Intro: How to Make a Plasma Ball
Hi! In this dangerous instructable I will show you how to get and tame a plasma ball at home!
Some theory: plasma is ionized gas. I will create a low-pressure environment in the glass bottle, and then ignite a high-voltage electric arc between two carbon electrodes. Plasma can conduct a current, so this piece of plasma will be stable and we can watch on it.
Also you can watch all process of making and working (glowing plasma!!!)IN THIS VIDEO!
Step 1: Special Equipment
My projects is about availability, I'm doesn't using any special devices and expensive equipment. So we need a high-voltage transformer out of broken microwave oven (how to get and connect a transformer I showed in THIS VIDEO). Also we need a vacuum pump, this super cheap device is made of big syringe and couple of aquarium staff, also there is a VIDEO HOW TO MAKE IT.
Step 2: Drilling Holes
At first I need to drill a hole in the bottom of it. I use an ordinary borer and water cooling to make it. It is a long tricky part. I know, there are special borers for glass, but they are too thick, I need a tiny hole. Also I drill a hole in the cap of a bottle.
Step 3: Connector for Pump
I use a plastic part of drop counter like connector for silicon tube. Just seal it with hot glue to the cap.
Step 4: First Electrode
Electrodes is made of carbon rod (from pencil). Drill a second hole in the cap and fix a wire in it. This connection must be sealed too. Then attacha piece of carbon rod on this wire.
Step 5: Second Electrode
Second electrode (carbon rod too) I wind to thick copper wire with another wire, then fix this electrode in the bottle's bottom hole with cold weld.
Step 6: Ignition System
Fluorescent lamps are using a high-voltage spark to ignite the plasma (starter capacitor, boost-up module to charge it...). My idea is very simple. I attach a very thin wire to the first electrode, and make it hang freely around second electrode. If I shake a bottle, wire will touch an electrode and will ignite an arc. Arc will start to melt this wire along its way to the first electrode. And when it’s over, there will be a huge piece of plasma inside the bottle.
Step 7: Preparing
- Connect wires from transformer to electrodes
- Pump out some air to create a low-pressure inside the bottle
Step 8: IT'S ALIVE!
And you will get a plasma in bottle! It is glowing really bright, so this is how fluorescent lamps are working.
You can watch my video, there is some glowing plasma in action!