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Can a high voltage across a chamber ionize a gas?

  1. Mar 29, 2013 #1
    Can a high voltage across a chamber ionize a gas?

    This is for an experiment....thanks guys...
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 29, 2013 #2


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    How a fluorescent lamp works.

    Don't mess with high voltages!
  4. Mar 29, 2013 #3
    Yes it can ionize a gas , if you proceed any experiments remember to be safe and if not sure of something seek a advice from a professional.
  5. Mar 29, 2013 #4
    You sure can which is why we have "neon" lights but the voltage must be large enough so that this energy is more than that required to ionize the atom. Different atoms have different ionization energies.
  6. Mar 29, 2013 #5
    Hey guys thanks for the advice...

    But suppose I were to ionize Cl- to Cl using this method...would it work???!!
  7. Mar 30, 2013 #6
    Just for interest, I've made a rough trigatron that dumps a 325 volt capacitor across the contacts of a starter solenoid triggered by my camera flash - if you have any questions :)

  8. Mar 30, 2013 #7
    Hey DesmondD,

    A trigatron uses both, a high potential difference, and a current.

    Since i am an amateur in making such homemade experiments, i don't feel working with such a high current.

    But it's interesting!! :)
    Can you tell me how does the capacitor produces a high voltage, and what is highest voltage produced??

  9. Mar 30, 2013 #8
    I use the old camera flash to charge the capacitor to only 325 volts. The ignition coil is capable of about 30 000 volts for the conduction path.
  10. Mar 30, 2013 #9
    Hmm...that's really great.

    Is there some setup where I can connect the capacitor to a chamber filled with gas to ionize the gas...??

    And isn't it dangerous to be working with such a high voltage??

  11. Mar 30, 2013 #10
    A camera flash is basically a tube with gas in it that gets ionized by the trigger wire near the centre. It can switch very high currents but it wastes the energy as light. Putting something in series with it allows for some of that energy to be shared.
    It's very dangerous :) . I've been using it to trigger explosions to photograph :D
  12. Mar 30, 2013 #11

    So I could make a set up where I have a chamber filled with negative ions, and a capacitor attached to the electrodes on the chamber...

    And then will the gas ionize??
    And if it does...due to the p.d. the electrons will travel to the positive ends right?? Leaving neutral ions in the chamber??
  13. Mar 30, 2013 #12
    To be quite honest I don't know that much about the physics of it. All I know is that I can make something go "bang!" and photograph a fireball - or gunpowder blowing a stone off the ground.
    I don't really know what happens in there.
    What I do know is that you need a high enough pd when working with air to be able to force ionization. I imagine it is easier with other gasses. A camera flash uses only a few thousand volts to trigger the flash as far as I know.
    It all happens pretty fast- I can capture the beginning of the event at 1/4000th sec.
    And the spark looks pretty cool when it goes into water .
  14. Mar 30, 2013 #13
    If I am not wrong the flash uses a noble gas...I plan to use chlorine...would it work then??
  15. Mar 30, 2013 #14
    I would say - "only one way to find out" :cool:
    Otherwise, I have no idea. Perhaps a google search will tell you :)
  16. Mar 30, 2013 #15
    Hmm...can't afford that kind of experimentation right now man!! :(

    Anyways thanks for all the help...it may help me in the process!!
  17. Mar 30, 2013 #16
    Good luck with your experiments :)
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