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Is it possible to glow-discharge air at atmospheric pressure?

  1. Feb 11, 2014 #1

    I know air can be made ionized and glow at low atmospehres like in vacuum tubes at high voltages. But is it possible to somehow make a glow discharge(not corona discharge out of leaking sharp edges) at atmospheric pressures?. Except of Ionization radiation- I havent heared or read of this,? If it is possible what would do it? very HV van de graafs only produce gigantic spark discharges so simple hv direct current can never do it I guess. HV HF transformers also produce mostly spark discharges but a very tiny glow I suspect(?). Could in theory, HV at sufficient high frequency in the radio range at sufficient energy produce a glow discharge or what would happen??

  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 11, 2014 #2

    Simon Bridge

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    You seem to be asking if it is possible for any situation except for those very situations where it is possible.
    A google for "glow discharge in air" yields a lot of possibles ...

    This may be close to what you are looking for:
    DC glow discharges in atmospheric pressure air
    ... Zdenko Machala et al, Journal of Advanced Oxidation Technologies
  4. Feb 11, 2014 #3


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    Yachting people speak of Saint Elmo's fire.
  5. Feb 11, 2014 #4

    Simon Bridge

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    St. Elmo's fire (also St. Elmo's light[1][2]) is a weather phenomenon in which luminous plasma is created by a coronal discharge from a sharp or pointed object in a strong electric field in the atmosphere (such as those generated by thunderstorms or created by a volcanic eruption).

    That's what I thought of too - however, OP has excluded it from consideration.
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