ?:(
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