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Re: [TCML] Spark dynamics on Jacobs Ladder

My hypothesis is that the arc causes localized heating at the points where it 
contacts the rods.  this heating causes a bit of expansion at these points, 
but only at these points. The expansion of both rods on their interior 
surfaces causes them to bend away from each other just a bit above the arc, 
wherever it is. 
If you use hollow tubes, like rigid copper pipe, and enough power, like a pole 
pig, you can see red spots at the contact points of the arc. 


On Friday 18 January 2008 10:04:45 am Lau, Gary wrote:
> I hope this isn't viewed as too off-topic - I'll argue that the same
> physics apply to TC sparks ;-)
> I was giving a demonstration of various HV toys to a 4th grade class
> yesterday.  Among the devices was a Jacobs ladder, powered by a 15/30 NST. 
> The two 1/8" x 3 ft steel electrodes appeared to have been excited into a
> mechanical oscillation, bouncing towards and away from each other, at very
> roughly ~ 1Hz.  One of the students asked my why they were moving, and I
> had to admit that I didn't know the source of the force that was moving
> them.
> The period of the oscillation was much faster than the arc travel time up
> the electrodes.  It's clear that the period was that of the free-standing
> rods, and that the exciting force between them varies as a function of
> their separation, but I don't see the source of the attraction or repulsion
> between them.  Any theories?
> Thanks,
> Gary Lau
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