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I want to Ionize Hydrogen in a Balloon

  1. Jun 12, 2008 #1
    Right now I blow up latex balloons with hydrogen. I am using the 20KV from a TV anode. I don't seem to be able to just stick the bare wire end of this HV source to ionize the Hydrogen. Covering the outside of the balloon with tin foil and putting the 20KV on that did next to nothing.

    Any ideas how I can ionize the hydrogen inside the balloon?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 12, 2008 #2


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    You like to play dangerous games, don't you !

    The answer why it doesn't work is that the pressure of the hydrogen is too high, and the electric field too low: you have 20 KV over several cm at 1 bar, this is simply not strong enough.

    But I would urge you to stop doing what you do: if ever you have a leak, and you have a spark because of the HV, then you will have a rather powerful hydrogen explosion.
  4. Jun 13, 2008 #3
    No I am just using just a little hydrogen in about 10" Balloons, even if ignited it would just flash about like a fire cracker, but even a 20KV arc that popped the balloon didn't catch it on fire.
  5. Jun 16, 2008 #4
    So nobody knows

    So nobody knows how to do this, well I have some ideas
  6. Jun 16, 2008 #5


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    Since you already know, then this thread is moot.

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