Welcome to Chemistry Connections, my name is Daniel Wolf and I am your host for episode #14 called Chemistry of a Plasma Ball. Today I will be discussing plasma, electron transitions, ionization energy, and noble gases.
In this segment, I want to briefly overview what a plasma ball is and where it came from. Nikola Tesla, a famed scientist for his many breakthroughs in electricity, invented and patented the “plasma lamp” while experimenting with high voltage phenomena. In 1971, another scientist named Bill Parker would invent the modern version of the plasma ball. James Falk would later commercialize it as a novelty toy.
How it works:
There are quite a few connections to chemistry within a plasma ball. For example, the fact that plasma balls contain the fourth state of matter plasma.
What about the different colors of plasma ball lightning. Some plasma balls emit a green color, while others emit a purple color.
Why noble gases? After all, plasma can be created from any gas as long as it's ionized.
I wanted to do this topic because I thought, when I was young, that plasma balls were one of the coolest toys back then, besides a power rangers action figure. For a state of matter that makes up 99.9% of the universe, we don’t see a lot of it on earth. So plasma balls gives us a glimpse into the wonders of plasma.
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