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When I see an electrical arc ,what am I really seeing?

  1. Apr 12, 2008 #1
    When an electrical arc occurs, is the blue/white/purple arc the electricity itself, or is it a result of the electricity interacting with something in the air?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 12, 2008 #2


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    Gold Member

    You are seeing ionized gases in the air radiating EM energy. Try this one!

    500 kV Eldorado substation near Boulder City, Nevada
    http://www.arcfault.org/video.htm [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
  4. Apr 12, 2008 #3


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    You cannot "see" electricity because that's what facilitates the whole "seeing" thing. As said you're looking at its result.
  5. Apr 12, 2008 #4
  6. Apr 12, 2008 #5
    WOW!!! That was spectacular! :biggrin:
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