Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

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

    turbo

    User Avatar
    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
     
  4. Apr 12, 2008 #3

    dst

    User Avatar

    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
    photons
     
  6. Apr 12, 2008 #5
    WOW!!! That was spectacular! :biggrin:
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: When I see an electrical arc ,what am I really seeing?
  1. What am I seeing? (Replies: 2)

Loading...