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CAUTION: Lethal High Voltage /Energy System
Described. Do Not Attempt if you are Untrained in
Safety Working With High Voltages!
Simply take a handy household energy storage capacitor
(e.g. 2mfd, 10kV,) a variable high voltage power supply
10kV), suitable charging resistor and a discharge
(ignitron or mechanical.)
Add a couple of jumper cable leads to route the energy
through a a length of fairly fine wire (~30 gauge copper,
slightly thicker aluminum, tin/lead solder, etc.)
Place the fine wire held by the cable clips in an
proof box (2x4" wood, 3/4" lexan cover is suitable at
energies.) Insert a piece of paper about 1/2" below the
wire, and initiate the discharge. The resulting "bang!"
leave a fine image of metallic vapor deposits in the
Color of the impression will vary with type of wire
exploded. At certain energies, the vapor will clump into
striations due to the influence of the very large magnetic
field caused by the rapid discharge on the plasma as it
travels from where the wire had been to the paper. At
lower energies, the metal may fail to fully vaporise, but
provide skipping molten droplets which leave dotted or
Varying initial shape, curvature, distance above paper,
type of paper, and energy level will result in a gamut of
Not quite the same thing, but cool enough to be worth linking to. [Wrongfellow, Nov 04 2013]
Doing art with high voltages and stuff [neutrinos_shadow, Nov 04 2013]
mercury pool with igniter electrode [csea, Nov 05 2013]
||[Alterother]; plasma can be considered a fluid, I guess.
||Is there really such a thing as an ignitron? OK, how
about an ignintron? Because one of those would be
helpful for those of us who are ignint. And our
mommas dress us funny.
||This idea could be greatly enhanced by replacing the
fine wires with a variety of small mammals.
||Thomas Edison already did that. Reviews were mixed.
||This is baked, in numerous ways - albeit unintentionally. The // explosion- proof box // is a good feature as previous experience indicates than the exterior casings of many consumer devices (particularly hand-held technology) are grossly inadequate to contain even a moderate detonation, which is amusing for onlookers but not for the tester.
||Aluminized Mylar (one way mirror material) in place of
the wire also shows spectacular ablation, mostly
transverse to the current flow. This is interesting, as
the material is an insulator at low voltages, but
conducts at several kV voltages.
||See [link] for info on Ignitrons.