skip to main content

Title: On filament structure and propagation within a commercial plasma globe

The filamentary discharge seen within commercial plasma globes is commonly enjoyed yet not well understood. Here, we investigate the discharge properties of a plasma globe using a variable high voltage amplifier. We find that increasing voltage magnitude increases the number of filaments while leaving their individual structure basically unchanged, a result typical of dielectric barrier discharges. The frequency of the voltage also affects filament population but more significantly changes filament structure, with more diffuse filaments seen at lower frequencies. Voltage polarity is observed to be important, especially at lower frequencies, where for negative-gradient voltages the discharge is more diffuse, not filamentary. At late stages of the discharge circular structures appear and expand on the glass boundaries. We find no trend of discharge speed with respect to voltage variables, though this may be due to manufacturer sample-to-sample variation. Each voltage cycle the discharge expands outward at ∼10–15 km/s, a speed significantly higher than the estimated electron drift yet considerably lower than that observed for most streamers. We discuss the physics of these observations and their relation to similar discharges that can be found within nature and industry.
Authors:
; ;  [1] ; ; ;  [2]
  1. Department of Physics, CSU San Marcos, 333 S. Twin Oaks Valley Road, San Marcos, CA 92078 (United States)
  2. Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, 100 Stellarator Road, Princeton, NJ 08540 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22410353
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physics of Plasmas; Journal Volume: 22; Journal Issue: 5; Other Information: (c) 2015 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; AMPLIFIERS; DIELECTRIC MATERIALS; ELECTRIC POTENTIAL; ELECTRON DRIFT; FILAMENTS; GLASS; GLOW DISCHARGES; PLASMA; SPHERES