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What is the scientific principle behind using s plasma globe to light up a matchstick? Answered

why does a matchstick light up when one places a coin on a plasma globe, uses a paper clip to hover around the coin while holding the matchstick alongside the paper clip? (note the video does not use a matchstick, but it still applies the same concept)


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11 years ago

because the coin gives a good path for the several thousand volts to jump out - and create an arc. It's tiny, but enough to light a match. We found a painful way to test it - put your hand on a snowglobe, then glide (very gently) the back of your hand over something large and metal. The voltage builds up in your body like a static capacitor, then when you get close it burns :D Little fizzled hairs smell pretty bad, but no lasting harm.