Comment fonctionne une lampe plasma ?

How do Plasma Balls work?

The plasma lamp is a fun accessory to have in your bedroom to bring a scientific atmosphere. However, have you ever wondered how this amazing lamp works and why it emits such strange colors of light? Let’s find out.

What is plasma?

Lampe Plasma Comment ça marche ?

Plasma is a hot gas made up of ions and electrons. The temperature of plasma can be as high as that of the Sun, around 15 million degrees Celsius. At these temperatures, atoms can no longer exist in neutral form, but dissociate into positive ions and negative electrons. These ions and electrons are then free to move around in the plasma and interact with each other through electromagnetic forces.

Plasma is therefore an ionized gas, i.e. a gas containing electrically charged ions. This characteristic of plasma gives it unique properties, including high electrical conductivity. The ions can easily move under the influence of an electric field and conduct current. In addition, because electrons are very light, they respond quickly to electromagnetic fields and can therefore be used to generate electromagnetic waves, such as light.

Plasma is found everywhere in the Universe: in stars, including the Sun, but also in the hot gases of nebulae and in galaxies. It is even present on Earth, notably in the plasma torches used in welding.

What is a plasma lamp?

Comment marche une Lampe Plasma ?

A plasma ball can also be called a ball, plasma globe or dome. It is an electrical device that transforms electrical energy into light.

The first plasma lamp was invented by Nikola Tesla in 1894, which is why its electrode is called a Tesla coil. It was called the “Inert Gas Discharge Tube”. However, commercial production of this product did not begin until James Falk marketed the modern version of the plasma ball in the 1970s.

Plasma lamps are generally used as toys or decorative objects for their unusual appearance. You can perform a whole range of tricks and lighting effects by moving your fingers around the sphere. Sometimes, school teachers use plasma balls to present scientific experiments to pupils. Although they are not intended for general lighting, some manufacturers have transformed these balls into original nightlights or bedside lamps.

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How does a plasma lamp work?

Plasma is the fourth form of matter that exists in all substances. In fact, it is the most common form of matter in the universe. It occurs when the positive and negative particles of matter are identical to each other.

Plasma balls are like a miniature Tesla coil. When you activate the device, a powerful alternating voltage flows through the electrode and moves the electrons inside the electrode wires at an extremely high frequency (around 30 kHz), which eventually causes the electrons to escape from the gas. The result is positive ions that give the gases their amazing colors. Because of the partial vacuum inside the ball, the electrical tentacles are easily visible. Normally, the electric current is invisible. However, the ions in the noble gases react with the escaping electrons, causing them to glow in different colors depending on the type of gas and emit many photons.

Today’s plasma balls are created by mixing different noble gases, including neon, xenon and krypton. Thanks to the different shapes of the glass globes, computerized circuits and gas mixtures, plasma balls can form electrical tentacles capable of creating a variety of shapes and patterns in a multitude of colors. There are also USB plasma balls powered by the PC’s USB port. This is a safer option because of the lower voltage coming from the PC. However, the voltage is still extremely high and can cause dangerous electromagnetic radiation.

How do I handle a plasma lamp safely?

Plasma balls are high-voltage devices. So you need to be careful when using them.

  • Plasma spheres emit certain frequencies that can interfere with wireless signals such as Wi-Fi and mobile phones. It is therefore advisable to keep them away from these areas. These plasma spheres emit electromagnetic radiation. This can harm electrical equipment, so keep them away from people with pacemakers.
  • Keep all flammable objects away from the globe.
  • Magnets are generally excellent conductors of electricity. This means that if magnets and plasma balls come into contact, there is a risk of burns and shocks.
  • Using plasma balls for prolonged periods can lead to the formation of ozone gas, which, when inhaled, can be harmful to the human body.

5 simple and fun experiments you can do with a plasma lamp

Fonctionnement lampe plasma

If you’re wondering what’s the best way to use a plasma ball, here are a few tricks you can try to impress your friends and family. It’s essential to remember that to protect yourself from fire and electric shocks when performing tricks, the appropriate precautions must be taken.

  1. Fluorescent bulbs: Argon, LED and fluorescent bulbs light up automatically when placed near the plasma ball. This is because the electric current passes through the glass sphere and reaches the bulb.
  2. Writing with a metal pin: Cover the ball with aluminum foil. Then place some paper on the foil and write what you want with a metal pin. The writing will be burnt onto the paper because of the current flowing through the plasma ball to the pin. Make sure you are aware of the fire hazard.
  3. Playing with a calculator: You can take the basic model of a calculator and move it gradually towards the ball on the plasma. The numbers on the screen will change automatically. However, you should not use an expensive calculator, as this technique could permanently damage the screen.
  4. Lit matches: Place an unlit match near the ball in the plasma. Now you can bring the tip of the pencil towards the end point of the match, and hold it close to the ball for a minute. The match should start to light. Blow out the match when it is lit to avoid the risk of fire.
  5. Electric shock: Before performing this trick, be sure to tell your friend. When you place one hand on the plasma ball, gently touch your friend with your other hand. This will turn you into an electrical conductor and give your friend a mild electric shock.

Our opinion of the plasma lamp

Would you like to add a touch of magic and charm to your bedroom? If so, you need to get your hands on some plasma balls. These fascinating decorative pieces create a soothing, relaxing atmosphere in any room. What’s more, they make excellent conversation starters! So if you’re looking for something unique and eye-catching, plasma balls are the way to go.

What’s more, the plasma lamp is a relatively new technology that offers a number of advantages over conventional bulbs. Plasma lamps are more efficient, longer lasting and more economical, making them a great option for homeowners looking to save money and reduce their environmental footprint.

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