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Jacob's Fountain

Two arches of (salted) water, plus high voltage.
  [vote for,

Periodically the individual fountains' water pools are combined (with the electricity off of course) to remolecularize the electrolyte, and more salt is added to make up for the escaped ions(which produce pretty colours in the arc).
FlyingToaster, Apr 07 2013

Don't cross the streams... http://www.youtube....watch?v=jyaLZHiJJnE
...it would be bad! [4whom, Apr 07 2013]


       I think a bit more explanation would help.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 07 2013

       Good idea, now if I only I could find some country where droplets of water fall from the sky on a regular basis. Nope, can't think of one.   

       To be honest, I'm not sure you need the salt?
not_morrison_rm, Apr 07 2013

       //explanation// //pools//   

       Each fountain is self-contained in that its water cycles continuously, all without mixing with the other fountain's supply (except when you want to remix a bit).   

       The water of each shoots up and to the side a bit, forming an arch. The arches of the fountains are close enough together to form a jumpable air-gap, creating the classic Jacob's Ladder effect.   

       I'm pretty sure there'd be some ionization of the electrolyte in between through electrolysis. If CaCl were used, Ca ions would jump from one side and Cl ions from the other, colouring the electrical arc and leaving their partners in the stream to slowly build up concentration in their pools, Ca in one and Cl in t'other; thus the need for occasional mixing it up to reform CaCl, and adding of new electrolyte to make up for the missing.
FlyingToaster, Apr 07 2013

       (+) Best idea I've read all day.   

       Ah, right. That kind of Jacob's Ladder. I was thinking of the toy made of wood-blocks and tape. Great, good, carry on.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 07 2013

       I like this one a lot [FT], well done. I can supply MgCl2 for a colour change. (By the way, it would be CaCl2 not CaCl. NaCl works though).
AusCan531, Apr 08 2013

       Approved [+].   

       Humidity lowers the breakdown voltage of air, so the spray of the fountain should let you get some really long arcs.
mitxela, Apr 08 2013

       //Note: The linked video at 90mA current in air is enough to instantly kill anyone close enough for it to arc toward   

       You type that like it's a bad thing.
not_morrison_rm, Apr 09 2013

       If you're careful about it, using laminar-flow jets and a precise "collection hole" (instead of an open pool), you could keep floating vapours and splashiness to a minimum, to keep the arc under good control.
On the other hand, since the vapours would lower the breakdown voltage, and hence increase the distance you can arc, you could get all sorts of big effects going on, if the misting is also controlled (rather than just "happening").
neutrinos_shadow, Apr 10 2013

       Surely it could just be under a glass dome for safety?
nineteenthly, Apr 10 2013

       You'd have to have a pretty hefty air circulation system to keep fog off the inside of a dome. I was thinking more along the lines of a few pairs of smoking boots marking off the "safe zone".
FlyingToaster, Apr 10 2013

       There will be a strong attraction between the streams due to their opposite charges, which might cause them to break up. Mercury might work better (with the glass dome, of course).
spidermother, Apr 11 2013

       ^... and coat the inside of the dome in phosphor I presume.
FlyingToaster, Apr 11 2013

       Add some argon, for pretty purple plasma, and provide some UV shielding. (If it breaks, it releases deadly voltage, mercury vapour, and nasty UV. Fun for all the family.) A phosphor would obscure your view.
spidermother, Apr 11 2013

       [bigsleep], I have had the luxury of playing with an 800kV generator used for testing ceramic insulators. The standard test is seeing how the flashover voltage changes as you spray it with a hosepipe.   

       From the preliminary data gathered while researching the effects of very high voltage and/or spraying with a hosepipe on various household objects, I can conclude with reasonable confidence that spraying with a hosepipe increases the impressiveness of the arcs. However, I thoroughly agree that more experimentation should take place to put this issue to rest.
mitxela, Apr 11 2013

       A remote controlled hosepipe on a tripod. We stood behind a screen with a control panel. I left that part out because I wanted to sound cool.
mitxela, Apr 11 2013

       //I wanted to sound cool//   

       Mission accomplished.
AusCan531, Apr 12 2013


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