# Electrical Resistance or Conductance of Carbon Dioxide

1. Dec 4, 2015

### electric jake

I wanted to do a science experiment and it is very important that i learn the electrical resistance of carbon dioxide. From what i would guess, this may be wrong, but carbon dioxide and the atmosphere on earth probably have a similar electric resistance due to the fact carbon dioxide already exists in our atmosphere. Also another point I would like it to be at standard room temperature and standard pressure at 14.7 psi or just a rough estimation will suffice thank you.

2. Dec 4, 2015

### Chandra Prayaga

I am not sure what your goal is, but CO2 is not an ion. So a sample of gas of pure CO2 would be a perfect insulator. Its resistance would be infinity.

3. Dec 4, 2015

### electric jake

I thought their is no infinite resistance in the universe for example i know the atmosphere on earth is approximately 2^16 ohms/meter is it's resistivity so i don't know

4. Dec 4, 2015

### Staff: Mentor

Welcome to the PF.

Can you say what the experiment is? The resistivity of air or CO2 is so high that it would take very expensive equipment to measure it.

5. Dec 4, 2015

### electric jake

i was planning on using the back EMF current produced by a inductor to power a high powered CO2 laser but i am using a relay to activate the laser and i was wondering what the resistance/resistivity of carbon dioxide because it will act like a current source and would flow through the branch with the lowest resistance so if the carbon dioxide has greater resistance than that of the air between the contact leads of the relay this experiment won't work. I didn't intend anyone to do a experiment but maybe find or reference someone who has already measured the resistance/resistivity of carbon dioxide

6. Dec 4, 2015

### Staff: Mentor

I'm no expert on lasers, but I'm pretty sure you need to ionize the gas with high voltage to get things going. So the non-ionized resistance would not seem to come into play here (but I could be wrong). You should be looking at ionization energies and the Paschen curve for ionization at different gas pressures.

This is an interesting resource page I found listed in the Wikipedia article on CO2 lasers: http://www.repairfaq.org/sam/lasercc2.htm

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7. Dec 4, 2015

### Staff: Mentor

I think that the dielectric breakdown voltage would be more important for what you are describing. The break down voltage for CO2 is slightly less than for air, but it is pretty close.