FSPs High Voltage Kit with Jacobs Ladder
If you need an awesome science experiment in a pinch, or if you just want to play with a massive 10,000 volt spark then this is the product for you. FSP, at www.fsplimited.com, is offering a “3 in 1” high voltage experiment that includes a Jacob’s Ladder, a Plasma Globe, and what they call a “Plasma Finger.” All three experiments are powered by a single step up transformer, which increases your household power from 120 to 10,000 volts!
The Jacob’s ladder is simply two metal poles that slowly spread apart from each other. A spark forms at the base and then rises up the poles, growing larger and longer until it finally breaks apart. Actually this "spark" can be better described as plasma. Plasma is ionized air. Normally air is an insulator; but with enough voltage, the electrons that are part of the air molecules break away from their atoms. Now the air has positive and negative ions, and free moving electrons…just like metal! These hot ions make up the plasma, which heats up the air. The heat from the plasma is one reason it rises up the poles. Because the plasma conducts electricity, the "spark" can now become much larger as more and more plasma is formed. The jacob's ladder is a beautiful demonstration of the awesome power inherent to electricity.
The plasma globe is very simple but really incredible at the same time. One wire coming from the transformer is connected to a light bulb so that the electricity will flow into it. The other wire is taped to the top of the bulb, with its wire strands spread apart. The electric charge between the inside of the light bulb and it's outer surface will create an incredible discharge of plasma inside the light. The display is created when the excited atoms that left the air molecules return to the ions. The electrons lose some energy when they re-attach to the ions. They emit this energy as light. The color of the light emitted depends on the type of gas that is being ionized.
The final experiment (and my favorite), is what FSP calls a “plasma finger.” A dowel pivots on a nail with a wire sticking out its end. This movable wire gets close enough to a small metal rod to create a spark. Then it can be moved further away, creating a stream of plasma. You can control this plasma stream by moving the dowel. It is a safe and fun way to play with 10,000 volts!
The kit and more pictures can be seen at www.fsplimited.com FSP also offers hovercraft plans, a jet kit, and micro-hydro products.
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