• SciencePF
In summary, when conducting the Van Der Graaff machine experiment in vacuum, no sparks will be seen due to the absence of air. However, electrons will still flow between the conductors, resulting in the emission of electromagnetic radiation. The frequency and wavelength of this radiation can be calculated using the strength of the electric field and Planck's constant.
SciencePF
Hello!
I know that in dry air at about 3 000 000 V/m of an electric field we will see sparks between to conductors charged with a Van Der Graaff machine. Now suppose that we can do that experiment in vacuum.
I suppose that no sparks will be seen; there is no air!
Anyway electrons will flow from one conductor to the other in vacuum, i suppose! If so, they are accelerated and they will radiate energy. (I´ve learned that an accelerated charge emits electromagnetic radiation) How can i calculate the characteristics of that electromagnetic radiation (frequency and wavelength)?
TIA

The frequency of the electromagnetic radiation emitted by the accelerated electrons will depend on the strength of the electric field, as well as the amount of energy that the electrons possess when they are accelerated. The wavelength of the radiation will be inversely proportional to the frequency. You can calculate the frequency of the electromagnetic radiation using the following formula: f = E/h, where E is the electric field strength, and h is Planck's constant. You can then calculate the wavelength using the formula c/f, where c is the speed of light.

Hello there! You are correct in thinking that in a vacuum, there will be no sparks between two charged conductors. This is because there is no air or gas present to ionize and create the conductive pathway for the spark to occur.

However, you are also correct in thinking that electrons will still flow from one conductor to the other in a vacuum. This is known as vacuum breakdown and it occurs when the electric field is strong enough to cause the electrons to overcome the vacuum's insulating properties.

As for the characteristics of the electromagnetic radiation emitted by the accelerated electrons, you can use the formula for the energy of a photon: E = hf, where h is Planck's constant and f is the frequency of the radiation. The frequency can be calculated using the equation f = v/λ, where v is the velocity of the electron and λ is the wavelength. The wavelength can also be calculated using the equation λ = c/f, where c is the speed of light.

In summary, in a vacuum, there will be no sparks between charged conductors, but there will still be electron flow and the emission of electromagnetic radiation. I hope this helps answer your questions!

## 1. What are sparks in vacuum?

Sparks in vacuum refer to the phenomenon of electrical discharges occurring in a vacuum, where there is a lack of air or other gas particles. This can happen in a vacuum tube or in outer space.

## 2. How do sparks in vacuum occur?

Sparks in vacuum occur due to the presence of a high electric field, which causes electrons to be pulled away from the negatively charged electrode and towards the positively charged electrode. When the electrons collide with gas particles or other particles within the vacuum, they produce visible light and energy, resulting in a spark.

## 3. Can sparks in vacuum be dangerous?

Sparks in vacuum are generally not dangerous, as the vacuum itself acts as an insulator and prevents the spark from causing harm. However, if the vacuum is not properly maintained, it can lead to overheating and potential hazards.

## 4. What are some practical applications of sparks in vacuum?

Sparks in vacuum have been used in various technologies, such as vacuum tubes, cathode ray tubes, and plasma displays. They are also important in scientific research, such as in particle accelerators and vacuum chambers for testing materials.

## 5. Can sparks in vacuum occur in outer space?

Yes, sparks in vacuum can occur in outer space due to the presence of cosmic rays and charged particles that can interact with the vacuum. These sparks can also be seen as shooting stars or meteors when they enter the Earth's atmosphere.

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