Explosions with <1cm gap Fred's World of Science: High Energy Discharges

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[N2 Laser, v4.0]
[Exploding Apples]

Exploding apple

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Another apple

A small apple

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The following picture is of a simple experiment. 2 grams of 200 mesh powdered zinc was laid out in a 2" long track, electrodes on either end of the track. Some 2kJ was discharged into the zinc powder, resulting in a large, impressive blast. Oxidized zinc is what is seen in the picture. The zinc that didn't rapidly oxidize was fused into a 2" long, charcoal looking brittle mess of zinc.

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A fireball in the lab... A film canister top is being filled with about 2cc of ethanol.

And then, we discharge. I believe that the spark vaporized the ethanol, which subsequently exploded in a large fireball.

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After a long night of spud gun fun...

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Here's a few pictures of our N2 Laser, version 4. There was a large arcylic tube evacuated with two parallel electrodes. One was smooth, one was a hacksaw bade, to initiate plasma. We were not actually firing the laser in the following pictures, rather just using at as a pretty prop for photos. This was ca September 1998.

After an internal short, or something like that...

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Back up to top <Copyright 8/10/2001 Or if you really want to go there... U of M Physics
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