Plasma Globe

  • #1
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0
Hey there,

I was looking to buy a plasma globe as a desk ornament at work.

Problem is, I deal with circuit cards and other pieces of electronic equipment. None of us wear ESD bracelets, so the components aren't extremely sensitive.

I was just wondering if the globe would emit a strong enough field to cause damage to any nearby electronics?

I'm assuming not, since there are no visible warnings about being cautious of where you place it. I've read where the glass acts as a dielectric - stopping most of the electricity and containing it within the globe. However, I also read experiments where one end of a fluorescent bulb can be placed in close proximity, with the other end grounded; and the bulb will light. (Wasn't sure if it had to be close enough to arc from the ball, or if this was a case of the field igniting the bulb.)

I've searched around on the net, and can't find anything that gives any indication of it causing any problems (though it has been said to possibly cause radio interference with wifi, etc.) So, I figured that it would be better to be safe than sorry in this instance.

What do you guys think? Is this safe to have around electronic equipment?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Drakkith
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
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I doubt the plasma globe would cause any problems unless you are working around sensitive devices susceptible to RF radiation. However, it may be wise to check with your management.
 
  • #3
Hi I just purchased a Plasma Globe from Argus £20 love and, my reason for purchasing was my photography, would like to ask about getting the best effects. have some results already , would appreciate any suggestions . see my Flickr photostream https://www.flickr.com/photos/tweetiekins/
 
  • #4
Drakkith
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
21,243
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Hi I just purchased a Plasma Globe from Argus £20 love and, my reason for purchasing was my photography, would like to ask about getting the best effects. have some results already , would appreciate any suggestions . see my Flickr photostream https://www.flickr.com/photos/tweetiekins/

It looks good to me.
 
  • #5
Perhaps it wouldn't be advisable for anyone with a pacemaker to play with a plasma globe
 
  • #6
berkeman
Mentor
60,015
10,226
I checked wikipedia, and they have a good list of some of the hazards of plasma globes...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plasma_globe
wikipedia said:
Hazards[https://www.physicsforums.com/w/index.php?title=Plasma_globe&action=edit&section=4 [Broken]]
Bringing conductive materials or electronic devices close to a plasma globe may cause the glass to become hot. The high voltage radio frequency energy coupled to them from within the globe may cause a mild electric shock, even through a protective plastic casing. The https://www.physicsforums.com/wiki/Radio_frequency [Broken] field produced by plasma lamps can interfere with the operation of touchpads used on https://www.physicsforums.com/wiki/Laptop_computer [Broken], https://www.physicsforums.com/wiki/Digital_audio_player [Broken], https://www.physicsforums.com/wiki/Cell_phones [Broken], and other similar devices.[1] Some types can radiate sufficient https://www.physicsforums.com/wiki/Radio_frequency_interference [Broken] (RFI) to interfere with https://www.physicsforums.com/wiki/Cordless_telephone [Broken] and https://www.physicsforums.com/wiki/Wi-Fi [Broken] devices several feet away.

If a https://www.physicsforums.com/wiki/Tinfoil_hat [Broken] is placed on the globe, https://www.physicsforums.com/wiki/Capacitive_coupling [Broken] can transfer enough current through the foil to give a small arc burn or light a small lamp connected to earth ground. This is possible because the globe's glass acts as a capacitor dielectric: the inside of the lamp acts as one plate, and any conductive object on the outside acts as the other capacitor plate.[3] This is dangerous to do, can damage the globe, and presents a fire hazard.[1]
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #7
Dotini
Gold Member
633
231
I've had plasma globe - marketed as a Thunder Ball - in the same room as all my TV and electronic entertainment equipment for a year with no problems. It's been running continuously.

I have been advised that it's not good for it to be too near electronic equipment, so it's on the other side of the room, maybe 12' away from any equipment.

The thing to remember is that it's discharging into your environment, and will find a way to ground.


http://rpmedia.ask.com/ts?u=/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/26/Plasma-lamp_2.jpg/159px-Plasma-lamp_2.jpg [Broken]

High electron temperature glow discharge. The plasma density and ambient temperature are low.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #8
3,388
944
I checked wikipedia, and they have a good list of some of the hazards of plasma globes...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plasma_globe
Tin foil hat ! o0)
If a https://www.physicsforums.com/wiki/Tinfoil_hat [Broken] is placed on the globe, https://www.physicsforums.com/wiki/Capacitive_coupling [Broken] can transfer enough current through the foil to give a small arc burn or light a small lamp connected to earth ground
So they do have their uses then.
 
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  • #9
How do you fix what the tin foil hat damaged? Because I have a plasma globe and it was bright purple, and orangery, and know it is an orange color, and it turns off after a while, could the tinfoil have done that?
 
  • #10
Drakkith
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
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How do you fix what the tin foil hat damaged? Because I have a plasma globe and it was bright purple, and orangery, and know it is an orange color, and it turns off after a while, could the tinfoil have done that?

I suppose it's possible.
 
  • #12
Drakkith
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
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So is there a way to fix it?

No idea. I don't know what's wrong with it. But if you don't have any experience with fixing plasma globes or other electronics it's best just to get a new globe.
 

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