2016 May

Plasma Balls

May 7, 2016

Plasma Ball

A plasma ball, which can also be referred to as plasma globe/dome/sphere/orb/tube, is an ornamental glass ball filled with inert gasses in a half vacuum that has a high-powered electrode at its center. This electrode produces tentacles of brilliant light which extend throughout the glass sphere around it.

Basically, plasma lamps are used as decorative items or toys which are appealing to the eye. A wide range of lighting tricks and effects can also be carried out, by simply moving your hands close to the sphere. Occasionally, these plasma balls are used in college labs to demonstrate scientific experiments. Besides not being used in general lighting purposes, a number of manufactures use these devices as night lamps, since some are compatible with ordinary electricity sockets.

How a plasma sphere operates

In any given substance, plasma can be said to be an additional state of matter. Basically, it’s the major state of matter in this universe. Plasma state occurs when the positive and negative ions of a given matter are practically equal to each other.

These balls are some type of small Tesla coil. When the device is turned on, a substantial ac voltage passes through the electrode, causing the electrons inside the coil of wires inside the electrode to oscillate at extremely high frequencies (about thirty kHz), ultimately leading to ‘falling off’ of the gasses’ electrons. This leaves behind positive ions, which in turn gives the gasses lovely colors. Because of the partial vacuum within the ball, the electrical tentacles can be easily observed. Typically, the electrical current is actually imperceptible. However, the inert gasses’ ions react with the electrons flowing out, making them glow in a variety of colors based on the type of the inert gas, by simply discharging huge numbers of photons.

As mentioned during our Physics tuition class, plasma balls are produced with a combination of different inert gasses like; krypton, neon, and xenon. By using a variety of; computerized circuits, glass globes shapes, and the combination of gasses, these plasma balls can develop electrical tentacles that generate a variety of patterns and shapes in diverse colors. You can as well get Universal Serial Bus (USB) plasma balls those are powered by use of the Universal Serial Bus port of a computer. They are actually a safer model, because of the lower current from the computer. On the other hand, the voltage is nevertheless quite high, and can lead to hazardous Electromagnetic Field Radiation.

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