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Why electric arc are blue?

I was wondering why electric arc are usually blue when there is a short.

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After searching, it appears that arcs are generally produced in the presence of some kind of gas (although some are created in a partial vacuum, there's still some gas present).  It's my guess that what you see is not the electricity in the arc, but rather the gasses in air that are excited by the electricity.  I'm thinking the strong blue color is by the excitement of oxygen, which combines to create ozone in the presence of an electric arc.
Actually, it'll be a combination of nitrogen, oxygen, and a splash of argon and CO2.
Dead right.
And also because arcs are incredibly hot.
Steve
JavaNut137 years ago
It is because you are using the common (more efficient) blue electricity, that has dominated the last decade.

Older electronics use Red or Orange electricity, slightly less efficient than blue but easier to generate.

There is talk of 'green' electricity - the most efficient of the lot, to be the standard by 2015.

Will

Wow, thats make a lot of sense in terms of green electric power lol

I have designed a device that emits an emerald green electric arc and it is a current that is created through a heavy electromagnetic field that is created through a high frequency oscillating switch that is collapsing the magnetic field during every oscillation, therefore inducing a form of "aether" or radiant energy of some sort. The back emf alone can not create this, but, the field is manipulated by running the oscillatory energy through a cadeucious coil and creating a secondary cancelled magnetic wave that eliminates the normal setting in the magnetic field. For some reason when radiant energy is collected using this circuit, the poles of the magnetism are opposite, as well, instead of releasing heat in the losses of the circuit, there is a cooling effect which basically show a positive particle, or positron is being emitted from the outside of the conductor, which is a silver coated copper single copper core. The high frequency energy emitted from this system travels outside of the conductor and is not detected with an ammeter of a normal kind, however, it is picked up with a clamp on unit because it has no choice to travel between the jaws of it. At any rate, it is extremely cool to see. I will video this and drop a link to my sales site, as well as where the kits will be able to eventually purchased to reproduce and test it's overunity for scientific research and educational purposes.

Our electronics website is http://advancedelectronic.net cheapest electonics on the net . The video will be posted sometime within the next couple of days off to the right side of the site under links labeled "green arc"

The circuit will be posted at http://mbrcircuit.blogspot.com along with our other circuits, the mbr circuit A-01, and the mbr circuit a-02, the one I speak of above is the A-03 and is not yet posted. Thanks for following these links. Please visit our sponsors and offer some support for to aid with our research and development.

 :)
Hahaha, so true. Ive also herd talk of yellow electricity, it's all theory though, so keep your eyes peeled for it in the next 4 decades.
psymansays7 years ago
 Some arcs are different colors...

The color range is dependant on the heat of the air being superheated into plasma. Colder is more towards red, and hotter is more towards blue. If you make sparks with a car battery charger's alligator clips, they'll be more reddish orange, but sparks from a spark plug or a piezo "zapper", like from a propane BBQ, will be a brilliant bluish white.
lemonie7 years ago
They're also UV. The high energies in the arc produce light up the blue end of the spectrum.

L
The color has to do with the spectra of the gasses through which the discharge occurs.  Different gasses have different atoms (or even molecules).  Different atoms have different energy levels for their electrons, and it is these energy levels that determine the color(s) of the light emitted by the gas(es). 

Compare the color you're used to seeing, to the various pictures of discharge lamps seen on this page:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gas-discharge_lamp#Color